Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: control, defend, intercept, messi, toure, winning, xavi
One of the things the modern greats like Xavi, Lionel Messi and Yaya Toure have is the ability to receive a ball under the pressure of onrushing opponents – it seems to me they don’t need any space at all to control the ball and keep it away from an opponent.
Of course, you and I are coaching young players who can easily be put off by a player running towards them – they need a lot of space to control the ball.
Defenders must close down opponents quickly so they reach the player at the same time they receive the ball. With no time to get it under control, it will be much easier for the defender to step in and win it.
How to play
Using the penalty area, mark out an area the same size opposite it with a 10-yard "no man’s land" between the areas, as shown in the top picture.
Play 5v5. Use a goalkeeper, two defenders and two attackers on each team.
Put two attackers from one team and two defenders from the other in each half.
Players must stay in the area they start in.
Toss a coin for kick off, play starts with the goalkeeper.
Restarts are by the goalkeeper if the ball goes over the end lines. There are no corners. Take throw-ins as usual.
Play is continuous – when a team wins the ball, it looks to pass and attack the goal.
Attackers must create space for the defenders to pass to.
Defenders must try and win the ball from the attackers.
How to advance it
- The passing player can follow the ball into the attacking half.
Widen "no man’s land" to 20 yards to make passing and timing of runs harder – do this by moving the orange/outer area back 10 yards but keep the areas the same size.
By making "no man’s land" wider, you make the pass longer giving the defenders more time to see the ball and close the attackers down.
It also means that it will be harder to make the pass accurate because the player will need to think about power.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Alonso, Barcelona, iniesta, messi, spain, trtaining, warm ups, xavi
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Posts From Dwyer Scullion, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Barcelona, drill, euro 2012, iniesta, messi, passing, spain, xavi
Spain can keep hold of the ball with passing and movement almost at will – and it is something youth teams can strive to emulate. But it’s not just Spain that are showing how player technique and fast passing can result in huge success for the team. Fast passing is a key element of Euro 2012.
But it’s not just a case of telling players to pass they need to practice until they have the technique, touch and composure to make it work.
Try this session to help create a good passing team.
- In order to be composed on the ball, players need to have a good first touch and passing ability.
- When keeping the ball, communication is vital and helps make up the mind of the player in possession.
- Passing the ball is not enough. Players need to follow this up by moving off to receive again or to create space for the player on the ball.
- Use a 40 yards long by 30 yards wide area for the session.
- Use a pitch 60 yards by 40 yards for the development.
How to play it
- Split the group into two teams.
- You pass to the black team and call the name of a white player to run into the other half to win the ball.
- If the white player wins the ball, play transfers to the white team’s half and the black player who gave the ball away tries to win the ball back.
- If a team makes five passes another opponent runs in to help his team mate.
- If another five passes are completed, another opponent runs in to help and so the exercise continues.
- The winning team is the one which forces the opposition to commit the most players into their half during 15 minutes.
How to develop it
- Play a small-sided game with four neutral players playing outside the pitch as full backs and wide players.
- Outside players are limited to two touches and cannot pass to each other (use cones to block the channels). T
- he team in possession tries to build an attack and score by using the outside players.
- This game ensures the team in possession is spreading out and using the whole of the wide pitch.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management | Tags: beach, beckham, hazard, messi, skills, technique, xavi, youtube
If you have one New Year’s Resolution make it that you are going to improve the technique of every player you coach – everything a player does on the pitch is about showing good technique.
Everything has a label – control, dribbling, shooting, first touch – but it all relies on good technique.
Technique is the bedrock of a young player’s success in soccer – there are of course other essentials like agility, balance, control and speed, but technique is the crowning glory.
Technique isn’t just Xavi or Messi’s close control. David Beckham has kept his career going for a second decade because his technique keeps him in demand. He doesn’t play anything like Xavi or Messi but he can do things with a ball they cannot. And vice-versa, you wouldn’t see Beckham involved in short passing, lightening quick moves up the pitch because he could never be Xavi.
So it’s about a player finding out what they are good at and practicing that skill. Repetition of the technique is a key factor in this. The more you can get them to repeat the technique the better they will become.
Watch the technique, even on the beach David Beckham can take accurate free-kicks!
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: ballon d'or, Barcelona, FIFA, lionel messi, Wayne Rooney, xavi, youtube
No fewer than eight of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona players have made this year’s 23-man group for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, and leading the octet is a man bidding to win football’s top individual honour for the third year in succession.
Lionel Messi is on a hat-trick of wins and having already scored 45 times in 47 competitive appearances in 2011 should be favourite to win again. Cesc Fabregas, whose transfer has taken the shortlist’s Camp Nou contingent from six to eight, agrees with that: “I would put my hand in fire that Messi will win the Ballon d’Or,” said the former Arsenal captain. “He is a natural winner and a motivated fighter. What he has done we won’t see again. He gives everything and scores goals.”
Neymar’s inclusion is of interest, he is only 19 and plays for Santos in Brazil. Since the shortlist system was introduced by FIFA in 2004, only one player based outside of Europe has ever featured, and that was Boca Juniors’ Juan Roman Riquelme.
Neymar said. “There is no need to leave Brazil in order for the world to see us anymore,” he said after learning of his nomination. “It is a big happiness to be on a list like this. I have everyone to thank.”
2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist
Eric Abidal (FRA), Sergio Aguero (ARG), Xabi Alonso (ESP), Dani Alves (BRA), Karim Benzema (FRA), Iker Casillas (ESP), Samuel Eto’o (CMR), Cesc Fabregas (ESP), Diego Forlan (URU), Andres Iniesta (ESP), Lionel Messi (ARG), Thomas Muller (GER), Nani (POR), Neymar (BRA), Mesut Ozil (GER), Gerard Pique (ESP), Cristiano Ronaldo (POR), Wayne Rooney (ENG), Bastian Schweinsteiger (GER), Wesley Sneijder (NED), Luis Suarez (URU) David Villa (ESP), Xavi (ESP)
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: alves, bale, bendtner, decisions, gotze], iniesta, jack wilshere, lewandowski, messi, showboat, skills, Torres, villa, xavi
However, you should let your players try out these little acts of showboating because if they can use them at the right time it could be the thing that lets them win the 1v1s.
This is all about the player making the right decision when to use a clever bit of skill, but with some players the only way they will learn when to do it and when not to do it, is to get it wrong during a game.
So if a player tries to dribble out of their own penalty area rather than pass it out and they lose the ball the team suffers and what seemed like a good idea to the player is clearly seen to have been a bad idea.
Let the players try out skills they have learnt at home from watching the professionals on TV and don’t be cross when they make the wrong decisions. Players who learn when the right time to use clever skills is will probably end up being match winners for your team.
In the clip below watch Gotze, Alves, Bale and Lewandowski use showboating skills to win the 1v1s.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing | Tags: Barcelona, hercules, iniesta, nou camp, valdez, xavi
Nelson Antonio Haedo Valdez went from Werder Bremen’s youth team to the first team, winning the league in 2003-04, and was chosen to play for his country Paraguay. He went from Borussia Dortmund to Spain this summer, becoming the most expensive player in Hercules’ history, at €3.8m.
He doesn’t score that many goals, he creates space and opportunities for team mates by running through from deep and dropping off the front.
But when he went to the Nou Camp with newly promoted Hercules he scored two goals, goals that were big in the history of his club. Goals that sunk the great Barcelona – Xavi, Pique, Iniesta and Villa.
Herculés coach, Esteban “Sardine” Vigo, a former Barcelona player, predicted that his side would win 2-0 – was he mad? Barcelona had not been beaten by a newly promoted side for a decade.
Barcelona had won 17 out of 18 at home last season, drawing the other. They had not lost a league game at home for 16 games. Since Pep Guardiola made his managerial debut in La Liga they have not once been beaten by two goals in the league. Madness.
“See,” said Vigo, “I’m not mad after all.”
“They played brilliantly. All I can do is congratulate them,” said Guardiola, Valdez said: “The key was solidarity and sacrifice. This is a dream come true.”
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management | Tags: Barcelona, control, iniesta, Manchester United, midfield, passing, shielding, xavi
The midfield is the engine room of the team, everything must pass through it for both attack and defence.
Watch the clip of Barcelona’s Iniesta and Xavi as they hold the ball and pass into space for each other in the 2009 Champions League Final.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Barcelona, beach volleyball, ibrahimovic, messi, training on the beach, valdes, xavi
In the months of the school holidays, when it’s more difficult to get players to come along to training – usually because there are no matches – I like to do something different with my players as an incentive to come along.
We’ve had weekends away, day trips and changes of venue all to places where we can get some time in for training or playing games.
I was reminded of this when I saw that Barcelona goes training on the beach as an added incentive to their players. They play games like beach volleyball, or volleyball using their feet. You can see a clip of this below.
It’s also a good team bonding experience.
So taking a lead from one of the world’s best club teams you should think about where and when you could take your team to have a coaching session with a difference – maybe once or twice a season.
Try taking your team to one of the five-a-side centres which have lots of artificial pitches to play and train on – something different that your players won’t want to miss.
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: