EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Planning for next season: tactics and formations

How is your team going to play next season? What tactics and which formation will you play so you can play to your team’s strengths? Pep Guardiola will pass past you and Jose Mourinho will hold you up – what style will your team have?

Check out my four key tips for giving your team an identity in the way they play.

Start with a formation – have you got strength up front or at the back? Great midfielders who can tackle back or spray passes all over the park. I always check out a formation like the 9v9 formation 1-3-1-2-1 because it has a lot of different player positions.

Then look at a tactic, such as using high pressing to suffocate the opposition and win the ball in key areas of the pitch. High Press is ideal for this – it’s a great game that gets players trying to win the ball back as soon as it is in play.

Or do you want your teams to be a defensive powerhouse and park the bus so the opposition cannot score? The Pivot/Goalkeeper relationship is vital to having a team that is difficult to break down. If you have players who are good in this role then this is the key for you.

Finally, pay a visit to my AskDave section and read the advice on how to make sure your team is playing better this season than last. I answer questions like “We’re often caught out on the break. How can I get my team to repel counterattacks?”, which will be key to you ironing out any problem before the season starts.

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