FIFA
#12 to 15

Using the wide player

FIFA, 08 Nov 2021

FIFA
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Attacking through wide areas has become a hallmark of the modern game. By introducing set-ups and rules that encourage wing play, these attack-versus-defence exercises place players in situations where they can realise the true threat of playing out wide.

Warm-up: 5v3 with 2 goals and "line football"

Organisation

  • Organise a game of 5v3.
  • The team of five (the attackers) plays towards two small goals (with or without goalkeepers) and the three defenders try to win the ball, break and take it to the end line to score a point.
  • After three attempts, rotate the players with waiting players and/or swap the roles.
  • Keep a running score between the two teams, despite any rotation.

Ways to make the exercise easier

  • Start with 5v2 (easier for the attackers).
  • Make it 5v4 (easier for the defenders).
  • Limit how many touches the attackers can take before having to pass/shoot.

Ways to make the exercise harder

  • The defending team has to score within five seconds of winning the ball.

Great questions to ask the players

  • Can the attacking team make the most of its numerical advantage to create space?
  • How should the defenders try to play the game?
  • If the attackers lose the ball, can they react quickly to become defenders?
  • Where on the football pitch do attacking players pose the greatest threat?
  • Where are they likeliest to score goals from?

Safety tips

  • Each attempt should only begin when all players are ready and in their starting positions.

Skill development: 6v4 with 3 goals and 1 goalkeeper, channel game

Organisation

  • Organise two teams for 6v4; the team of six attacks a central goal, which is guarded by a goalkeeper.
  • The team of four (three defenders and the goalkeeper) tries to win possession and break quickly to score into either of two smaller goals in wide positions at the other end of the pitch.
  • The pitch also has two "safe zones" (wide channels) for the attacking team – one player can enter this at a time with no opposition, to encourage crosses.
  • Set up more than one playing area if you have a large group of players.

Ways to make the exercise easier

  • Make the pitch narrower (easier to defend).
  • Use the full width of the pitch (more space to attack).
  • Allow one defender into the wide zones.

Ways to make the exercise harder

  • The attacking team can only score from crosses.

Great questions to ask the players

  • Can you play out wide when possible?
  • Can you time your run to meet the ball as it is crossed?
  • If the defenders win the ball, can they break quickly as a team?
  • Where on the football pitch do attacking players pose the greatest threat?
  • Where are they likeliest to score goals from?

Safety tips

  • Each attempt should only begin when all players are ready and in their starting positions.

Game application: 8v6 with 3 goals and 1 goalkeeper, channel game

Organisation

  • Organise two teams for 8v6; the team of eight attacks a central goal, which is guarded by a goalkeeper.
  • The team of six (five defenders and the goalkeeper) tries to win possession and break quickly to score into two smaller goals in wide positions at the other end of the pitch.
  • The pitch also has two "safe zones" (wide channels) for the attacking team – one player can enter this at a time with no opposition, to encourage crosses.
  • Set up more than one playing area if you have a large group of players.

Ways to make the exercise easier

  • Make the pitch narrower (easier to defend).
  • Use the full width of the pitch (more space to attack).
  • Allow one defender into the wide zones.

Ways to make the exercise harder

  • The attacking team can only score from crosses.

Great questions to ask the players

  • Can you play out wide when possible?
  • Can you time your run to meet the ball as it is crossed?
  • If the defenders win the ball, can they break quickly as a team?
  • Where on the football pitch do attacking players pose the greatest threat?
  • Where are they likeliest to score goals from?

Safety tips

  • Each attempt should only begin when all players are ready and in their starting positions.

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12 to 15

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