Coaching A Team To Press Defensively In A Small Sided Game
70 x 50 approx.
8v8 + GKs
Offside rule applies
Compactness (Distance, angle of supporting players, horizontally and vertically)
Closest player to apply pressure (How? Show which direction?)
Tracking runners (Who? To where?)
Height of back four relative to pressure
A pressing team capable of regaining possession high up the pitch is becoming more of a quality in modern football with many top European sides adopting an aggressive approach to ball winning immediately upon losing possession. If a pressing tactics are to succeed, this must be carried out as an organised, compact unit otherwise the opposition will pass the ball around and move up the pitch with ease.
The distance between the defending and attacking players must be kept low, in order to squeeze the space the opposition has to play. Across the pitch, players must be compact and keep spaces between themselves to a minimum to prevent teams penetrating quickly.
Pressure on the ball must be applied quickly, in order to prevent the high line being exposed. If pressure can not be applied, the back four must be ready to drop to prevent the long ball option being utilised by the opponent in possession.
The overall aim is to collectively regain possession high up the pitch to be the team a high chance of winning the ball back in a good scoring position.
The principles of defending should be applied throughout: Compactness, Balance, Control/Restraint, Depth, Delay
When one player applies pressure, the supporting players must remain focused and pay particular attention to the angle of support they take. Too close to the player applying pressure the unit will be ineffective at covering ground. Too far from the player applying pressure, the opponent can play penetrative passes too easily and the opposition will then bypass players and units.