One of the things I find really useful is to engage my players on a Zoom call and get them to list the attributes they think players need in certain positions. So this week we are working on defensive midfield. What does a player in that position have to do? MORE
The middle man
The playmaking midfielder is a player every team can benefit from. If you think of Andrea Pirlo, Andres Iniesta or Xavi Hernandez, you can see how influential their ability to play and receive passes is when it comes to launching attacks.
What this session is about
- Keeping possession.
- Creating chances to score.
- Using a playmaker in midfield.
What to think about
Does your team have one special player that is able to dictate the speed of the game and orchestrate the team’s attack?
If so, you must work on this player being in possession of the ball as much as possible.
However, if you simply demand that other players pass to this player it might cause some rejection in the team. So you must use practices that guide your players to passing to the playmaker.
In addition, your best player must be confident to get on to the ball as much as possible and then make the correct decision in order to help the team create and score goals.
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What you get your players to do
The middle man goes into the centre of the pitch while eight players are split into two teams of four and go on the edges of the area. Each man marks an opponent to create four 1v1s, as shown in the top picture.
The middle man is limited to two touches and must retain possession by continuously passing to a team mate on the outside of the pitch and receiving a return pass.
If the defending team wins the ball, the middle man now plays for this team.
To progress, all players enter the pitch and play a possession game. Teams are awarded “goals” by making five successful passes. The middle man plays for the team in possession.
Mark out an area with four target goals and a fiveyard channel, as shown in the middle picture.
Use two teams. Each team has two defenders in one half and two attackers in the opposite half.
The middle man works in the five-yard channel. He is, again, limited to two touches and must stay in the channel and provide passes to the attacking players to attack 2v2. The aim is for the attackers to score in the target goals.
Defenders try to stop attackers and pass to the middle man whose allegiance is now with the team in possession.
Replace the target goals with big goals. Again, each team has two defenders in one half, two attackers in the opponent’s half and the middle man starts in the channel.
The rules are the same as in the previous exercise but defenders can pass directly to forwards and the middle man is free to leave the central area to create a 3v2 attacking overload.
All players are allowed to take as many touches as they like. However, goals can only be scored with a one-touch shot. The offside rule is in place and the team that scores most goals wins.