Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: goal, Juventus, long range, Pogba, serie A
Love the technique used to keep the ball down with this long range shot.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Arsenal, attack, Barcelona, creating space, drills, exercise, goal, passing, score, tight defence
By David Clarke
Modern day football formations make it essential that midfielders and attackers become accustomed to playing in congested areas. If they can display the skills needed to produce short, sharp interchanges of play, the rewards in the final third can be impressive.
This session replicates the free-flowing passing football of Arsenal and Barcelona.
It will provide a platform to help your team find a way through opponents with flooded backlines, as well as those who attempt to break up play by deploying one or two holding midfield players.
Why this works
The session requires speedy and decisive passing over short distances. Opposition defenders are used as solid obstacles meaning attackers are encouraged to sidestep their man so as to find an angle for a pass.
The move should prove that the fewer touches each player takes, the quicker and more accurate the pass is likely to be, and with two attacking outlets, the last two defenders will need to make quick decisions as to which player to track.
Try to repeat this move until the attacking players can produce the quick interchanges using only one touch each.
Starting with an attacking triangle, you can adapt the attacking elements of this move to show the freedom of space that players can move into.
How to set it up
Four attackers and four defenders are required for the session to work – in the picture above, the attackers are labelled A, B, C and D.
The activity is carried out in the final third of the field using the goal and a goalkeeper in position.
Players A, B, C and D form a triangular shape.
The four defenders are positioned in the shape of an upside-down letter "Y", spread apart from each other but close to attacking players. They must hold shape and allow the attackers to work the angles.
Player A starts with the ball. He must make an angle to evade the first defender and pass to player B, before making a run towards goal.
Player B lays a similar ball to player C, who after laying a pass to player D makes his own forward run.
Player D controls the ball and look for runs from A and C, then he lays a pass off to his chosen man.
In this instance, player A receives the pass. Making sure to stay onside, he fires at goal with a first-time shot.
Player C must continue his run in order to take advantage of any loose balls or rebounds.
Vary passing shapes but always ensure a centralised midfield move breaks out into a double-headed attack.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: bench, goal, Inter Milan, Juventus, neri, quagliarella, striker, substitutes
A friend of mine was thrilled this week. His son had scored the winner in an U14s match against a team at the top of the league. It gave the team a huge boost because they hadn’t scored a lot of goals recently.
But even more important to my friends son was that he had actually played. The team normally has the manager’s son playing up front, and although he is a good player no one else got to play in that position – my friends son was limited to bit part substitute roles.
The fact that without his son up front the team still played well and his “reserve” striker had scored the winning goal hopefully made its mark on the manager. Players must be allowed to play games or you cannot see how much they have developed from week to week.
It reminded me of the recent Juventus v Inter Milan game. “It’s hard to score goals without any attackers,” Said Juventus manager Gigi Del Neri in January when they won just two of seven league games after losing top scorer Fabio Quagliarella to injury.
He went out and bought Alessandro Matri from Cagliari on the last day of the transfer window which didn’t impress everyone.
Former Juventus great Franco Causio was not impressed: “Matri? He won’t make the difference.”
But just like my friends son he has. He scored the winner against hated rivals Inter.
“Matri is already a legend,” said the Turin-based newspaper La Stampa. Gazzetta dello Sport is even more enthusiastic. “Do you realise what you have done,” it declares. “That was not a goal. That was a howl of liberation, a declaration of love, an act of desire, a black-and-white orgasm.”
You’ll never know how good a player is until you see them playing in your team each week. Don’t have bench warmers in your team.
Watch Matri’s goal below:
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: corner, goal, Roberto Carlos
Check this out
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills | Tags: berbatov, goal, Liverpool, Manchester United, overhead kick, scissors
It was a moment that exploded into the imagination, and left me wondering what Berbatov had been doing during the two years of strolling and loitering which had United’s fans wondering if the £30m man would ever come good.
It’s the kind of thing I love to see in matches, an outrageous piece of skill that works – I could watch the clip over and over again. Hopefully a lot of kids will be trying to do it in their backgardens and we will see it attempted on the youth pitches we play on.
Follow my blueprint and get your players doing it.
This skill is all about timing – Get your players to:
Get into line with the flight of the ball, keep their eyes on it.
Kick the ball cleanly, not hard – the movement of their body will generate the power.
Jump up, leaving their kicking foot on the ground and use their other foot to propel them upwards.
Begin to fall backwards, keeping their eyes on the ball.
As their body sinks towards the ground, their non-kicking leg will go into the air. Kicking leg may still be on the ground.
When the ball is in ideal range, whip the kicking leg off the floor into the back of the ball, bringing your other leg back down quickly. The upper body should be almost horizontal.
As you fall, stretch out your hand to steady your impact with the ground. Twist your body to avoid landing on your back.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Barcelona, corner, goal, skills, xavi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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:
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills | Tags: Arsenal, attackers, diving, eduardo, goal
The obsession over attacker’s diving in England seems to me to be getting out of hand.
In Europe it is considered part of an attacker’s skill, to go down when they are touched in the penalty area. When Arsenal’s Eduardo won the penalty that caused Uefa to overreact and ban him then subsequently overturn that ban the rest of Europe will have admired the way he did it.
What worries me is that if we brand this as cheating what do we call all the other parts of a soccer match where players claim things, like corners when you appeal even though you know the ball was last played of you or taking a throw-in yards from where the ball went out?
Think about free-kicks when players won’t go back 10 yards or the player taking the free-kick moves the ball forward. Surely we can’t call all these things cheating?
When I first started coaching I kept wondering why so many calls were going against my team. I realized once I refereed a few matches that if one team calls the ball theirs and the other doesn’t, you tend to give it to the more vocal team. It’s just human nature. So I like to see all my players call for the ball when they know it is theirs.
We played a game recently where the opposition hit a shot very close to our goal at an acute angle and he claimed it had gone in and come out through a hole in the back of the goal. The opposition claimed the goal very vocally, as did the opposition parents. The young referee after deliberating for an instance gave the goal. It was not until then that my team questioned the referee, by then too late.
The ball had in fact flashed past the post.
You have to get up and get on with the game, gamesmanship like this happens in all sports – but is it cheating?
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Skills, Soccer Training | Tags: attackers, beat defenders, goal, jose mourinho, Ronaldo, sir bobby Robson
When attackers are faced with a number of defenders and they are alone running at goal it is often strength and skill that get them past and into goal scoring positions.
Your attackers need balance and strength to go with the skill of ball control. It’s no good running and dribbling only for a defender to nudge you off the ball and you lose all that momentum.
So fitness, strength and balance need to be part of your attackers’ make-up. That means training sessions need to include warm-up fitness and running exercises to practices balance at speed.
Watch this old video of Ronaldo playing for Barcelono in 1996 when the late Sir Bobby Robson was coach and Jose Mourinho was his assistant. The pace and balance is excellent and he also rides the blatant attempts to stop him by the Valencia defenders.
Filed under: Andrew Griffiths, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: AFC Holmer Green, coaching, goal, personal development, Soccer Coaching, soccer managment, soccer player, soccer technique
It’s quite a responsibility. But there’s more.
Coaching is probably the most powerful tool available for personal development. As a soccer coach you are perhaps the strongest influence on the future careers of the players you look after today. At whatever level they play throughout their life, and for how long, their enjoyment of the game is going to be determined to a large extent by their experiences with you as a leader and mentor.
In my last post I outlined some definitions of coaching from the Defence Leadership Centre passed on to me by Roger Jones, a coach at AFC Holmer Green, based at The Misbourne School in Great Missenden, England. Today I’d like to go a step further and explore a coaching technique used by the centre and in other organisations.
The technique gets players to learn for themselves, and is called the GROW model. The coach helps the player to think through the following steps: G = Goal, R = Reality, O = Options, and W = Wrapping Up.
I’ll explain what these mean.
Goal. The player decides what the goal of the coaching session will be. For example, a soccer player might express a desire to get into space more often.
Reality. The player explores reality from different perspectives to raise their awareness of the issue in hand. For example, the player might ask himself why he doesn’t already get into space and what’s stopping him. He might ask how others get into space or watch professionals in action to gain further insight.
Options. These are considered by the player and coach together along with the feasibility of meeting the goal. For example, the player might consider always making a run as a fellow player receives the ball, or always looking around for space as a pass is made by a fellow player. The player has to see the possibility of one of the options helping him or her towards the goal.
Wrapping-Up. The player decides or commits to taking an action. For example the player commits to always making a run when a team mate receives the ball.
The approach only works if first, the coach manages to remove interference (noise and interruptions) as well as self-generated distractions, and second, the player himself chooses to do something differently.
Here’s the upside.
By allowing the player to set the agenda, he or she has ownership of the issue and retains the motivation to solve the problem. In other words, the player becomes the driver for the change and the improvement.
The coach has raised the awareness of the issue by the player and helped to improve both learning and performance at the same time. And to some extent, both the coach and the player have “grown.”
Andrew Griffiths, Managing Director, Better Soccer Coaching