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Pressing + Defending Practice
  • Wide free players can dribble into the field.
  • Wide players play with one touch.
  • Remove wide players and add an additional midfielder for each team, creating an overload in the first zone to promote build-up.
Defending Coaching Points:
  • Striker blocks passes between defenders and to the goalkeeper.
  • Defending #6 tackles their opposite #6 and protects against split passes.
  • Wide players stay compact and ready to tackle.
  • Wide defender presses CB if attacking #6 passes back, with quick pressing and communication from the deeper #6.
  • Win the ball when possible.
Attacking Coaching Points:
  • Upon recovering the ball high, pass to the central striker to turn and shoot or hold up for wide players.
  • If recovered from deeper, retain possession and balance the team.
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Pattern of Play
  • 11 v 11 focusing on the green team playing out from the back, creating space for multiple build-up plays.
  • Spend 10 minutes on the green team, then switch to the blue team and apply the same methodology.
Coaching Points:
  • Full back receives the ball under light pressure from the number 9. If no options, play back to the GK and switch channels.
  • Focus on creating space, communication, first touch, and weight of pass.
  • Centre-backs split, and GK plays quickly to make play unpredictable.
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Playing Through the Thirds
  • Practice playing through the line and defending to stay compact.
  • Start with one defender pressing in the possession zone.
  • Progress to two defenders pressing.
Key Ideas:
  • Move the ball quickly to create gaps.
  • Scan for opportunities to play through.
  • Position to receive in relation to defenders.
  • Quality first touch and low passes.
  • Defenders score points for intercepting passes.
  • Attackers score points for passing through the line to the opposing team.

Session in Action

The above session put into practice at the Blackburn Rovers Acedemy.