One of the most important topics in defensive play is compactness. A key principle of compactness is that the playing area of the opposition is minimised so there is less space for them to attack in. Give your players a lesson in compactness MORE
4v4/5v5 formation 1-2-1
For the Under 6, Under 7 and Under 8 age groups this formation works on a diamond shape which gives support in defence and attack. Play with a goalkeeper at 5v5 and without a goalkeeper at 4v4.
Can help provide discipline and responsibility. There is clearly one player with the main defensive responsibility and one with the main attacking responsibility. Two midfielders are able to support both attack and defence, allowing either to burst forward to join the attack with the other sitting back.
Players naturally seem to prefer attacking to defending – if both midfield players focus too much on attack this will leave the defence badly exposed. It requires these players to be disciplined. The two midfield players need to be fit, mobile, and especially able to develop a good partnership (e.g. to know when to sit-back and defend if the other goes forward).
This formation provides balance between defence and attack, while also maintaining an outright striker and a player to stay at the back so good for all round learning to take players to the next stage.
Good support from behind for the attacker to get balls played through and balls from the wings.
The two midfield players are expected to support both the defence and the attack, which can help the team adapt the formation to what is needed most at any moment in time.
Plays the sweeper role covering right across the back but needs support from midfield.