Other than offside trap, why play high line?

Discussion in 'Player' started by NewDadaCoach, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    I play mostly defense. Have played many years. Played as CB on high school team and did pretty well. BUT the one thing I never quite got comfortable with or really understood was why defenses often press up high, like to basically the midway line many times. I understand doing that if you're going for the offside trap, but even when not doing that it seems that defenses feel they have to "push up" but without actual knowledge of why. Oftentimes this leaves a huge gap between the defense and the goal and I have seem many times (and experienced it) where the forward gets a throughball and sprints into that space and it becomes a race between the CB and striker. Many forwards are fast. And sure, some CBs are too. But I HATE getting into a 40 yard footrace with a striker. It feels like stupid defense to me.
    Of course it depends on the individual qualities of the backs and the forwards, but all in all, I would say forwards are faster than defenders in an all out sprint and if that were the case in a matchup, and if I were coach, I would not let my defenders press higher than say the 35 or 40 yard mark. To me it just feels too risky. And I have seen so many times (in watching Premier League games) where the goals come from a counter attack that's made possible by a high line and a huge ass gap behind the defense.
    If anyone out there is an expert in defense, could you please shed some light on this? thanks
     
  2. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    #2 NewDadaCoach, Jun 16, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
    This is kinda what I'm talking about, France v Germany. Look around the 4:16 mark. Basically Germany's entire team is pretty much in France's 1/3rd.
    At 4:18 France plays the ball into that gaping space and Mbappe out sprints the Germany defender. The CB did a good job recovering with the slide tackle (though was super risky and a near penalty). But had Mbappe taken that first touch straight instead of inside (where he allowed the CB to close in) then he could have easily had a goal. They couldn't even do offside since it was in France's half. So why press so high? Do you want to try and outrun Mbappe? Impossible. I'd rather stay right behind him or way behind him. I feel that's give me a better chance.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l0QOcy-X1w
     
  3. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The general idea is to compress the space in front of the defenders as part of an overall high press strategy. You can either press high or hold defenders back; you can't do both. If there's too much space between the lines, opponents can easily go right through the whole team with a few short passes, and then you're facing the same through ball except that it's coming from 10 yards in front of your back line. The whole team needs to move up and down as a compact block to prevent that. So if the attackers are going to press and try to win the ball higher up the field, everyone else needs to push up to close off passing options. Yes, it may open up opportunities to play someone in behind with a long ball, but that's a difficult pass to make under the pressure enabled by a high line.

    By the way, I don't think the video example is applicable. Judging from where all the players are for both teams, it looks like Germany is scrambling back after bringing CBs forward for a set piece. Note that France also has all 11 players back; the French forwards would not be so far back in the normal run of play.
     
  4. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    I see, yeah it could have been a set piece. But look at the next highlight. around 5:00. Another similar situation. counter attack.
    Probably Germany is getting desparate since time is running out and they need to score; that's usually a scenario where you send everyone way up.
    But what happens - Germany gets their ass spanked on the counter.
    Look at Germany #21. He raises hand thinking off-side. YO, NO, it's not offside and you just got burnt and France scores.
    So, I get that you want to compress the space... but to go all the way up to the midfield line? I don't understand that. This clip, 84th minute of game, makes it look like that is a stupid thing to do. And from my own experience it seems dumb, especially if the opponent has fast forwards. Then it's a foot race - defender VS forward. And that is a bad situation if the forwards are fast.
    Anyways - Germany goes for off-side trap and it doesn't work. And I see this all the time. You have to be super coordinated for offside trap. To me it seems like overall it would be a better strategy to hang back a bit, around the 30-40 yard area, so you've compressed a bit but also have the advantage of having great vision; can see what's in front, can read the play. Then you have a good chance of intercepting or tackling or holding the play up while your teammates recover.
     
  5. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    Sorry it starts around 4:50

    # 2 also raises hand. And then after goal, everyone raises hand.
    It's just too hard to work the offside trap with certainty. Sure, when it works it's great. But for me, I feel the probability of breaking up a play would be greater if you were behind the forwards and had a better view. Offside is very tricky
     
  6. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If the back line drops back that far, the rest of the team has to drop back 20-30 yards. Because if they don't, opponents will feast on the space between the back line and the midfield. It's easier to pass into that space than to someone trying to beat the offside trap. Then, someone who receives the ball in that space has plenty of time to pick out a through ball, and you're going to end up in a foot race anyway, except with less time to react to the pass and closer to your own goal. I guarantee it's harder to defend in that situation. And if your own midfield drops back to prevent that, it becomes harder for your team to get numbers forward when you have the ball.

    There aren't actually a lot of long foot races in the professional game, until late in the game when one team needs to score and is throwing everyone forward. By that point, it's not really about offside traps working or not, they just need the goal and the possibility of a counterattack is a secondary concern.
     
  7. davidjd

    davidjd Member

    Derby Rams; SJ Earthquakes
    Jun 30, 2000
    Wilmington, NC (strong California ties)
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A little late to the show, but in your example Germany is down late in the game. They were pressing for a goal and taking more of a chance than they otherwise would. In general, defenses move up to retrieve balls quicker and keep an attack going. Yes, it can lead to a counter attack, but if you have the other team on their heals then that minimizes it. At lower levels with less skilled players the risk is higher.
     
  8. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    @Elninho @davidjd this is what happens when you leave a big gap in between your goalie and defenders, when playing against a pacey forward and playmaker --
    the playmaker will simply lob the ball into the space behind the defenders and the pacey forward will chomp chomp and score.
     

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