The distribution of players on the pitch is known as the line-up. In this sense, each of the eleven players that make up a team assumes a position on the pitch, as well as having certain functions assigned to them, although sometimes players can swap roles if the game requires it.

The goalkeeper must position himself under the goal in order to prevent the ball from crossing the goal line. The defenders form the first line after the goalkeeper, being the last border to be crossed to reach the goal. The midfielders play in the centre of the pitch and one of their functions is to pass to the strikers. Finally, the strikers are the main goal scorers.

The coach must announce the line-up before the players take the field. Those who are part of the line-up are the starters. He also has to communicate which players sit on the bench, three of whom can replace one of the teammates on the pitch if the coach needs them to or in case of injury and become part of the line-up.

Different types of alignments

There are multiple line-ups, so it is up to the coach to choose the one he thinks is best. In this way, all players must be willing to abide by the coach’s decision. It is essential that they keep their positions on the pitch, so that all areas are covered so that there are no gaps, which the opposing team’s players could exploit to reach the goal.

One of the most balanced line-ups, and therefore one of the most used in the world of football, is the 4-4-2 formation. This means that a team plays with four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers. In this line-up, the defence consists of two central defenders and two full-backs. The midfield is made up of two central players and two players on the flanks. And finally, in the forwards, there are two players, one of whom is positioned on the wing and the other on the inside as a centre-forward.

Another example is the 5-3-2 formation, which is suitable for counter-attacking, as both the forwards and midfielders take on a more defensive role, taking advantage of the loss of the ball by the opposing team to launch their attacks.

In short, no line-up is better than another, so each coach must position his players on the pitch based on the skills of each of them, and also taking into account the tactics and strategy used by the opposing team.

Offensive aids

This is a tactical principle whereby actions are carried out to help the ball possessor to continue an offensive move. In order for this to happen, some of the teammates must collaborate, providing support and carrying out unmarked moves. This collaboration must be effective and constant, with the mobility of the players who are not in possession of the ball being essential at all times. Offensive support is used when an attacking play is being carried out. The player who is in possession of the ball will look for teammates who are unmarked, in order to make the appropriate passes, which are capable of getting past the opposing team’s defence and creating a goal scoring opportunity.

Purpose of offensive aids

One of the objectives to be achieved through offensive support is that the ball possessor has constant access to help and multiple solutions from his teammates. In addition, this also avoids individual play and encourages combination and collective play. Thanks to offensive support, the player in possession of the ball will be able to give free rein to his creativity by having more alternatives at his disposal, and he will even be able to maintain possession and control of the game for longer periods of time. With these offensive actions it is possible to overcome the opposing team’s defence. They also allow the ball possessor more time to think about the play he wants to carry out. In this way he can play calmly and without rushing.

Ways of counteracting offensive aids

Some of the opposing team’s players will have to constantly put pressure on the player in possession of the ball, with the sole objective of cutting off the offensive play. This pressure can be a very difficult task, which is also very physically demanding.

Another way of counteracting offensive support is through defensive numerical superiority. The defenders will also have to know which gaps to occupy at any given moment in the field of play in order to prevent a dangerous pass from being made.

Opponents must also anticipate moves, even if this means taking a lot of risks. They can also carry out intensive retreats, dropping back to the middle of the field and thus bringing the lines closer together. Retreats can also be used to cause offside. Permanent marking of the player in possession of the ball must not be missing.


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