Tactical concepts

General concepts:

  • Playing easy and simple.
    – It is better to pass the ball than to drive.
    – The pass to try to be strong, fast and if possible at ground level. Be precise.
    – Look constantly, both with and without the ball.
    – You can’t do everything at the same pace, combine the rhythms of play.
    – Announce that you are going to do one thing to do another, ‘the deception’.
    – It is better to appear than to be.
    – Try to feint before any action (the feint), with deception we gain time.
    – To be fast you have to know how to slow down.
    – When you are going to receive the ball you have to attack it, not wait.
    – You have to be constantly on the move.
    – In football you always have to do something, for example: score, play, win space…, always think about what I’m doing to help the team and my teammates, I can’t just watch the game.
    – With the ball you have to have patience against tidy teams and speed against teams that are in disarray.

Defensive game concepts

  • The following concepts must be employed in any playing system and are essential for the proper functioning of the team:

– Balance between lines, the team has to be short and narrow, each line commands and directs the line in front.
– To regain the ball, if we cannot ‘press after loss’, we must get back behind the line of the ball, the team is grouped together and we press.
– Movement of the back to the front, the front player chooses and the back player directs and corrects.
– Return or retreat by the shortest route.
– Do something at all times.
– We must always close the shortest route to our goal.
– When a player leaves his line, the remaining players share the space.
– When an opponent has his back to goal, don’t foul him, you have to hold him, time him.
– The closer the ball is to my goal, the closer and tighter the marking will be, when he is in the area very close, touch him, make sure he has a physical reference.
– Don’t lose the mark in the second move.
– Don’t stand at the same height or on the same line.
– Delay the attack so that the team can organise itself.
– When we are outnumbered, don’t try to steal or rush, you have to delay the attack.
– A good and excellent defence has to know or foresee the intentions of the ball possessor.
– When my team has numerical superiority in defence, all the players mark an opponent except one who plays as a free man.
– Be profiled or oriented.

Offensive game concepts

  • As with defensive concepts, these are applicable to any system of play:

– When we have possession of the ball all eleven players have to move, occupying intermediate distances, it doesn’t matter how much you run but where you move to.
– Play easy and simple.
– Think by touching, don’t think with the ball at your feet, have the solution already thought out – Touch the ball a lot and have it a little, 2 or 3 touches, the precise touches to give speed to the game.
– Recover the ball on one side to play it out on the other side, try to get the ball to areas where there are fewer opponents.
– You don’t look for moves, they appear, don’t rush and try to get balls on goal.
– Don’t give the ball to the first player who moves, it’s not always the best solution, always choose the best solution.
– The ball holder is the one who decides.
– Try to play out wide or combine outside play and inside play.
– Don’t do everything at the same speed (recovery and possession), try to combine the rhythms of play.
– With your back to goal, play with one touch.
– Avoid horizontal passes, the loss of the ball eliminates two players.
– Stagger the players in different sectors and in different corridors to facilitate ball possession.
– Try to combine short, medium and long passes with diagonals.
– Each area of the field needs a different speed, depending on the distance from the opponent’s goal.
– Position the body to receive the ball with the best possible surface, touching the ball hard and accurately ensures good control.
– Protect the ball with the body, ‘cuerpear’.
– To be in profile or oriented.

Playing without a ball

– When ‘I go, I come and when I come, I go’. That’s how you gain the two metres needed to dominate, play and continue with the operation. You announce one thing to do another.
– To receive the ball, to appear, not to be there, because we are a reference for the opposing defenders.
– Try not to play too much with players who are too far ahead of the ball.
– The attacking player who is more advanced should not only think about defining and finishing the play, but he should also think about distracting, he should leave the play so that the player coming from behind can enter. One striker goes out of the play and another comes inside to finish.
– When we are on the wing a player turns behind the ball holder do not do so if we obscure his strong side.
– The attacker to evade man marking do not run constantly, stop and start, and start and stop.
– The attacker to evade the zonal marking, has to move to look for intermediate zones, between lines and between opponents.
– Fix a player.

Rational occupation of the field of play

– You have to be wide to be deep.
– Try not to have two players in the same place (be at different heights).
– Always position yourself in useful spaces, be aware of the distance between teammates and opponents in order to be able to intervene in the game.
– Avoid occupying space prematurely, getting on the ball, arriving and not being there, especially in finishing moves.
– After passing to a team-mate, do not always get too close to the receiver, as this reduces the space and attracts more opponents.
– Two players should never be at the same height or on the same line.



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