Combining pace and aggression on the football pitch

Combining pace and aggression going forward with the ability to track is a style inspired by one of the best in the game, Chelsea’s Frank Lampard.

For more than 10 years, the England midfielder has proved a pivotal force in the centre of the park, so here’s an opportunity for your players to try out some of that classic Lampard box-to-box play. Later, you can even put those new skills to the test in a small-sided game.

How to set it up

Play 3v3, in a 30-yard square. There are three goals, two in each of the corners and one placed on the opposite side in the middle as shown in the picture below. One player from each team is a goalkeeper.

Getting started

  • The practice starts with one player from each team attacking the goal to their left – unopposed dribbling and shooting in turn.
  • Players must concentrate on controlling the ball and approaching each goal at an angle.
  • At the end of each attack, the two attackers move clockwise around the playing area, ready to attack the next goal. Goalkeepers remain where they are.


  • To advance this, add defenders to the practice so your attackers have an additional obstacle.
  • Make sure you rotate players so that everyone gets a chance in each position.
  • You can also switch play by attacking each goal from the right-hand side.

The key elements

  • The focus is on individual skills such as dribbling, shooting and 1v1 attacking and defending.
  • Highlight those players who are using good technique and creating space.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop the game, pointing out to your players what they are doing right and wrong in terms of technique and positioning.

Why this works

Play is centred on a tight area that represents the compacted nature of the midfield. Therefore players are forced to make quick and efficient decisions in attack and defence.

Rather than undertake an exercise that encourages a player to pass, this is a great activity whereby taking on an opponent can be shown to have a much more dynamic effect on the game, something that is good for players to recognise in a full-match situation.

This session originally appeared in Soccer Coach Weekly.

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