Defending from the front in a 4-3-3 exercise. Pressing roles and the actions of the players involved in retaining the football back as quickly as possible and/or forcing errors from our opponents. Full size 11vs11 exercise.
|Age: 15-Adlt||Intensity: Medium|
|Time: 40 mins||Positions: 7,9,10,11|
|Players: 22||Area: Full Pitch|
- Develop players ability to defend in a 4-3-3
- Developing players understanding of what passes to allow, and what passes to prevent
- Develop players understanding of “making play predictable”
Diagram 1. Set-Up Arrangement
- 30x30 yrd grid marked by cones. 2 gate goals positioned as shown above.
- 5vs5 (+5)
- 3 teams in different colours.
- Play starts with a ball played into the white goalkeeper.
- The white must play out through their full-backs.
- During all the instructions below, the white full-back is in possession.
- From the GK’s hands, the red front 3 allow him to throw out to his full-backs. Ensure the red defenders are deep enough so that the GK cannot turn them around from a long, direct kick. (start position).
- As soon as the ball leaves the goalkeepers hands, the reds aim to “lock on”.
- The left wide forward presses the right full-back on the ball. His priority is to cut off the pass to the white winger and force him to play inside instead. The angle of the run therefore is a curved one, and not straight at the player.
- The central striker takes up a position that (a) discourages a pass to the nearest centre-back, and (b) stops him player a longer ball across the back to the second centre-back. His body must be “open” to allow him to see the man on the ball as well as both full-backs.
- The opposite wide forward is slightly deeper than his fellow forwards, but close enough to “nick” possession if the full-back tries a big switch to his opposite full-back.
- The closest midfield player marks goal-side and ball-side of his opposite midfield player. If a pass tries to enter midfield, he is close enough to impact his first touch and win possession.
- The other midfield player is slightly deeper, but able to make up the distance between him and his opposite player as the ball travels. He too should be able to impact his first touch.
- The red defensive midfielder screens any passes into the strikers’ feet / chest and “nicks” any that are attempted. There needs to be constant communication between him and the 2 centre-backs.
- The red left-back does not need to be tight on his winger…yet. If the player in front of him does his job properly, he can take up a narrow position next to his centre-backs.
- Both centre-backs need to ensure that, as a priority, they are not penetrated “over the top”. This will void all the work the players in front of them have done. They must mark goal-side, ball-side of their strikers. If the strikers’ have good movement, they must communicate between each other and the defensive midfielder.
- The furthest full-back defends narrow alongside his centre-backs. His body is open so he can see his winger and the player on the ball, but does not need to mark him tightly. If the player in possession tries a long diagonal pass, he should be able to impact the winger’s first touch.
- The GK has a high start position, around the penalty spot. If a long ball is played that cuts out the back 4 then it must go into his possession, or out of play.
- Ultimately, the reds have cut off every passing option for the full-back in possession. If he can make a successful pass, the next player to have the ball should not have any controlled time to pick a pass.
- Our aim is to force the full-back to play a long ball and surrender possession or to go back to the goalkeeper, where the session starts again.
- Goals count as normal. However the reds get points / praise for achieving any of the points below. Emphasis is on good defending, not the score.
- Be disciplined to drop and allow full-back to take it from the goalkeeper.
- Press and “lock on” as a team on the trigger of the goalkeeper’s distribution.
- Force the play inside and the full-back plays long or back to the goalkeeper.
- Players either mark a man (ball-side, goal-side) or mark space (with body open to see their man and the player in possession).
- If one player negates his duty, it may make all the other players’ work unnecessary.
- Communicate to each other.
Diagram 2. Actions of pressing players.
Diagram 3. Aerial View of Movements