Football/Soccer Session (Academy Sessions): 4-3-3 set up

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Pro-Club: Glasgow Clyde College

Ciaran Carmichael

Profile Summary

Ciaran Carmichael
Name: Ciaran Carmichael
City: Glasgow
Country: United Kingdom
Membership: Adult Member
Sport: Football/Soccer
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Description

This is a high-level outline for we will set up in a 4-3-3. It includes:

  • Principles and scenarios in attacking phases
  • Principles and scenarios in defensive phases, including man-for-man pressing and a zonal press, which can be adapted to a mid- or low-block
  • Principles and scenarios in attacking transition
  • Principles and scenarios in defensive transition


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Build up

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Build up
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Build up

Build up / attacking principles

  • Possession-based and creative, looking to dominate our opponents and the game. We find spare players in attacking overloads and move the ball cleanly through the thirds.
  • Intelligent movement off, on and around the ball, making effective use of space and offering a range of good passing options. This includes players dropping in and out of position to draw man-for-man defenders with them and opening up gaps.
  • Quick and slow: understand when to speed play up and when to slow it down and be patient in possession. We draw teams in all over the park then use quick passes to open spaces in behind.
  • Exploit wide areas with over / underlapping full backs, creating 2 vs 1s in wide areas. Defenders use ‘steering wheel’ movement to shuffle across when full backs advance.
  • Use of width: we occupy all five channels as we build through the thirds, stretching opposition defences.
  • Ready for transition: we are compact vertically to allow defenders to join attacks and be able to counter press quickly when attacks break down.

Scenario summary

  • Play is building down left side to LB
  • Back three shuffle across ('steering wheel') to protect left side against counters
  • Team moves as one. Opposite side winger getting into scoring position / back post run
  • Effective 3-2-5 or 3-1-6 in attack

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Man for man press

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Man for man press
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Man for man press

Man for man pressing principles

  • One spare at the back: everyone marking except one defender who sweeps / covers.
  • Find your man and win your duels: stick with your man. Ball side, goal side to intercept.
  • Watch out for rotations, intelligent movement and balls in behind: opponents will try to drag you. Match runs and movement, suffocating space.
  • Set traps and look for triggers: lookto make play predictable (e.g., forcing wide) and look out for certainconditions / triggers to press aggressively (e.g., poor or long passes,hesitation, on opponent's weaker foot)
  • Prepare to recover and adapt: when opposition play through unit lines, we recover back and tackle. Not all teams will play out from the back, electing to go long. When this happens, judge the flight of the ball and be positioned to win first and second balls.
Scenario description
  • CF (#9) splits two opposition CBs. CB (#4) spare man at the back. Everyone else man marking.
  • GKplays to CB (#4)
  • CF(#9) looks to show CB wide into RB for LW (#11) to intercept

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Zonal press

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Zonal press
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Zonal press

Pressing principles

  • Aggressive and as high as possible: engage opponents high up the pitch to regain as close to the opponent’s goal as possible. We may drop off when the opponent is building, enticing opponents to play out from the back. We move as a unit, prioritising vertical compactness and reducing gaps between the lines while making sure we protect the space in behind.
  • Pressure and cover: apply pressure to opponents and our teammates are well-positioned to intercept.
  • Protect the middle: compact horizontally and vertically. Teams go around not through. Wingers need to be prepared to narrow off when the play is on the opposite side.
  • Set traps and look for triggers: look to make play predictable (e.g., showing into wide areas) and for certain conditions to press aggressively (e.g., poor passes, hesitation, opponents turning their back, on opponent’s weaker foot)
  • Patience and discipline: be comfortable surrendering possession at times, staying compact and looking to engage at the right time.
  • Prepared to recover and adapt. When opposition play through unit lines, we recover back and tackle. Adapt to the game around you (e.g., drop when teams go long, man mark certain players as needed, change approach if teams beat the press to a mid- or low-block).

Scenario summary

  • Pressing as a 4-4-2 
  • Dropped off 25-30 yards to entice team to build from the back
  • GK plays to CB (#4)
  • CF (#9) looks to show CB wide
  • All unit lines shuffle across to intercept

Main points

When out of possession (in addition to main principles)

  • Move as a unit
  • Scanning and awareness
  • Communication and key words
  • Discipline and patience
  • Ball side, goal side to intercept

On regain

  • Speed of counter / break lines quickly
  • Create overloads 
  • Third man combinations
  • Quality on the ball (through balls, back foot, ball speed, body shape)

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Long balls-1

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Long balls-1
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Long balls-1

Dealing with the long ball principles

  • Stop the source: where possible, stop the source of long balls. This could mean putting pressure on outfield players to prevent them.
  • Judge the flight and adjust starting position: identify where the long ball is dropping during matches and retreat to a position where you are protecting the space in behind.
  • Defenders positioned to step on to win first balls: defenders should position so that they can step on (i.e., not backpedal) to win first balls.
  • All unit lines compact horizontally and vertically to win second balls: make the park as small as possible, positioned to win second balls.

Scenario description

  • Team identifies that long balls from GK are going over their head, making them vulnerable to balls in behind.
  • All unit lines drop, remaining compact horizontally and vertically, to a position where defenders can step onto and clear long ball.
  • LB goes to head ball while three other defenders drop back in case the ball goes over his head.
  • Midfield and forward unit lines compact and close by to win second balls.

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Long balls-2

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Long balls-2
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Long balls-2

Dealing with the long ball principles

  • Stop the source: where possible, stop the source of long balls. This could mean putting pressure on outfield players to prevent them.
  • Judge the flight and adjust starting position: identify where the long ball is dropping during matches and retreat to a position where you are protecting the space in behind.
  • Defenders positioned to step on to win first balls: defenders should position so that they can step on (i.e., not backpedal) to win first balls.
  • All unit lines compact horizontally and vertically to win second balls: make the park as small as possible, positioned to win second balls.

Scenario description

  • Team identifies that long balls from GK are going over their head, making them vulnerable to balls in behind.
  • All unit lines drop, remaining compact horizontally and vertically, to a position where defenders can step onto and clear long ball.
  • LB goes to head ball while three other defenders drop back in case the ball goes over his head.
  • Midfield and forward unit lines compact and close by to win second balls.

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Counter attacking

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Counter attacking
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Counter attacking

Counter-attacking principles

  • Speed of attack: break lines quickly, limiting touches (one and two touch) with fast forward supporting runs from attacking midfield players.
  • Create and exploit overloads: aggressive in transition, on the shoulder to receive. Look for ways to create 4 vs 3s, 3 vs 2s all over the park. Create space for each other, making unselfish runs to create gaps. Communication (verbal and non-verbal (e.g., arms out to show where you want the ball)) and awareness is key.
  • Quality on, off and around the ball: good ball speed and body position to receive, playing into back foot or space in front. Think about the timing of runs to meet through balls just in time and triggers to make forward runs. Vary runs (curved, rotations) to keep defenders guessing.
  • Use quick switches of play: look to exploit space in opposite channels.

Scenario summary

  • CB (#4) passes to RB (#2)
  • LW (#11) regains possession and plays quick forward pass
  • LB (#3) looks to support (under or overlap) attack
  • Quick forward runs to get into scoring positions or positions to create chances
  • Back three and #6 squeeze up to guard against quick counters
  • If we win the ball and move quickly in this scenario, we're in a situation where we have #11, #10, #8, #2, #9, #7 all between the lines in a 6 vs 5 overload

Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Counter pressing-1

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Counter pressing-1
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Counter pressing-1

Defensive transition / counter-pressing principles

  • Regain quickly: look to regain inside 5-10 seconds
  • Players around press aggressively: those near or around the ball should press to regain the ball
  • Lock out switches: as part of the transition, seek to prevent play being switched
  • Recover into defensive shape: while those around press aggressively, remaining players look to get into defensive shape
  • Communication, scanning and awareness is critical for effective, coordinated pressing and helps block passes between the lines
Scenario summary

  • Blue #3 wins possession from red #8 who immediately tries to win the ball back
  • Red #7 and #6 aim to support the press who, along with red #9 aim to prevent play being switched 
  • Remaining red players recover quickly into defensive shape


Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Counter pressing-2

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Football/Soccer Session Plan Drill (Colour): Counter pressing-2
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Counter pressing-2

Defensive transition / counter-pressing principles

  • Regain quickly: look to regain inside 5-10 seconds
  • Players around press aggressively: those near or around the ball should press to regain the ball
  • Lock out switches: as part of the transition, seek to prevent play being switched
  • Recover into defensive shape: while those around press aggressively, remaining players look to get into defensive shape
  • Communication, scanning and awareness is critical for effective, coordinated pressing and helps block passes between the lines
Scenario summary

  • Blue #3 wins possession from red #8 who immediately tries to win the ball back
  • Red #7 and #6 aim to support the press who, along with red #9 aim to prevent play being switched
  • Remaining red players recover quickly into defensive shape


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