Progressive Possession (9v9)

There's a common saying in football: If you don't shoot, you don't score. Well if you don't keep possession of the ball, you'll have a lot more difficulty scoring. Many players that I've worked with over the years have had the common bad habit of simply just kicking the ball the second they get it. Sometimes even older players have this issue. The assumption for these players is if I can get the ball closer to the net then we as a team will have a better chance of scoring. But more often than not, all this does is present the other team with an opportunity to pick up the ball and go on the attack themselves. Players need to learn how to keep possession of the ball, particularly under pressure, and how to turn that possession into a goal scoring chance. Tiki taka football is nice and all, but possession needs to have a purpose and that is exactly what we are going to explore in this article about coaching Progressive Possession at the young ages.

Best Formations for 9v9 (Part 2)

Along with the growing popularity of the 9v9 game in youth soccer, is a growing popularity of the examination of different 9v9 formations. We pretty much covered it in Best Formations for 9v9 (part 1), but there are so many formations out there, so might as well explore some of the other best options in this part 2 of Best Formations for 9v9. Enjoy! 

4-3-3 vs. 4-1-4-1: Tactical Flexibility

In the post 4-4-2 era, teams all over the world play a variety of different formations. These formations change game by game or even within games, so it is becomingly increasingly difficult to nail professional teams down to just one single formation. That being said, two of the most popular formations in the world right now are the tactically flexible 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1, both of which have been used heavily by Pep Guardiola throughout his career. Ultimately the formation has to suit the players that you have and their developmental, psychological and physiological characteristics. But the 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1 are two very similar formations. The 4-1-4-1 is perhaps a little more physically demanding and tactically complex, while the 4-3-3 is perhaps more rooted in wing-play and the collaboration of the midfield triangle. Although these formations are very similar, they can offer a team a completely different dynamic, depending on how a manger or coach wants to implement them. 

The Rise of the 3-1-4-2

In terms of formations and tactics, one of the major surprises of the 2018-19 season in Europe has been the rise of the 3-1-4-2. Although the formation is only a very minor spin on the popular 3-5-2, seemingly a host of teams around Europe have implemented this formation, and not just in Italy where back-three … Continue reading The Rise of the 3-1-4-2

Playing in a Midfield Three

In the post 4-4-2 era, the 4-3-3 is one of the world's most popular formations. Not only is it attack-minded but it is inherently possession-based by providing an extra man in central midfield. That is one of the prime reasons why a midfield three has become the first choice of many managers around the world. … Continue reading Playing in a Midfield Three