Defensive HS problems

Discussion in 'Coach' started by el 'Chino', Jun 18, 2012.

  1. el 'Chino'

    el 'Chino' New Member

    Jul 1, 2004
    I coach a high school team in NJ which unfortunately uses a 2 referee system rather than the usual 3 man system. These referees are not only old and in bad shape but also seem to be out of touch with the game.
    My dilemma is that I would absolutely prefer to play a flat back 4 system with attacking outside backs, but I am forced to go with a sweeper-stopper system to take away the offside trap problem. 2 referees do not get the offside call right enough and one bad call can lose you a game at the high school level.
    Can anyone suggest any other ways to get around this? I have a very talented left back, a very physical stopper and a stud at sweeper.
    We were successful with this system last season but I'd like to be able to dictate the play of game more this season and be able to hold possession for longer periods of time (including playing out the back). The sweeper-stopper system forces us to be much more direct that I'd like and also forces us be a defensive minded team with weak flank play.
    I know every system has it's flaws and you will always be losing and gaining something with one system as opposed to another.
  2. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 12, 2010
    Arsenal FC
    Please explain why sweeper-stopper would be force you to be more direct?

    Sweeper-stopper is a defensive alignment. When you have the ball they, IMO, can move as needed?
  3. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    I am confused too about what you mean by the offside trap problem. If you mean that the refs' lack of ability takes the classic offside trap play out of the match, there are a number of alternatives. In the classic trap, the sweeper (or covering player) would play fairly close behind the other backs, (who in turn would play pretty much in line), and then step up at last moment to spoil a run and intended through pass.

    One option would be to forget about playing a trap altogether and have the sweeper (or cover player) play deeper. Especially if your backs are relatively fast, you won't need to play a trap. The trap is needed the most by a team that has relatively slow backs.

    A second option is to change the timing of the trap. Instead of springing the trap at the last second prior to the through pass, spring it much earlier. What I mean by that is instead of moving up as a tactical trap to force a turnover through catching the team offsides, move up to destroy your opponents rhythm, which is almost as good as forcing a turnover. By moving early and obviously, it should be obvious to the refs and your opponents. The opponent will probably not play to the offside players and therefore the refs will usually not have an opportunity to screw up an offsides call.

    The opponents in an offside position will either have to retreat up field or be effectively out of the play. The player on the ball will have time to see the move before passing. But you have taken away his forwards as an option. If your opponents have only a few skilled attackers, this tactic leaves them greatly disadvantaged. If your opponents have great ball handlers at every position, they will just attack with their onside midfielders moving into forward attacking positions without missing a beat. (If they are that good, slick tactics are probably not going to make a difference.)

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