INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

Attacking midfielder

One of the attacking midfielder’s key jobs is to get into advanced positions to create goalscoring opportunities for strikers and find the back of the net himself.

What this session is about

  1. Combination play in the attacking third of the pitch.
  2. Making forward runs.
  3. Creating chances.
  4. Scoring goals.

What to think about

Encourage your players to use combination play to create chances to score. For example, try overlaps, one-twos, third-man running and decoy runs, as well as asking players to use their imagination. To be successful, good, positive movement, close control and quick, accurate, passing are all important in this drill.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out an area with one goal and play 3v3 (three attackers versus two defenders and a keeper).

One attacker starts at the opposite end from the goal (in a midfield position) and is the “attacking midfielder”. The other attackers stand 10 yards outside the penalty box and on either side of the penalty box D, with their backs to goal with defenders marking them, as shown in all the pictures.

None of the attackers are allowed to shoot from distance. Run through various combination plays at half speed before repeating at full speed and limiting players to one or two-touch:

  1. The attacking midfielder (AM) passes to a team mate (A1), who returns it. As the ball comes back, A2 spins around the outside of his defender, making a curved run into the penalty box, to receive a pass from AM in the space behind the defender to shoot.
  2. AM, who starts in line with A1, passes to A1, who in turn passes to A2. AM makes a run around A1 and into the penalty area. A2 passes to AM, who shoots at goal.
  3. Other variations include A1 and A2 playing a one-two between themselves, after receiving an initial pass from AM, and overlapping a defender to shoot.

Rotate all roles regularly.

Set up various scenarios and play them at half speed initially to get your attacking midfielder ready for matches.

Set up various scenarios and play them at half speed initially to get your attacking midfielder ready for matches.


Development

Add two target goals at the opposite end to the big goal.

If the defenders win possession they have to try and score in one of the target goals. Keep playing until the ball goes out of play or a goal is scored. Play is restarted with the attacking midfielder. Play offsides.

In this example the attacking midfielder runs an overlap, receives the ball and shoots.

In this example the attacking midfielder runs an overlap, receives the ball and shoots.


Game situation

Play a 6v6 match in a 60×40 yards area with goalkeepers but condition both teams to play a 2-1-2 formation (two defenders, one midfielder and two attackers).

Encourage the midfield player on both teams to link up with the attackers at every opportunity.

Get the players to change positions regularly so other players have a turn at the central midfield role. The team that scores most goals wins.

Set up lots of different types of attack to work on. In this, the attacking midfielder starts the move and A2 shoots after a one-two.

Set up lots of different types of attack to work on. In this, the attacking midfielder starts the move and A2 shoots after a one-two.


What to call out

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