Pre-season Session 12: Attacking and Internal Game

I continued with the attacking exercises last night. After the initial rondos we moved straight away to a finishing practice with a few different patterns. For example: 10 to 9 to 7\11 to finish. Or 10 to 9 to 10 to 7\9\11 or even 10 to 11\7 to 9. I used manequins as defenders but I plan to progress using defenders, so it becomes more closely related to game situations.

After that we moved to an 5v5+5 where my main goal was to achieve fast combinations to reach the goal. The activity needs to be played in a high tempo, as the objective is to move the ball as fast as possible, given the numerical superiority, and score. Whoever has the ball has 10v5 so it should be easy to score.

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I had another player trialing tonight. I wasn’t quite sure if he was a player judging by his body language. If I had to guess I would say no, but in the first few touches he displayed vision, patience and a nice pass. He could also finishing without panicking and using the tip of the foot (something brazilians appreciate). He told me he likes to play as a striker, so I tested him throwing him to the lions in a 35 min match against the U14 NPLs. Obviously he was a bit lost, not knowing his teammates and the playing style. But he did what he’s been told to. Press the center backs. I’ll have a look at him in at least two more sessions, but my word at the moment would be yes. Let’s hope it goes that way and we finally finish our squad.

Then we played one more game against the U14 NPLs and everything I’ve been working on seemed to make sense. We played great football. This time switched on from the start. Against their 3-4-3 I told my midfielders to help blocking the sides in BPO, neutralizing their numerical superiority on those areas. They did exactly as told and, being a good team as they are, controlled possession and had several chances to score.

The urgent thing we need to fix now is build-up in the midfield. We’re insisting with vertical passes and when we do it, it’s almost a certain turnover. I’m trying to instruct my #6 and #8 to look for the diagonal passes in the build-up, which are much more difficult to defend. But for that to happen, whoever doesn’t have the ball needs to create immediate angles for the pass. We’re also still struggling to get the ball to the left side with quality. All our midfielders are right-footed so I need to reprogram their mentality to use both sides. Little by little!

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