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The final ball

Use this session to coach midfielders to take advantage of cautious visiting teams. When opponents defend deep, it opens up space outside the box for more creative play. Manchester City’s creative midfielders seem to have more time just outside the box when they play at home because teams drop deep to cover balls played in. This training session gives your creative midfielder the chance to play lots of good passes into your striker.

Set up

Set up an area of 50×30 yards with a 20-yard centre zone, then a 5-yard strip zones at each end and 10-yard end zones. We’ve used 14 players in this session including goalkeepers. You need balls, bibs, cones and two goals.

How to play it

Create two teams for a 7v7. Each team has a goalkeeper and six outfield players, with a 3v3 in the centre zone, an unopposed creative midfielder in the 5-yard strips and 1v1 in the end zones.

Technique

To point of the game is to win the ball in order to get it to the unopposed midfielder, allowing him time to play a pass to his striker. The striker can move to positions where he can easily win the 1v1s when he receives the ball.

    1. The session starts with kick off in the centre zone with players in a 3v3 trying to get possession of the ball
    2. Once a team has possession they must work the ball to their creative midfielder

    3. Unopposed in his zone, the creative midfielder has time and space to make a good pass
    4. The attacker loses his marker and has an easy shot to score a goal

    5. Here the team has won the ball in the 3v3 and moved it to lose the defender and give the striker a chance to equalise
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