EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

The playmaker

Improve the use and effectiveness of your team’s playmaker – the one who orchestrates the attack. Pirlo, Xavi and Wilshere are great examples of players used in this role in the Champions League.

What this session is about

  1.  Using a playmaker.
  2.  Creating an overload in midfield.
  3.  Using the spare player to score.

What to think about

To create space for a playmaker, team mates must constantly be on the move to drag opponents away from him so he can receive the ball in time and space.

If a playmaker is man marked, this movement will create space for a different player to receive the ball instead – so a “new” playmaker is created.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes10 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Play 2v2 (A v B) on a 20×15 pitch. A neutral playmaker (P) plays for either team. At opposite sides of the pitch are target players (T1 and T2).

The teams transfer the ball from one target player to the other, continuously keeping possession, using P to create a 3v2. Rotate playmakers regularly. The team in possession must constantly be on the move to make the pitch as big as possible and utilise the one-player advantage.

Play 2v2, team A v team B, using playmaker (P) as the extra man to get the ball from one target (T) to another and keep possession.

Play 2v2, team A v team B, using playmaker (P) as the extra man to get the ball from one target (T) to another and keep possession.


Development

Play 2v2 on a 30×25 pitch. Add a goal with a goalkeeper. A neutral playmaker (P1) plays for either team while a second neutral playmaker (P2) waits off the pitch, opposite the goal. He plays the ball to the attacking team who use P1 to create a 3v2 to score. The team must make three passes before they can take a shot.

If defenders win the ball, they quickly pass to P2 – defence and attack switch roles at this point.

P2 now dribbles into the pitch to create a 3v2 and P1 awaits his next turn. Rotate playmakers regularly.

Play 2v2 using P1 as the extra man. Teams can score after three passes. If the defence wins the ball, it is passed to P2 and teams switch roles.

Play 2v2 using P1 as the extra man. Teams can score after three passes. If the defence wins the ball, it is passed to P2 and teams switch roles.


Game situation

Add an additional goal and goalkeeper.

Play 2v2 with one neutral playmaker.

Play a normal game with a one-player advantage when in possession of the ball.

Play normal 2v2 with two goals, using P as the extra man.

Play normal 2v2 with two goals, using P as the extra man.


What to call out

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