That ball’s mine!

Arsenal’s David Luiz likes to push out of defence and win the ball before it is played into dangerous areas and this session encourages players to do that. Defenders need to be able to read an attack and push out to close down the attackers and either tackle or intercept the ball before it goes into dangerous areas behind the defence. This is also a good session to coach forcing play wide and support play, and for covering long balls with headers to prevent flick-ons or knock downs.

Set up

Use half your normal pitch, with a goal at the penalty area end and two cone goals to the side just over the halfway line. We’ve used 14 players. You need cones, balls, bibs and a goal.

How to play it

Play an attacking team of six against a defending team of eight including a keeper. Work on the central defenders moving quickly out to stop attacks before they reach the penalty area. The fullbacks should cover any move and fill in the space left by the movement of the central defenders. If the defenders win the ball they have five touches to score in one of the small goals.


If the ball goes wide the central defenders cover the move of the fullback and work on movement to cut out any passes behind them.

    1. Play starts with the team of attackers playing out into one of his two wide men
    2. The wide player then has options to play into midfield or attack, which is the trigger for the central defenders to push up

    3. Here the central defender has forced play back and then intercepted a poor pass as the attacking team tries to advance
    4. As soon as the central defenders push out the fullbacks tuck in to deny space behind the defence

    5. When the central defenders win the ball the team has up to five passes to score a goal
Share this
Follow us