Creating Chances: Buildup in Opponents’ Half

SoccerSpecific

When to attack at pace? When to be patient in possession? Where is the advantage for my team? Is the opponent organized? Where is the disadvantage for the opponent? These are all questions that players must answer in split-second decisions during sessions and match play.

By placing players in game-like situations continuously in coaching sessions the players learn to recognize the similar situations during match play.

Creating Chances: Buildup in Opponents’ Half aims to develop an understanding of building up successfully to create chances from the opponents half and final-third.

Players are encouraged to be patient in possession when the situation calls for it; to attack at pace if they recognize an advantage, to switch play when necessary, to counter-press and attack quickly while the opponent is disorganized…

Allow your players to experience the situations, allow them to make mistakes and gradually over time they will start to recognize the best decision for that given scenario in front of them!

Good Luck!


Creating Chances: Buildup in Opponents’ Half

1. Warmup Activity: Possession / Switching Play

Setup:

10 Players split into two teams of 5 / 2 grids side by side.

Creating Chances: Buildup in Opponents' Half | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram A

Instructions:

The 5 players in possession attempt to maintain possession against 2 Defenders (Red); 20 completed passes = 1 goal.

Defensive (two) players must attempt to win ball and immediately switch play to their 3 teammates in the opposite grid – the Black team then send two Defenders to continue the game.

Coaching Points:

  • Possession Team:
    • Quick ball circulation and movement.
    • Angles of support
    • Quality of passing – Decision-making + Execution
  • Defending Team:
    • Work as pair to regain possession
    • Understand that advantage is on opposite side of pitch so look to switch quickly

2. POSSESSION – Transition Across Pitch

Setup:

10v10 – players in position. Pitch is divided in two (coned line).

Creating Chances: Buildup in Opponents' Half | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram B

Instructions:

A 10v7 takes place on one side of the pitch – possession team can score in their opponents mini-goal after completing 10 passes; the 7 defensive players must work to regain possession – on winning possession they must look to quickly switch play to their support players on the opposite side of the pitch. A 10v7 (advantage) then takes place on the opposite side. Transitioning team can attempt to score in mini-goal as fast as possible before opponent can transition; if not possible to score – patient in possession is emphasised.

Play is continuous.

Coaching Points:

  • Possession Team:
    • Patience in possession
    • Regain possession and look to change immediately to the free players.
    • Players must recognise that the ‘advantage’ is on the opposite side of the pitch.
    • ‘Where is the advantage?’ – opposite side!
    • Speed of transition to support

3. TACTICAL GAME – Buildup to Create Chances / Recognising When to be Patient + When to Switch:

Setup:

Pitch divided in two; 2 Full-sized goals utilised.  #6 + 8 for Defensive team (Green) move across the zones to offer DEFENSIVE support.

Creating Chances: Buildup in Opponents' Half | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram C

Instructions:

Play begins with a pass from the Coach to either attacking group (Red) – this creates a 4v3+GK; after 10 seconds the Defensive #6 or #8 can move across – this now creates a 4v4+GK in that quadrant of the pitch. The buildup team must attempt to score as quickly as possible – if the side is blocked they must look to quickly switch play to attack the opposite half of the pitch. The #6 + eventually #8 Defensive player must transition across; therefore a quick transition creates a 4v2+GK advantage for the attacking team.

Play is continuous – balls start with the Coach / GK each time. Rotate in/out extra Players as needed to avoid overload / fatigue.

Counter Goals are placed in opposite half of pitch for Black team to score.

Coaching Points:

  • Quick ball circulation / dribbling / movement – can you break down the opponent without switching the play?
  • Recognise if the side is closed + Defensive team is organised – switch play!
  • ‘Where is the advantage?’ – opposite side!
  • Speed of attack once ball transitions across!
  • Counter-Press – Red team must immediately counter-press if Defensive team wins possession.

4. TACTICAL GAME – Creating Chances:

Setup:

An 9v7+GKs is organised as shown.  Goalkeeper and full-sized goal positioned 25yds in opposite half (not shown in Diagram).

Creating Chances: Buildup in Opponents' Half | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram D

Instructions:

Play begins with a pass from the Coach or GK to Attacking team (Red). The buildup team must attempt to score – if the side is closed they must look to quickly switch play to attack the opposite side of the pitch.

Rotate in/out extra players to avoid overload / fatigue.

Defensive team has a target #9; if Black team win possession immediately counter to attack opponents goal.

Coaching Points:

  • In Attack; go at pace – if not possible – be patient with quick ball circulation / dribbling / movement.
  • Patience in possession to draw opponent to one side of the pitch.
  • Recognise if the side is closed – switch play!
  • ‘Where is the advantage?’ – opposite side!
  • Speed of attack once ball transitions across!
  • Movement of players to drag opponent Fullbacks out of position.

5. TACTICAL GAME – Creating Chances:

Setup:

An 11v11 is organised as shown. Goalkeeper and full-sized goal positioned 25yds in opposite half (not shown in Diagram).

Creating Chances: Buildup in Opponents' Half | SoccerSpecific.com
Diagram E

Instructions:

11v11 Game incorporating all previous situations and Coaching Points

Coaching Points:

  • In Attack; go at pace – if not possible – be patient with quick ball circulation / movement.
  • Patience in possession to draw opponent to one side of the pitch.
  • Recognise if the side is closed – switch play!
  • ‘Where is the advantage?’ – opposite side!
  • Speed of attack once ball transitions across!
  • Movement of players to drag opponent Fullbacks out of position.