Playing an offensive power

Discussion in 'Coach' started by pm4chi, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. pm4chi

    pm4chi Member

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    Colorado
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    Tonight we play a team that is destroying all in our league and scoring 12 per game. This is 7v7, indoor but no walls. 22 minute halves. So they score about once every 4 minutes. They've allowed 2 goals in four games.

    They are undefeated, so are we. We play pretty leaky defense, though, and don't have a standout keeper.

    How would you approach such a team and game?

    We've been playing a 2-3-1. Would you change to something more defensive? Would you play 19th Century football, as Mourinho puts it? Or just do what you've been doing and hope for the best?

    (Caveat: we do no practice. We get ZERO warmup time. So not much time to implement anything different)


  2. Ihateusernames

    Ihateusernames Member

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    I wouldn't do much more than emphasis defense and everyone getting back. Hope for the best and tip your hat to the better team. Maybe you'll get lucky. Can your normal center mid players hang back a bit more. Kind of a 2-1-2-1 sort of thing?
  3. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Nov 25, 2005
    Agree. Don't try to defend the whole court. Just the danger area in front of your goal. 231 could be very defensive the three midfielders pressing whenever the opponents are close enough to shoot. 2 backs covering. The sole forward can play strong side shutting down the back pass and switch. But his main job is to provide a target for the pass immediately after a turnover, which generally means moving away from the ball into space. (This is your hope to maintain possession instead of just clearing the ball to the other end.) The defensive key is immediate pressure to slow down play and give the team time to recover and set up the 23 zone (or 212 to protect the center when the others press higher) shape in front of the goal. Think zone defense in basketball.

    If you had practice time, I would be tempted to try a 222 on defense (think 212 indoor system but with an extra CM). The backs and forwards defend wide, like in the 212 with the 2 CMs pinched inside to control the center. Should make it very difficult for the opponents to create space in the center.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  4. Jazlizard

    Jazlizard New Member

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    If you don't practice you can't change much really. If you've already had many games under your belt, changing your strategy during warm-up period solely for this team seems like a waste and a bad idea. What age group is this?

    Unless you're trying to win some sort of large tournament or in a winter league where standings actually matter, play how you normally play and see how it goes. It's indoor (futsal I assume?) and everyone loves high scoring games, go out and enjoy it.


  5. pm4chi

    pm4chi Member

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    Not futsal, its on a turf field, about 35 x 65 yards. So pretty close to real grass soccer. U10.

    This team is definitely better than us, and really this will probably just be the difference in the first and second seeds for our playoffs coming up in a few weeks, so not much in the grand scheme. I keep my coaching to a minimum here, this is really just to keep the boys playing a bit in he winter time.

    I think I will keep in the 2-3-1 but really try to emphasize to the 3 and the 1 (in the 2 minutes I'll have to talk to them before the game) their defensive responsibilities.
  6. Jazlizard

    Jazlizard New Member

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    Gotcha. The limiting factor is really the lack of practice. Good on you for keeping the team active during the winter though.

    Not sure how the rest of your games have gone, but if it's been fairly easy up to this point, I would simply put emphasis that this may be a tough game, and to not allow themselves to get frustrated and to keep working and try to enjoy it. If it does turn out to be your first loss of the season kids can be overly hard on themselves. I'd try to remain positive and point out the successes you guys have as they occur in the match.

    Anyways, you obviously know the mentality of your team infinitely better than I do, but I see it all the time when a team finally runs into a tough game, and it generally isn't pretty on many levels - and I don't mean the scoreline.
  7. pm4chi

    pm4chi Member

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    Well, we lost 7-3. Up 1-0, down 3-2 at half, and then kind of ran out of legs (no subs for us tonight). Opponents moved the ball very nicely, good triangles, very calm. I told our boys to focus on pressure on the ball in the last 3rd, they did pretty well with that. We had a lot of blocked shots by defenders. We gave up a few goals where we didn't close down and our second half goalie is always glued to his line, I can't get him to come out to clear long balls with his feet no matter what I try.

    We'll likely face them again in the finals in about a month, with a couple of subs we might stand a better chance, but we'll still need to play great and them to have an off night. I told our boys afterward that we'll see they again, now we know what they're about, we know what they like to try to do, no one seemed too upset about it.
  8. Jazlizard

    Jazlizard New Member

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    Sounds like you guys played well. Always tough without any subs, especially in the small sided games
  9. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    That is a big field. The private indoor fields around here are more like postage stamps. The largest indoor field in the area is only 52 yds x 33 yds and the adult leagues play 8v8 on it.

    Good effort by your team.
  10. J'can

    J'can Member+

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    i am reading the posts and the first hing that came to mind is age group. again (like in antother thread) maybe i missed it.

    here is my question: (assuming you didnt know the age group AND assuming i didnt miss it) does your answer not vary with the age group? or is there only a set age group that is playing 7v7 with goalies? or you were able to garner the necessary clues from his posts?
  11. pm4chi

    pm4chi Member

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    I looked it up and am off slightly on my field measurements: 60 x 40. This is big warehouse type structure that houses one 60 x 100 yd field, and they slice it in half for these youth league games.

    U10 was noted above as the AG. When it comes to indoor soccer here in the States, I suspect it is played on all sizes of fields with all kinds of numbers, wherever people can fit it in.
  12. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    From the context I assumed he is coaching novices. The answers dealt with basic principles--zone defense, compactness, immediate pressure. Intermediate players would already understand the principles of play, so you can make simple adjustments on the fly. Experienced adults can be organized with a few words. What I would do would vary depending on the individuals' actual abilities versus what the opponents were doing and also depend on the field of play.
  13. Coach_Hayles

    Coach_Hayles Member

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    I had a similar situation this last fall season, the team my U10 girls were playing had walked over everyone scoring 6-10 at a time. I didn't warn the team before hand but I did put a lot of emphasis on workrate pre-game. Made sure they knew I wanted them working hard and pulling together. Tactically I only changed one thing. Typically we play with 2 at the back, and they just hang around waiting for the melee of players (and ball) to head in their direction. Instead I had one of them push up and just sit behind the main melee and everytime the ball broke they were to pounce on it and look for a pass into space.

    In the end we only lost 1-0 and hit the post twice in the process. It was a close run thing. More importantly, the team played a good game and they really took to watching their position on the field, something they had otherwise struggled with regardless of how I tried to coach it. It's hard to break the habit of ball chasing.
  14. CoachingNoob

    CoachingNoob Member

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    You could start pressuring up high and then defend with the whole team back if anyone is tired, then pressure in their field again when they recover.

    It's hard to pass around when everyone is packed at the defense, and when you are pressuring hardly any u10 defender can pass around well, even pros have a hard time.

    With the ball I'd just go with whatever strategy I thought they should learn, which most likely would be something in between Barca and Arsenal. :D
  15. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

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    I know this has already been resolved but . . .

    The challenge always seems to be is how do you get this across to a bunch of kids who don't watch soccer? Maybe it's easy, maybe it's hard.

    Around the same age, my friends and I would play football in the street or yards. We knew what it meant to play "prevent" defense.

    But if you say something like "Park the Bus" to a bunch of American kids, will they get it?

    I know we like to be high-minded coaches but is compressing into the area such an awful thought? It goes back to that Cruyff video, if we're defending the entire pitch we won't do it as effectively as if we were just defending a smaller part of it. The whole idea is to defend the goal right? Yes, you can make the argument that by keeping them far from your goal then it's impossible to score. The other side to parking the bus for young players is the size of the goal.

    I've seen it work where strong legged U10s can shoot on that 7x21 and it's the broad side of a barn for them. So if they're within 10-15 yards it's a risky proposition.
  16. pm4chi

    pm4chi Member

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    Well it turns out we don't get to play them again. No playoffs in this league.

    With a practice, I do think we could have gotten across the concept of compactness of defense and trying to hit them on break. This opponent would get everyone into the attack, so they would certainly have been vulnerable to counters.

    This week we changed things up a bit and went with a 1-4-1 and a three pass rule before any shots on goal. I demanded more quick passing in our midfield. We had some nice sequences and looked pretty good.

    Somehow this team that beat us lost last to another team we beat. Now we only need to overcome a 31 goal deficit in goal differential in our last game to win the league!
  17. J'can

    J'can Member+

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    piece o' cake!
  18. equus

    equus Member

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    Mourinho won a Champions League title with Inter doing that. :)
  19. dcole

    dcole Member+

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    As a general rule, I wouldn't change my style of play much to attept to win a U10 soccer game. You'll just end up confusing the kids and undermining the style of play you are trying to build for your team. The results don't matter enough at U10 to justify that.
  20. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    Changing the style of play is unnecessary. All you need to do is use a lower line of confrontation. (This will make it easier for your team to stay compact.) This is a minor change in defensive tactics--not even a change in organization. At some point you have to teach different lines of confrontation in preparation for later when they will learn to raise and lower the line during the run of play. Might as well start at U10 as U12. It is a simple concept. You can always use a few minutes of shadow play to introduce the change, if there is a problem.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  21. talktothecard

    talktothecard New Member

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    Just curious...

    How did they attack?
    Down the center?
    Favor one side?

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