Apply pressure, regain possession and then use the ball in this three-part session. By MICHAEL PHILP MORE
When Per Mertersacker played in Arsenal’s defence he cleared balls crossed into the penalty box with ease because he read the cross well and cleared the ball with precision, pushing danger away from the penalty area.
Use half your normal pitch with a 10-yard crossing zone on either side. We’ve used 12 players. You need bibs, balls, cones, and a goal.
Split the players into two teams of five attackers and six defenders with one goalkeeper. The defending players wait behind the goal line, with three on each side of the goal. The attacking team has to score from a cross into the penalty area. Four of the defenders can enter the pitch (two from each side) when the ball is passed into the crossing zone. The defenders must clear their lines. Make sure the defenders switch around so they all take turns.
As defenders enter the pitch at pace they must get the correct body shape so they can see the player they are marking and the ball as it is crossed in. Communication between players is vital as they cover each other. Clearing skills are needed to head or volley the ball away from danger.