A message from League Managers Association chairman and former England coach Howard Wilkinson
Football, as we know it today, is probably more open to tactical thinking than at any time in the past. Not only are the game’s wealth of coaches looking for every possible way of searching out an advantage on the pitch, but television and print media pundits now go to incredible lengths in explaining the whys and wherefores of what happens when the referee’s whistle blows.
It’s for that reason we’ve been really excited to put together this Elite Soccer: Tactical Masterclass. To a level never before explored, we’re drilling down into the core detail of how teams set up, the specifics of player movement and the philosophies of clubs when it comes to empowering their stars of the present and future.
The publication is packed full of unique insight. It showcases a variety of formations, moves, structures and ideas, looks at how teams can exploit and restrict key passages of play, and highlights the true positions of influence on a football field. There’s the minute detail that can offer the belief and confidence for keepers, defenders, midfielders and attackers to fulfil their potential, and all supplied by some of the best coaches in the campaign, including four from the Barclays Premier League and a national team manager.
So from Liverpool*, Academy Director Alex Inglethorpe unveils a complete session for exploiting counter-attack opportunities, while his former colleague, Tottenham Hotspur’s Academy Manager and Head of Coaching John McDermott, approaches from the other side, explaining how to defend against a fast-paced transition. John has also produced for us a detailed insight into the coaching philosophy at Spurs – it’s a fascinating revelation into why the north London club has produced so much homegrown talent in recent years.
Hull City Academy Manager Tony Pennock presents a unique session highlighting the forgotten position in all formations – that of the keeper.
Meanwhile, David Adams, Head of Coaching at Swansea City, explores how to defend in a 4-4-2 diamond. The antidote to that – how to use the diamond for purposeful attacking play – comes from England women’s team manager Mark Sampson, while Wolves Academy Manager Gareth Prosser looks at attacking principles in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
To complete a tremendous set of seven engaging sessions that express the highest level of modern tactical insight from those at the top of their game, Stevenage Academy Manager Darren Sarll explains how teams can effectively regain possession against opponents who play through and between the lines.
As always, we hope you can take the time to maximise what’s in this special coaching manual. We’d love to hear your feedback and that of your players.
Enjoy your football
Chairman, League Managers Association
*All clubs correct at time of publication. Coaches progress and change clubs regularly.