Session: Coach A Team To Produce And Score From Crosses

Coaching a team to produce and score from crosses

A session I recently coached on my UEFA B course as a mock assessment starting with a functional practice, finishing with a phase of play.


The session progressed well. The right sided players attacked with fluidity, creating opportunities to cross from a variety of angles and using both wide midfielder and full back. The left side, lacked a natural left footed player in the wide midfield position and the wide midfielder cut into the centre of the pitch allowing the left back to overlap and receive the ball in a ‘third man run’ situation. The opposing winger was able to attack the far post and along with the central midfielders offer an extra attacking target when crossing. The ball often was forced back by the defensive unit, which required the attacking team to maintain their dispersal and switch play in order to find an opportunity to cross. When attacking the byline (particularly the overlapping full backs), varied movement was required within the box. The cross type options from this position were discussed as possibly: drilled across the goalmouth, lofted to the far post for the opposing wide midfielder to attack or dragged back for a striker/on rushing midfield player.

The session was as follows:

Functional Practice

Key Factors

– Position of wide players
– Recognise opportunity to cross
– Quality/timing of cross
– Position of players to attack cross
– Cross into PTA (prime target area)


– Movement of attacking players: create/exploit space.
– Innovation of players when 1v1: Take full back on to cross, positive.
– Movement of strikers/attacking midfielders to attack cross. Varied.
– When crossing opportunity denied, recycle possession, attack differently.
– Types of cross: near/far, drilled/lofted, direction.
– Overlapping of full back when wide midfielder forced inside.


– Cone area off as illustrated
– Remove players not relative to area of pitch
– 1 target/feeder player for attacking team
– Attacking team attack goal as normal
– Defending team aim to win ball and score through small goals


Phase Of Play

Key Factors

– Attacking principles: Penetration, dispersal, movement, innovation, support.
– Full back to support wide midfielder, overlap when possible.
– Strikers’ movement.
– Type/quality of cross
– Midfield support
– Keep possession, recycle when opportunity to cross denied


– Opposing sided players added from function, their role when attacking from opposing flank (e.g. wide midfielder to attack far post).
– When defensive block prevents cross, maintain possession using support and movement, wait for opportunity to cross.
– Strikers to vary attacking: near post, far post, short, deep related to cross type.
– Finishing and rebounds.


– Full width as illustrated
– Two full units per side
– Attacking team attack goal as normal
– Player acts as defender/striker depending on team in possession
– Defending team aim to win possession and score through small goals


Drawn using The Master Tactician

About markfc713

Enthusiastic, aspiring football coach.
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