Five ways to destroy your defense

Two-seater attack moves can be used for a devastating effect to reward open strict defense, writes Tony Rock, a Fulham FC player in the community coach.

In the same way that you can improve the basics – the ability to dribble, control and pass the ball – you can also train an attacking game in which your players use these basic techniques to connect with each other. When practicing attacking teamwork, players should, however, become aware of how their OUTSIDE BALL MOVE can open up space for team members. This can be done by training simple combinations that require only two attackers versus two defenders and start using the same starting positions (see diagram).

1. The Wall Pass

Attacker A1 commits a defender D1 by running to her with the ball.

A1 passes the ball to the player’s feet of the “wall” A2, just beyond the reach of D1 – if the ball is released too early, D1 will have time to adjust its position, too late, and D1 will block the pass.

After playing pass A1 passes into space next to D1

A2 stands square or slightly in front of D1 – at a distance where the return pass can be played without D1 intercepting the ball, so no defender has time to change position

A2 passes the ball with the first touch on the field behind D1.

Key coaching tip: A2 should move to position as late as possible, preferably by dragging its marker (D2) to the square of position D1. This prevents D2 from being obstructed behind D1 when a wall or “one-two” passage is played.

2. Decoy wall pass A

As the name implies, the two attacking players line up as if they were going to make a pass to the wall, but instead of passing, A1 has doubts about passing the D1 unbalance and then dribbling the ball next to the sideline.

Key coaching tip: A2 move should destroy D2’s ability to cover D1.

3. Wall Pass B


In this variant, A1 goes to A2 and goes past D1.

A2 deceives to make a comeback and then turns into D2 to shoot.

Key coaching tip: Run A1 should pull D2 to the sideline, giving A2 space to turn around.

4. The Crossover Play

A1 goes to A2

A1 makes the pass

A2 begins to dribble in the opposite direction to the other side on A1

Then A2 has two options: stop the ball so that A1 collects and scores; use A1 as a lure, pretending to stop the ball and then attacking the field behind D1

Both attackers play with their heads up, watching each other’s movements.

Key coaching tip: The attackers’ movement aims to bring the markers closer together, thus opening up space on the sides that can be used.

5. Diagonal run

A2 runs diagonally across D2 and after D1, dragging D2 with it.

A1 attacks the space freed by A2 and D2.

Key coaching tip: A2 should move to position as late as possible, preferably by dragging its marker (D2) to the square of position D1. This prevents D2 from being obstructed behind D1 when a wall or “one-two” passage is played.