Looking around some of the remarkable academies in youth soccer with all the facilities that they have it is sometimes easy to forget that a lot of coaches have to work in limited space. MORE
Good teams control the ball
This session is all about possession and movement from a team, moving the ball from back to front with purpose and controlled possession. Teams that win their leagues always seem to be in control of the game and keep possession of the ball.
I find you can win more games if you can keep hold of the ball. However, as this session will teach your players, it’s not just a matter of keeping hold of the ball but using it right when you have it, with thoughtful movement and effective penetration from the team.
No matter what systems are played you can work with your players to develop them into a passing team. Always remember, good teams control the ball while poor teams are controlled by the ball.
I would run this session every week as it will really enhance the way the team plays.
Make sure your players understand their own responsibilities as individuals and their responsibilities to the team as a back four unit, a midfield unit or as strikers. It’s much easier to keep possession of the ball if players understand they should move as a team and realise the importance of keeping the ball.
Emphasise the need for a good first touch under pressure, an understanding of support play and movement, the ability to play quickly in tight areas, and that players should be aware of what is around them.
Overconfidence is a typical mistake, with individual players trying to take an extra touch or deciding to do their own thing at the expense of team possession. It’s also common to see players lose possession with sloppy control in tight areas.
Mo Salah African footballer of the year
Mohamed Salah was crowned African footballer of the year on Thursday night at a lavish ceremony in Accra. The 25-year-old finished ahead of Liverpool teammate Sadio Mané and Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng.
]Salah is the first Egyptian to win the Confederation of African football’s most prestigious individual accolade since Mahmoud al Khatib in 1983.
“Winning this award is a dream come true,” he said after collecting the trophy. “2017 was an unbelievable year for me I had a fantastic time with the national team. This is a big award for me, a special moment in my career. I would like to dedicate it to all the kids in Africa and Egypt. I want to tell them to never stop dreaming, never stop believing.”
He took his tally for Liverpool in this season’s Premier League to 24 goals in the 4-3 win over Manchester City at Anfield a couple of weeks ago. He controlled Ederson’s misplaced goalkick and lofted it back over the stranded goalkeeper’s head. Perhaps the most striking aspect of his this was that it seemed so easy.
“You get chills,” said Dejan Lovren, captain for the day, in an attempt to describe the action that unfolded in front of him. “We believed from the first second we were the better team.”
Team mate Sadio Mane said:.”He is a very important player for us and I’m going to keep trying to help him score more goals for the team.
“He is a very, very good player for us and [if you give him] space he is unbelievable. No one can catch him and also he is clever.”
Salah is transformed from the raw 21-year-old who Chelsea signed from Basel for £11m in 2014.