INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Channel defence

In wide situations, if the defender quickly closes the space, the attacker’s options are limited, giving the defender the advantage.

What this session is about

  1.  Defending 1v1 in wide areas.
  2.  Making play predictable by keeping the ball on the wing.
  3.  Developing 1v1 defending skills.

What to think about

In a game, the defenders must position themselves to force the ball away from central areas.

The full back must put pressure on the wide player as the ball is played forward.

Can the full back force the wide player towards the touch line to make the play predictable?

Can the full back delay the wide player to stop an attack’s momentum, and get support?

If the wide player is shown inside, he might be on his weaker foot. But, this will move him towards his team mates and increase shooting or combination options.

Set-up

Create a 30 yards by 40 yards playing area, or use a normal football pitch with the servers placed 30 yards from the goal.

You will need two goals and goalkeepers as the session develops.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

The server passes to the wide player and then runs into the penalty area to wait for a cross.

As the wide player receives the pass, the full back must close him down and defend a 1v1 in the wide channel.

Can the full back keep the attacker in this channel and make the play predictable?

The attack ends if…

  • the wide player runs down the line and crosses for the server.
  • the wide player cuts inside and shoots.
  • the full back tackles the wide player.
  • the ball goes out of play.

Serve the next ball to the other wing and repeat, so both full backs get to defend.

The full back moves out to put pressure on the wide player and reduce the attacking options.

The full back moves out to put pressure on the wide player and reduce the attacking options.


Development

Play a small-sided game with channels along either side of the playing area. Wide players in these channels are free to receive the ball. However, after their first touch, the closest defender is allowed to pressure them in a 1v1 situation in the channel.

As the defender runs wide, his team mates must cover across to close any gaps.

In a small-sided game, the white team attacks by playing the ball to the wing.

In a small-sided game, the white team attacks by playing the ball to the wing.


Game situation

Remove the channels and play a normal game.

Look out for, and praise, players supporting their full back to “double up” against skilful wide players.

Now the defender must close down the space in the wide area to stop the winger crossing the ball.

Now the defender must close down the space in the wide area to stop the winger crossing the ball.


What to call out

  •  “Stay narrow and force the ball wide”
  •  “Move, and pressure as the ball is played wide”
  • “Stand up, force the attacker wide and slow the attack down”
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