Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

A top tactic to open defences – the fake striker

DCIn the English Premier League this season there are two tactics I want to take from it and give to my team next season.

First the use of a fake centre forward, a player that drops off from a normal attacking role to drop into midfield dragging the defenders out of their comfort zone creating space behind them.

Think Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez. Messi continually drags defenders out of the area to create space for players like Pedro to work in. Tevez not only plays as a striker but also links the whole of the team together making up for any lack of team play by always being available for the ball before breaking away with it to attack the goal.

Messi creates space for a new kind of winger, a player that cuts inside and attacks the heart of the defence where once a centre forward stood. The fake centre forward creates the space for the winger to cut into rather than take the ball wide and cross it they can cut into the danger zone and shoot.

Sounds simple enough so I’m going to try it.

Watch Carlos Tevez work on a drill you can set up for your players in the clip below


The secret to beating a static defence

One of the things I am constantly coaching my teams to do is to pass the ball into space behind the opposition defenders.
By playing a ball from midfield into an attacker he has the option to turn and run or try to make space for the shot or pass first time behind the defenders so one of his team-mates can run on to it.
In this video the AC Milan players at last year¹s Champions Youth Cup Final played Ajax ­ the kings of the pass ­ at their own game and scored a goal by playing the ball into space behind the defence. The Milan forward reacted quickest and had time to round the goalkeeper and finish into the net.