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Why a possession-based game works

As coaches we are all obsessed with keeping possession of the ball… of course we are – the best teams all do it and if you’ve got the ball the opposition can’t score. And then there’s that other coach called Pep Guardiola who swears by it. Pep’s Manchester City won their fourth consecutive Carabao Cup at the weekend to continue their domination of the competition.

Working on a possession game means you need to come up with a good way to press your opponents so you can win the ball back quickly and go on the counter attack from all over the pitch. A possession-based game works for my team and it should work for yours as well – but you have to practice with your players to use the right techniques and tactics that help you bring it to matches and give you the means to win the game.

Try the sessions below with your team and watch them keep the ball better when they are out on the pitch.

Possession or score encourages strikers to have rapid shots at goal and to link up in the middle of the park with one-twos and one-touch passing. Defenders can switch play when in possession and spread out to keep the ball from attackers.

One of the key moments in a possession game is being able to use the ball and create goal scoring chances. It is easy to just keep the ball and neglect the principles of attack. In Possession in overloads players get lots of chances to create, and score, goals

In 3v2 transitions the attacking team has an overload but can the defending team use their players to create their own overload and win the ball back so they can score? It is one of my favourite sessions to get a reaction from my players.

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