Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice


Roberto Carlos scores from a corner

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 Soccer Skills and Drills



Using near post corners when the pitch is too wide

How often do you get to grounds with wide pitches and your corner taker can’t reach the middle of the penalty area so you watch corner after corner go to waste?

Tactics go out of the window as your players try to kick the ball harder but just cannot reach their team mates.

I’ve coached my team to use a near post tactic which catches the defenders off guard and creates goal scoring opportunities in front of goal.

1. The corner taker plays a quick ball into the player on the near post along the ground.
2. The receiver moves towards the ball to get it.
3. He plays the ball back to the corner taker who has moved to the edge of the penalty area.
4. The ball is played to the edge of the D where one of your midfielders has moved into position.
Isolate the defender with quick movement

Diagram 2 shows a close up of the initial move. The corner taker and two receivers have moved quickly so the circled defender is isolated in no man’s land. Players are moving to the ball and must be quick to control and pass.
The other attackers pull defenders away

Diagram 3 shows how the defenders have moved to cover the attackers they expect the ball to be played to. The two circled attackers have not only pulled the defenders away opening up a route to goal from the penalty area, they are also in the perfect position to score from any rebounds.

Watch the highlights from Barcelona versus Sporting Gijon and see how often Barcelona attack the near post. Their first two goals come from corners played towards the near post or the front part of the penalty area. They don’t cross deep first time it usually goes short first.

The highlights also show some wonderful skills and it in HD so worth taking a look at:

 Soccer Skills and Drills



The importance of the ball in to the box

When the ball comes into the box attackers and defenders alike must use good technique to either clear the ball or get a shot in on goal.

I have used this match in the clip below between England and Brazil in 2000 to show how attackers use the ball into the box to score goals.

First of all though the ball into the box must be a good one. The reason I have chosen to show this match is because both teams score goals from balls into the box.

The first goal scored by Michael Owen for England is a long throw into the box. Watch how he uses the sole of his foot to roll the ball into a position where he can score. Even though he is off balance he manages to control the ball – the actions of a top striker. The throw is as good as a corner because it is directed right on to a team mates head and flicked into the danger area where the attackers are lurking.

The second goal by Brazil is a lot more simple. A corner onto the attacker’s head at the far post, but again look how well the attacker manages to direct the ball between a ll the players and in to the goal. The actual delivery of the ball in to the box is excellent and the defenders cannot reach it.

Try and show this to your players so they can see how important delivery in to the box is.

 Soccer Skills and Drills




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