diagram at right shows the basic structure of a team in possession playing
7v7. The first key point is that the goalkeeper's task is to play as a
sweeper behind the #2 & #4. This allows the #3 to press up into a midfield
role and support the three top players. It also establishes a link between
7v7 and 4v4 by creating the two diamond shapes on the field. This helps to
connect the learning and competitive phases.
The key player is the #3.
This player must have the insight when and how far to go forward. He needs
to be able to play the top position in 4v4, (diamond #1) as well as the
sweeper position, (diamond #2.)
7v7 also illustrates exactly
how to build a small sided game that addresses a specific problem. The
problem is "What is the best competitive form to develop the attacking
qualities of wingers, what are the minimum requirements?" 1) We want to
have both wings involved and wingers, by definition, play on either side
of a central player. This requires three top players. 2) The attacking
qualities of wingers will include crossing the ball. A common result of
crosses is the goalkeeper making a save, so a goalkeeper is necessary. 3)
Since we are concerned with the attacking qualities the wingers will need
someone behind them to defend. This will require three back players which
also leaves the wingers with an immediate opponent that they will have to
beat. (If you use two defenders against three forwards, 6v6, at least one
of the top players will have to come back in order to establish a
balance.) From this assessment the minimum number of players needed for a
competitive game that encourages attacking wing play is seven, three top
players, three back players and a goalkeeper. Since this concerns the
competitive phase of the game the opponents will play with equal numbers,
7v7. Since there are goalkeepers there must be goals and the field must be
small enough to allow allot of attacking opportunities but large enough
for building up play.
The second diagram shows the
basic structure when the opponents are in possession. The two central
players have the responsibility of dropping back into a defensive role and
the goalkeeper takes a more cautious position. One problem in youth soccer
is that the two central players often don't have enough time to get into
these positions after a change in possession. For example, the opposing
goalkeeper saves a shot and immediately starts a counter attack with a
long kick. If the number 3 and 6 have pushed upfield the ball will sail
over their heads and this pattern is repeated at the other end. Building
up play isn't practiced or encouraged. The fast paced hustle game is.
This does not absolve the
wingers of their responsibility of tracking back to their immediate
opponent. If an outside defender has made a run forward its still the
wingers job to track them. The distance between every player is a key
concern for how the team will play.
7v7 - Counter attacking.
examples above work well when the two teams are evenly balanced or you are
coaching the team that can dominate the opponent. However, when you are
faced with an opponent that is clearly superior then a different approach
to the game might be necessary.
When you are sure that the
opponents will have a lot of possession and can dictate play the
attacking game can offer the best chance for success. In this game the
probabilities are, 1) you cannot hold the opponents in their own half, 2)
you will have little success building up the play from deep in your own
half, 3) you will have very little time for any buildup, 4) much of the
action will be in front of your own goal.
Instead of thinking in terms
of a 3-3, using wingers and trying to spread the field, think how a 4-2,
with the center forward withdrawn into a primarily defensive role, can
help to answer some of the problems. In this example the number 7's
primary task is defensive, he becomes a center midfielder. When in
possession he will support the top players from behind the ball. He will
avoid runs out to the wings and ahead of the top players because these
will take him too far away from the center of the field and hinder his
basic task. (Remember, you won't have much of the ball.) When not in
possession he will take up a position very close to the back three to try
to make up in numbers what you may lack in quality. While the number 2 and
4 can move up on the wings chances are they will be too far back to be of
any real use.
The attacking strength will
lay in the abilities of the two top players to quickly combine and exploit
any mistakes by the opponents. They will need to have a good understanding
between each other and
communicate effectively. The attacks will be characterized by being
over very quickly and coming primarily through the center. Speed of
thought and action is critical.
This picture shows how
important it is for children to learn how to play in all of the
soccer. 2v2 for the two top players, 3v3 when the center midfielder
becomes involved, 4v4 for the back four and 5v5 when you include the
goalkeeper. This also demonstrates how when one
task is changed, the number 7 in this case, it can effect the rest of
the team. Go to KNVB's
attacking game for a practice.
from the excellent