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Zonal Defending - Midfielders and Forwards

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Mirco Schroff

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of Zonal Defending - Midfielders and Forwards

What is "Zonal Defending?"
Zonal Defending is a 'method' of defending in soccer.

Zonal Defending involves each of the defending players assuming an area of the playing field for which they are responsible when defending.

As Zonal Defending is one method to defend, the ultimate objective of it is still to 'win the ball'!

The opposite method of defending is man-to-man marking where one player is defensively responsible for one particular opponent.

The benefit of Zonal Defending is that the defense is less likely susceptible to being opened up and allowing spaces to be created for attackers to utilise.

The major drawback of Zonal Defending is that it can lead to vulnerability if the opposing team overload one zone on the pitch. The player responsible will be outnumbered and unable to defend well unless his/her team-mates moves over into his/her zone also.
Zonal Defending
a) Goalkeeper and Back 4 Players

b) Midfielders and Forwards

c) Pressing (High - Midfield - Low)
Midfielders controlling the game
The basic movements of midfielders include

(creating compactness from a width perspective)
Holding the Line
(maintaining compactness from a depth perspective)
(creating compactness in front of own Back 4 players)
Pushing up
(creating compactness further away from goal)
Showing inside vs showing outside
Players can force opponents into a pre-determined area of the field to make the game predictable and to take options away from the opposing team by 'outnumbering' the area around the ball!

Generally, players can force opponents to the 'inside' of the field (more central) or to the 'outside' of the field (into flank space). What is the right approach...? The answer is simple.... - "IT DEPENDS"!
Specific Training Sessions
How to coach your players effectively!
Zonal Defending - dealing with space and opponents
"Holding the Line"
Maintaining compactness from a depth perspective
Creating compactness from a width perspective
Technical Session
Technical Session
1st defender - Pressure / Delay
2nd defender - Support
3rd defender - Cover/Depth
4th defender - Balance
Creating compactness in front of own Back 4 players
Maintain the level of confrontation as the player in possession is being put under pressure! The purpose is now to keep space tight between the lines of defense.
Drop the line of confrontation as the player in possession is not being put under pressure immediately! The sole purpose is now to protect dangerous areas close to own Back 4 players
"Pushing up"
Creating compactness further away from goal
Push up the line of confrontation as the player in possession turns with the ball towards his own goal. The sole purpose is now to defend higher up the field as it is further away from own goal and as it keep the field of play limited (tight). Opponents need to come onside first before they become active in the game again.
Showing Inside
Showing Inside has 'pros' and 'cons'!

Discuss possible outcomes/scenarios when 'showing inside' is an advantage and when it becomes a threat.
Showing Outside
Showing outside has 'pros' and 'cons'!

Discuss why you would show the outside of the field.
Small Sided Game
Functional Session - Game Development
The Concept of 'Doubling Up'
Doubling up is referred to outnumbering opponents with the ball.
The most common form is the 1v2 situation, where the attacker has no support options and is outnumbered by two defenders that try to win the ball back.
central midfielder doubles up - Scenario 1
central midfielder doubles up - Scenario 2
wide midfielder doubles up
Forwards defending
Pressure and Support
Showing outside
Closing passing lanes and doubling up
Full transcript