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Attacking and Defending Set Pieces

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					                            Attacking and Defending Set Pieces

To give our teams an edge over our opponents, it is important that we have an understanding of
how we should prepare our teams to approach set pieces. If you have some pre planned routines
going into a game then you are helping your players by allowing them to concentrate on other
aspects of the game. It is important that we teach them both attacking and defending these
situations, as preparation is important to give the team as much of an edge as is fairly possible.
As we have already learned, discipline, concentration, and organization are the key elements for
all of these techniques to work.

Corners
Defending corners are very important as we have all learned to our cost. First we put two of our
smallest players on the front and back posts. We do this to prevent a) the ball going in straight
from the kick, and b) this gives our goalkeeper some cover if they decide to come and take the
ball. We use the smallest players, as this releases the taller players to attack the incoming ball;
also it has to be a perfect corner, shot, or header to find the very top corner out of the players
reach or ability to head the ball clear.


Next we have our defenders form a relaxed line across the 6 yard box and picking up the nearest
attacker to them. Remember the “sweeper” will stay free and organize all of this. Also remember
to tell the players to use their initiative to pick up a player of similar height.


Now we have the midfielders take up positions around the 18 yard box, with everyone marking
an attacker, always staying goalside. It is crucial that every player except the sweeper, stays with
their opponent, unless they can pass them over to another man, but do not leave them unmarked.
One of the forwards should come back to help leaving one up field to try and pick the ball up
when it is cleared.


It is an important thing to remember when defending in the 6 yard box, stay as tight to your
opponent as possible and ALWAYS jump with them for the ball even if there is no way you will
win the ball. This puts off the attacker and also stops them from having a free header on goal.
When marking outside the 6 yard box, you can give yourself a yard or two between you and your
attacker as long as you remain between them and the goal. The reason for leaving this gap is that
you can get a better leap with a couple of steps run up.


If the opposition decide to try and play a short corner make sure that the player that goes out to
mark them doesn’t leave a hole behind them. I could go on forever but I will just leave you with
one last comment and that is, if there are spare defenders they should double up on the tallest
attackers, one in front one behind .I should just reiterate that you should always remind your
players to attack the ball and not wait to see what is going to happen.

When you are attacking corners there are four main types of corner kicks with several variations
for each kick. It is important that the corner taker has a signal for each type of corner they are
about to take. This will let the players know where to line up.

   1. The near post corner. This is as it sounds when the ball is kicked high to the near post and
      the idea is that the player at the near post, flicks it on to the back post, drawing the keeper
      and most of the defenders out of position leaving your attackers to pressure the goal and
      back post.
   2. The penalty spot corner. This is the most common taken corner. The kicker tries to float
      the ball out to the penalty spot and your biggest players attack this area. If the player
      taking this kick can try to curl the ball out to the penalty spot. This serves the purpose of
      tempting the keeper to come and take it, leaving the goal a much bigger target.
   3. The far post corner. Again as it sounds the kick is high to the far post ,well the corner of
      the 6 yard box actually, with the idea being that you have by passed the keeper and most
      of the defenders leaving your attackers to make late runs into this area and either go for
      goal or knock it back across the goal. This results in temporary chaos leaving it up your
      players to react first and attack the loose ball.
   4. The ball to an unmarked player outside the area. This is only used if you have a player
      with confidence to strike a fast moving ball, and it is not used very often. The idea behind
      it is to try and fool the defense into thinking the ball is going into the area leaving the
      player outside of the area unmarked as they are not really “the danger”. Then a quick
      accurate pass to this player who then takes a snap shot, leaving defense and keeper taken
      by surprise.
I will demonstrate the players positioning for all of these corners so you will be able to instruct
your teams.
Free Kicks
When defending a free kick, the very first thing to do is, the sweeper calls a line and no one goes
past them. This gives you an opportunity to have some control of the situation by dictating where
you want their players to be or they will be off side. Next thing is to send your midfield to make
a wall, depending on how far out the kick is this determines how many people in the wall, (the
further away the less people in the wall). The goalkeeper should line up the wall to cover the area
of the goal that they are not covering. This needs to be done quickly to be most effective. Now
with all of your players in somewhat of a line, they need to mark the player nearest to them, as
tightly as possible but also be aware of the line so as not to run behind and play everyone on
side. Remember that the offense will not be static so the defenders will have to pass the players
around as we talked about in earlier weeks. If the kick is right on the edge of the area, then the
sweeper will have to decide if they need to put a player on the post that the keeper is not
covering. Obviously if this happens then you cannot call a line as the player on the line will be
playing them on side, in which case the defense will have to mark tightly and concentrate so as
to be aware of attacking runs. The most vital parts are the line and the marking, if these are done
well, then only an excellent piece of skill will beat you. Again point out that the players need to
attack the ball and be first to the loose ball. Think safety first and clear the ball or put it into
touch if you are under pressure.


There are literally hundreds of different free kick techniques, but I will demonstrate a few and let
you try and work out some of your own. I will put more details onto this sheet for it to be put on
the website.

Throw-Ins
Keep these simple. An easy rule to teach the teams is, always throw the ball up the line. If you
have two players up the line, one near and one far, then the thrower has choices. They can throw
it to the nearest payer for them to pass back and play begins from there, or they can throw it high
to the first player to head it on to the second player. Another option is to throw it long for the
second player. The reason we do this is because if you throw the ball sideways or backwards and
you lose the ball, you are already in a bad position, if you throw it up the line and lose it you still
have most of your team behind the ball. As with everything there are exceptions to the rule for
example if you throw it back to the keeper or if you are beside the opponents goal area you still
want the two men in a line technique but this time sideways instead of down the line.


When defending a throw in have one man in front of the player and one behind IF possible, if not
then stay behind the player and force them to play the ball back the way they are facing.

Penalties
You should practice penalties occasionally just so as to take a little pressure off the penalty taker
in games. When taking a penalty, pick a spot to aim for, do not look directly at it, and never
change your mind. It may help to see if the keeper is moving from side to side and when they are
moving to the opposite side to where you wanted to go, then strike the ball. Patience and
calmness are vital. When facing a penalty, watch the players body language and the players eyes
as a lot of players look to where they want to kick the ball, without even realizing it.


As I keep repeating practice is the key to improvement, so good luck and any questions call me
Chris Haggerty on 651-982 1596.

				
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posted:6/16/2010
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