basic principles of team defence in soccer:
Most of the defending team collapses into the space in
front of opponent's
The 1st defender guides the ball carrier into thickest
part of defence or away from
Covering defenders cut off "through" spaces.
Together, first and second defenders squeeze the attack
into a tight, difficult
principles of individual defence:
Delay Then Pressure
Player nearest the ball is "the 1st Defender":
Get the ball
carrier's head down by putting him under close enough pressure to
make him worry about controlling the ball and so he cannot look for
passing options, but
not close enough to be beaten;
The player(s) not nearest to the ball get into position to
intercept all short or desired
passing options; (they provide cover)
Leave open most difficult and longest passing options as
long as there is good pressure
and cover on the ball carrier and his nearest passing options.
The first defender should not run straight at the ball
carrier, but should come in at
an angle that would force the ball carrier to pass back or to attack
toward our covering defenders or toward a touchline. This
makes the opponent's attack predictable and easy to read by covering
When the attacker has been contained, but still maintains
possession of the ball, the
defender would do well to force the attacker to move to the
side or even backwards. By forcing laterally, the supporting defenders can
gain time to recover. Once recovered, the supporting defenders can enhance
their positions as they have more time to adjust. An attacker that is
allowed to go forward, causes the whole team to adjust their vertical
If the defender can force the attacker to go backwards, the
defender must try to maintain
close pressure to keep the attacker from opening up space.
The supporting defence should use this opportunity to push
forward as well, compressing the attack away from it's own goal. If the on
ball pressure is not there, then the supporting defence would do well not
to compress as the attacker will have time and space to find and take
advantage of the defensive weak spots.
The 1st defender, in applying pressure to the attacking
Staggered stance, alternating front and back foot, feet
shoulder width apart, legs
bent, body bent, on your toes (don't get flat-footed).
Feints and stabs but do not commit until ball-carrier
makes a mistake.
Concentrate on player, not the ball, look at ball
carrier's hips, not his feet
or upper body.
With peripheral vision, see the space between the ball
and ball carrier. If the ball
gets away from feet:
Deny the shot;
Deny penetration by denying "through" spaces which ball
carrier desires to penetrate.
Close distance between self and ball carrier. Get close
enough to force ball carrier
to alter course of attack and to force his head down to
concentrate on not losing possession of the ball.
Choose angle of approach to guide ball carrier away from
Block any attempted shot.
possession by stepping between ball carrier and ball if ball
gets away from his feet.
Tackle also if the ball carrier allows ball to be between
his own feet. Tackles should
be fully committed through centre of ball carrier's position.
defenders, (those next nearest to the ball), are those who are marking up
to close passing options. They must cover the space behind
their teammate who is pressuring the ball; and if numbers are up than
extra defender might decide to risk double teaming the ball carrier to win
defender provides Balance
- the 3rd and other defenders cover
deep and attacking spaces which may be used by the opponent to switch
their point of attack, for example, by playing to the opposite wing.
basic defending practice plan