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The Coaches Notepad

Session: Playing Out From The Back Under The New Laws!

by admin 01 Sep 2019 0 Comments
As you are probably aware the Laws of Football have had a slight change in time for this New season, and with these new changes have come new ideas, and teams are already adapting within the first 6 weeks at how they use these new laws to their advantage.

The biggest change has been that the team in possession can now play out from the back, without having to pass the ball out of the box, this means the goalkeeper can pass to the centre back inside the box, with an 18 yard advantage over the side 'out of possession' as they can not enter the box.

Now as you can see from the image above, Manchester City and Pep Guardiola have in early games dropped one centre back in to the box and created a 4v3, almost rondo like situation in order to play through the front 3, with the full backs playing on a third line who are able to receive in space and attack an under loaded opponent.

This is very much using the principles of Marcelo Bielsa who has often spoke about the need to play out with a +1 overload, meaning you adapt your system to deal with the opponent, if they press with 2 you play out with 3, if they have a front 3 you play out with 4.


The aims of this session are very simple, they offer an opportunity for players to practice a change in structure when playing out from the back, and offer an opportunity to see the passes that will need to players, and the spaces that will need to be expolited

- Out Of Possession players developing an understanding oh how to press when teams play out within the box, how do they shut down passing lanes and force the opponent to go long, or force the opponent in to mistakes

- In Possession players can we develop a confidence and an understanding in how we receive under pressure, and how we use the space between the opponents press to start out attack

Setting Up:

The session requires 17 players but can be adapted for more or less players if required. The session takes place in just over one half of a pitch, this pitch should be adapted dependent on where you are in your training week i.e. are you towards the end of the training week and close to a game, if so then make this area smaller, but also ensure the area is realistic to the age and genre of player you are working with, as the angles and distances should have some realism with the game they are going to play.

The area has a penalty box to provide some realism to the practice and then a channel 30 yards higher up, with a small channel behind that with 2 goals at the end of the practice, very simply the team in possession (Reds) look to play through the Opponents (Blue) press, and then play in to midfield players, combine and score in either of the Wide goals, if the Blues win the ball back, they look to score quickly in the central goal.

Playing Out From The Back

When playing out from the back City have dropped one centre back in to the corner of the 6 yard box as shown

This then sets the first part of the attack out with the opponents front three given a choice, should they attack and press the ball, or block the passing options forward, the player In possession then looks to manipulate the ball between himself and the goalkeeper until one of the three in the next offensive live is able to receive possession, as soon as the occurs the ball is played forward in to that line, where that player instantly looks to find one of the two inverted full backs, who can break out with pace and attack with an overload in to the attackers half

How Are We Going To Score?

We must recognize why we play out from the back and that is very simply to try and build more successful attacks from the defensive half, once the players are able to play out in to one of the inverted full back, either on the inside or the outside channel, the full back then breaks with pace looking to combine with 1 of the 3 attacking players, once they are able to combine the full back and midfield player should look to make penetrative runs in behind to cause as much damage as possible to the opponent.

In this case the Reds will naturally have an overload if they attack with the intervened full backs as the practice provides a 3v3 in the attacking 2 thirds, which means it will at worst create a 4v3 numerical advantage.

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