#France U17 Men

Tuesday team meeting 1: Defensive organisation

FIFA, 16 May 2023


During the France U-17 men’s training camp, the players take part in several video presentations focusing on their upcoming opponents, Wales. On Tuesday morning, the first presentation aims to provide an overview of how Wales are expected to set up.

Having watched the Welsh in action several times, Jean-Luc Vannuchi and his coaching staff have prepared a series of clips from their games against Türkiye and Spain. Against both of those sides, Wales had set-up in a 4-4-2 diamond, a formation that has become less common in recent years and that the young France players have had little exposure to in their careers. 

Vannuchi explains the system’s strengths and weaknesses to his players and introduces the plan for the morning training session. During the presentation, he focuses on Wales’s attacking shape and explains how France will set themselves up defensively. The French will line up in a 4-3-3 formation, with the priority being to prevent Wales from taking advantage of their extra man in midfield. One of France’s centre-midfielders will push up to mark Wales’s defensive midfielder, while the full-back steps up to mark the Wales number 8 who has been left free.

Tuesday afternoon’s video presentation revolves around Wales’s defensive shape, with a particular emphasis on the importance of playing down the flanks to evade the highly compact block in central areas created by the diamond. During the presentation, Vannuchi underscores the relatively deep starting position of the full-backs when France are trying to play out from the back in order to distance themselves as much as possible from the two number 8s in the diamond. He then runs through a number of clips to highlight the importance of switching the play in order to exploit the space on the opposite flank when Wales’s defensive block has shifted across to one side of the pitch.

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