Destroy defences

Coach your strikers to play different roles on the pitch in order to make the space for your midfielders to play one of them in on goal. This session pulls defences apart with two strikers playing different roles, one higher up the pitch than the other. It gives space for clever midfielders to put attackers clear in the penalty area with space to shoot at goal.

Set up

Set up a 45×30-yard area split into three 15-yard zones. We’ve used 14 players in this session including goalkeepers. You need bibs, balls, cones and two normal goals.

How to play it

Play 7v7 including goalkeepers. Each team plays a 2-2-2 formation, with defenders locked into their zones. Midfielders and attackers can go in any zone. The zones are used in order to encourage the short striker to drop into the middle section, thus manufacturing a 3v2 overload for his team. Decoy runs can also be used should the team want to go long.


We are looking for the two strikers to work together, one to drop short and one to stretch the defence. One striker must move high up the pitch dragging the defenders towards goal but must stay onside, leaving space for the midfield to exploit on the edge of the penalty area.

    1. The game starts with the goalkeeper, who must play out to a team-mate who has made space for the pass
    2. Here the attacker has made use of the rule that defenders cannot leave their zone and dropped into the middle zone to collect the ball

    3. Midfield support behind the striker can mop up any saves or receive a pass from the strikers
    4. Here the striker turns and slips the ball through to his partner who finishes into the net

    5. The striker and supporting midfielder have made decoy runs but the midfielder spots the opportunity for a long pass which gets the striker behind the defence to cross into the box
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