Create The Unexpected

When your team is the underdog, your best chance of success is to catch your opponents by surprise with some unexpected midfield creativity.

Why use it

Creative midfield play can give players a split second to get a shot away or set up a supporting midfielder. They have to be quick because the chance won’t be there long but in a oneoff game against a strong defence this may be the only way to score.

Set up

Use half a pitch coned off to the width of the penalty area, with a 20-yard square marked in the middle from the halfway line and create two five-yard target squares on the halfway line outside it. You will need a goal at the other end. We’ve used eight players in this session.

How to play

Play a 4v3 plus a keeper. The team of four have three players in the middle box with two players from the opposition. There is also a 1v1 between the box and the penalty area. The team attacking the five-yard boxes must stop the ball in them to score. The other team must get the ball to the attacker, who has two touches to either get a shot away or pass to a supporting player. In the final part, to replicate the angles the ball will come from, rotate the boxes.


In one-off games like cup finals teams will drop deep to deny space behind, so players need to be creative to fashion goal

    1. Play starts with the team of four who must use their 3v2 overload to get a good ball into the feet of the lone attacker
    2. One player from the team of four can come out of the box to support the attacking player. Here he has made a dummy run to pull the defender out of position

    3. Here the lone attacker has made space and takes a first-time shot to catch the opposition out and score in the net
    4. Advance the session by rotating the boxes to replicate the different angles of attack in a match

    5. Here the different angle has made it easier to open up the left hand side of the pitch and the attacker has been able to penetrate the box and score
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