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Mister Roberto Genta: the 4-4-2 module

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genta 4 4 2
An important and complete text created by Mr. Roberto Genta for all coaches who love the 4-4-2 module. These are the arguments discussed:

4-4-2 MODULE

• the module considered more balanced • man-made marking • the movements of the free • the scorers • the quarter-back • the numerical superiority • the numerical superiority guaranteed by the end-of-band • tasks and movements of the central midfielders • tasks and movements of the side midfielders (a more defensive one) • movement of the markers once jumped by their opponent • position of the points • points in non-possession • movements of the points in possession • mobility of the whole team in possession and non-possession phase • possible changes to our module (4-4-2)


• steps for diagonal lines • staggering seen as a search for depth • unwanted effects of a failure to stagger (horizontal steps that risk blowing up 2 players) • passing into staggered condition seen as an economic system and able to jump more defensive lines • create amplitude through the sides (4-4-2) • create amplitude through the movement of the spikes • create amplitude through the change of play • the depth as primary purpose to the detriment of ball possession • verticalisations as an economic and safe system (respect to lead the ball in areas close to their own door) to ensure depth.


• where to disentangle • when to disentangle • how to disassociate (movement) • creation of shaded areas • demarcation by horizontal lines • widening of the opening angles • the demarcation movement aimed at creating spaces for other players • multiple demarcation to give possibility of passage


• how to avoid pointing • stroke compared to the attacker's speed • position of the body in marking action • addressing of the attacker according to the attack position • evaluation of the weak side • concept of marking "ball-center of the door" • phase of timing • when to perform interception (I can not retreat indefinitely) • midfield markings, man marking in the zone (especially valid for central midfielders) • when the free becomes a marker (must always be guaranteed numerical superiority) • 2 against 1 on defense


• aiming purposes (passing or dribbling) • how to overcome a slower defender than an attacker • how to overcome a faster defender • times of action and reaction (attacker-defender) • concepts of protection of the ball when aiming • movements of companions in relation to a player who is carrying out a pointing (in depth, in support) • choice of the foot for the passage to a partner after pointing • motivations that prevent the pointing in our half field (1 against 1) • the fake body and feet as a concrete action to finalize a pointing • aiming for shooting on goal • 2 against 1 in offensive phase


• preventive analysis of the situations in the field, trying to interpret the possible moves of the companions, with the aim of making the construction of the game less predictable • peripheral vision in the ball conduction phase (the less I watch the ball, the more I analyze the game) 'observation (look down when I touch the ball, high when the ball runs) • peripheral vision in the phase of non-conduction • concept "give the ball where I see" • situation of play with backs to the opposing goal (preferably support, at least that you are not in correspondence to the door with a clear possibility to conclude)


• methodology in the execution of a stop • choice of the type of stop according to the position of the opponent • choice of stop according to the nearest fall point (avoiding the opponent's advance) • posture in making a stop • indications of companions on the peripheral situation of the recipient (free or marked)


• anti-economic and inefficient attitude • system not able to quickly overcome multiple defensive lines (passage in depth) • unsafe system, especially if in our half field • often predictable solution • very useful system in the case of physical superiority (speed ), especially if triggered on the attack lines • conduction methodologies


• back support seen as a game constant (see the concept of staggering) • help and coverage in 1 against 1 (the tip approaches the covered midfielder, etc.) • transfer to the partner on the most congenial foot • choice of passage privileging depth • I give the ball where I see • ball controlled by the player with the front facing the door


• psychological conditioning at the beginning of the race (I introduce myself to the opponent) • initial enthusiasm: how to respond to an ultra-offensive pressing against • the opponent's reactions in case of our advantage (countermeasures) • our behavior in case of disadvantage • management of the last minutes of competition in case of advantage or disadvantage • delay in case of advantage and apply a strong pressure


4-4-2 MODULE

Of all the modules currently used, the 4-4-2 is considered by many to be the most balanced, especially in the non-possession phase, as the 4 defenders and the 4 midfielders create a strong defensive barrier on 2 lines.

In this module the coverage on the side bands and to the field center is particularly guaranteed, unlike the 4-3-3 module, where the side bands are more unguarded.

1In the 4-4-2 the insertion of the sides or of a control unit is a must during the attack phase to have a good proportion between attackers and defenders. For this reason the sides of the 4-4-2 must absolutely be "cross-country skiers" able to guarantee coverage and depth. If this did not happen and therefore a side did not return after a lunge, the 4-4-2 module would turn into 4-3-3, with a clear imbalance on a band, as in the diagram shown in the figure.



In the 4-4-2 module we can apply a zone or man marking.

We will take into consideration the man-marking, in which the defensive department is placed on 2 lines. The first defensive line is guaranteed by the free, who, playing in the zone and in a more backward position, can go out in coverage in all those situations that require it.

The free man released on the cover must stall his opponent and make sure his teammate (previously jumped) falls into the cover; only then can the free attempt to intercept.

In the human system the defenders must identify their own marking, trying to identify any weak points (observation) and applying the defensive methodologies in the marking phase (see chapter on the Marking).

If the opponent plays with an 4-3-3 module, the side defenders and the stopper apply fixed marking, covered in second beat by the free, in order to guarantee coverage and numerical superiority. In case the opponent plays with a less powerful module (4-4-2 or 4-5-1), one of the defenders can play as end of the band, or add to the midfield (in the case of 4-5-1 is advisable) to create parity or numerical superiority.

In these cases, in which the opponent plays with 1 or 2 points, it will also be possible that a side of midfield apply a more offensive game, relying on the possible coverage of the fullback free from scoring (full-back). On the other hand, in the case in which the band full-back decide to take a personal action, a midfielder must guarantee coverage and numerical superiority during the defensive phase.

An effective defense must always be able to confront the opposing offensive department in terms of numerical superiority, with the aim of ensuring better coverage and possible doubling of the mark.


In the 4-4-2 i two central midfielders have the task of creating a defensive wall to opposing incursions; for this reason the plants must have strong defensive characteristics and interception capacity, as well as, naturally, propositive features in ball possession situations.

It is essential that the central area of ​​the camp is not left uncovered: if a central unit moves forward, the departmental partner must ensure coverage by applying, if necessary, a man-marking in the area.

In the event that the ball is in possession of our defense and the opponent seeks the ultra-offensive pressing, one of the midfielders must go to support, while the other can look for solutions for demarcation.

The laterals in the defensive phase must seek maximum coverage, applying a correct and pressing mark to man.

In the offensive phase, the two sides must move in a coordinated and rational way, so as to guarantee the possible coverage in the event that from a situation of possession one passes to a defensive phase. In particular, a lateral incursor with marked offensive attitudes should be identified, with the aim of giving the formation depth and amplitude, and a later marker, placed on the opponent's band opponent.


In the 4-4-2 module the attack consists of one before and a second tip.

Generally the first tip is equipped with strong technical skills and a remarkable speed in the movements, while the second tip is equipped with greater resistance and speed in the shots.

For these reasons the first tip is stationed in the area, while the second occupies a slightly backward position. Usually the tips are arranged one in front of the other (vertically), in order to ensure support for the midfielders (second tip) and the depth for the possible passage (first tip).

In principle the two points must guarantee depth and width with intersections and insertions; only if the ball carrier was pressed, the second tip must approach the midfield to ensure support for a partner in difficulty.

Depending on the position it occupies, the first point has a better game vision than the second tip, which is often found with the shoulders facing the partner. For this reason it is the first point to have to adapt to the movements of the partner, and not vice versa; if, for example, the second tip approaches the midfield, the first tip widens in depth.

In the event that the opponents are in possession of the ball in our half, one of our tip must stay high, with the aim of not lowering the rearguard too much and to ensure in any case the possibility of a possible counter-attack. This role is occupied by a rather quick person, able to face the opposing defense in speed. On the basis of the characteristics described above, it is evident that in these situations it is possible to observe an exchange of position between the two points, since the second tip (fast and resistant) is able to make any counter-attack action more effective.

It is essential that the entire training is aware of the importance of the mobility of the various departments. Once a player has made a passage, each player must not be considered satisfied, but must position himself in such a way as to be still useful (in cover or in proposition) to carry out the action.

Each player must always have 3 passages at their disposal, in order to avoid being too predictable in setting maneuvers.

The module that will be used by our training may undergo changes in relation to the setting of the opponents: on certain occasions you can play with a single point (4-5-1), while in others it can be used a supportive playmaker at the tips (4-4-1-1).


The term staggering means a particular one team layout, designed to create corridors placed on more than one diagonal line.

We see in the following figure an example of staggering and one of non-staggering.


As can clearly be seen in the first figure, the ball carrier has 2 possibility of concluding a passage, one in depth and one in support.

The bearer will choose for support only if pressed by an opponent or to turn the ball, otherwise the depth must always be sought.

In the second figure instead, the ball carrier is always with the same number of players placed next to him, but with only one chance to make the transition (dangerous horizontal passage). This passage would not satisfy any of the optimal characteristics defined in the possession phase, since it would not generate depth, breadth, mobility and unpredictability.

4Fnow we are going to see an example of horizontal passage intercepted by an adversary, and we analyze together the most obvious risk factors.


In possession of the ball it is important to have a clear idea of ​​the amplitude, ie the ability of a formation to "play wide", with the aim of creating spaces for insertions and maneuvers of attack.


The more a team expands during the construction phase, the more spaces are created near the opposing goal.

The 4-4-2 module turns out to be very suitable for wide play: to ensure amplitude are the lateral midfields, with their side raids to the side line and, above all, with the sudden changes of play (long balls that cut the field).

Even the points, through the crossover movement, favor the game in width, creating spaces for the midfielders who come from the back.


8In this example we clearly see that player "a" can create one aisle for the partner "b", in possession of the ball. If "a" moves (without receiving the ball) to the right, his marking follows him and creates a central area completely free from opponents, which allows "b" to centralize and conclude at the net.

Of course in football it is important to search for depth, that is to say the advancement through vertical steps towards the opponent's goal.

The search for depth must be the consequence of a correct ball possession maneuver in staggering and amplitude situations.

Depth must be seen as the primary objective (in the first teams) of a formation; it is for this reason that verticalizations are to be considered economic, fast and unpredictable systems that training must absolutely adopt.

It is natural that these verticalizations must be carried out correctly, considering the strength, direction and present game situation.

For example, it is useless to perform a verticalization where the receiver is marked by 3 people, while it is absolutely recommended in case the same receiver was marked by 1 or 2 people and had adequate space for the raid. Who performs the verticalization must take into account the technical and physical capabilities of the receiver.

NB The possession of the ball should be kept in the background compared to the search for depth.


By the term "demarcation" we mean the ability of an individual to free himself from his mark to receive a ball from a partner. In order for the demarcation to be effective, the maneuver must be unpredictable, sudden and above all performed in right times.

9The pre-demarcation movement it is fundamental, because it displaces the defender and makes the attacker gain ground.

Backward movement (high arm) that moves away the marking, followed by a sudden movement towards the free zone (zone of demarcation).


The demarcation must be performed only under some conditions:

1) the teammate must be able to play the ball (free ball)

2) the teammate must have full possession of the ball (near ball)

3) it must be there visual communication between who performs the passage and who receives it

It is also important to find the area where there are no players, and where there must be adequate space to complete the movement.

11The passage that the ball holder will execute must preferably be performed by diagonal lines, in order to get the partner to receive the ball in the cover (protected ball) and to increase the opening angles, making the interception more difficult.

It can also happen that a player in the unmarking action does not receive a ball, as the bearer used it to create a diversionary action and subsequently decided a different solution (to another player).

A tie-off in the band can be used to generate amplitude and, therefore, more free spaces within the area.

From what has been said, it is clear that in a good offensive maneuver they have to try to get rid of as many players as possible, to avoid being too obvious and therefore predictable. During the maneuver of demarcation, effective body fakes are fundamental, which allow us to give unpredictability to the action.


A good defender must be able to maintain a good concentration for a long time, checking "visually" the opponent (peripheral view), trying to divert or intercept passages directed to him and interposing between ball and goal and also neutralizing any shots in the goal .

Let's now analyze the methodology that a defender must implement to avoid being overtaken and to ensure maximum coverage for his own door, based on the concept that a defender must try to remove as much space as possible to the direct rival preventing him from receiving or playing the ball. A good defender must take advantage of the first few minutes of the game to answer a few questions regarding the characteristics of the attacker to mark:

- right or left / fast or slow

- technical player (good at stops, for example) or not

- he makes many feints of body or is quite predictable

- uses one or more raid methods

- He is a solitary player or often trades the ball with his teammates

- is a head hitter or prefers low balls.

Once this preliminary analysis has been performed, the defender must be able to move accordingly and take the necessary countermeasures.

For example, if the attacker is very fast, sudden and unpredictable in the changes, able to do a lot of fakes, the marking can not be too close, as there is the risk of being easily overcome, but I will have to keep a distance "of safety " appropriate. The type of marking that will be dealt with in this relationship will be only the one man-type, where each player controls his own markings.

In defense we should always try to be in numerical superiority, a condition often guaranteed by the free that, placed behind the defenders and with zone marking, can intervene to make doubles.

If there is no numerical superiority, the defense must carry out a maneuvering process, slowing down the opponent's descent, awaiting the arrival of the teammates.

A gross error that could be committed by a lawyer would be to face the attacker in a decisive and direct (without success) in the case of inferiority or numerical parity.

It will talk about marking with pressure when the player attacks the ball carrier very closely and, always positioning himself between the ball and the door, try not to gain field to the direct opponent waiting for the right moment to subtract the ball. In general, this marking is more used when the opponent is not particularly technically gifted and is not, therefore, able to successfully make a stop to follow, feints or smashing touches.

On the other hand, there will be no pressure marking when the defender maintains a little more space between himself and the ball, but still preventing the conclusion to the net in order to wait for a doubling of a mate's mark. In general this defensive action is used when the opponent is particularly technically gifted.

Let's look at the layout of a defense in an 4-4-2 module graphically


In the figure we represent the man-marking with the hypothetical cones of light at the top of which there is the opponent's attacker to be marked. Behind you can see, ready to double the marking, the free with its own cone of light compared to the two possible opposing attacks.

Defenders must constantly follow the movements of the direct opponents and maintain a good positioning and the right distances are essential. The intelligence of the defender will be decisive and directed not to be carried too far out of the defensive area by the movement of attacking opponents.

The defender must, in general, prevent the opponent from reaching the shooting area, trying to direct him towards the outside of the field, choosing the direction that is less congenial to the attacker. If a left-handed attacker chooses a central incursion, the defender will try to take him to the left, in order to force him to control the ball with his right foot, less congenial to him.

13Removing the attacker from the central zones means making the shot on goal less dangerous; it is for this reason that bringing the attacker outwards must become one of the primary objectives of a good defender.

The defender must be careful not to be exceeded, always maintaining a position that sees him in line between the ball and the center of the goal.

To do this it is important to maintain a certain distance and a proportional and relative speed to the opponent, whose individual movements are to be analyzed.

In the defensive phase it happens very often to have to face a situation of 1 against 1, we see, therefore, how this situation must be faced by the defender.

As previously said, the defender does not have to face the opponent directly, but to approach and then retreat, trying to direct the opponent on the outside of the field (weak side) and to maintain a constant distance. In technical terms it is used to say that the defender should not be wagered (a defender is that player who fails to keep an adequate distance and is therefore easily overcome). The attacker will do everything to point the defender, in order to perform a dribble or a pass in deep demarcation.

It is natural that the defender who came near the door can not move back but is forced to look for interception, choosing the best time to implement this technical gesture (eg while the attacker is loading the shot).

Another important technical gesture, typical of a defender, is the advance, ie the ability of a player to take possession of a ball addressed to an opponent.

Before the advance can be made, the player must:

- know the characteristics of your marking

- ensure that the defense guarantees adequate coverage in case the down payment fails (numerical superiority)

- choose the right advance trajectory

- to evaluate the possible later implications.

14The jumped marker must be covered by the free player who, by playing in the zone, can exit and brake, delaying, the opponent's raid, thus leaving time for the marker to jump to the doubling position. At this point the free can perform the intercepting maneuver.

Many times the term mark makes us think of the defense, but it must be clear that the midfielders in the phase of non-possession are in fact the defenders and must follow their opponent in the manner described above.

Unlike a full-back or a stopper, whose tasks are almost exclusively defensive, the midfielders must be able to change their attitude based on who has the ball: in the process of possession must go to support the tips while in phase non-possession must seek the marking and interception. For these reasons they must be equipped with good speed and, above all, great resistance to stress.

With the 4-4-2 module the midfield is made up of 4 players, 2 of the fascia and 2 central.

The players must be able to face the length of the field several times, guaranteeing a good amplitude for the formation.

A big mistake that a midfielder can make is to play only as offensive fantasist (at least that was not indicated by the coach), without thinking about his defensive function, because with this attitude the attitude and balance would be compromised of the whole team.

In particular, the two central midfielders must have strong defensive skills and must be able to press the opponent, anticipating and re-proposing plays towards their points.

When a midfielder breaks into proactive action, the rest of the department must organize itself accordingly, analyzing the movements of the opponents, and ensuring the possibility of defending themselves.

In the event that more than one midfielder is released, the coverage to the central department must be guaranteed by a side-back, generally without marking (end-of-band), which can concentrate and produce a man-marking in the area.

Sometimes it can happen that a defender is in a situation of numerical inferiority es. 2 contro1. In this case the marker must not focus on his own marking, but must position himself in such a way as to ensure maximum coverage at his door, pending waiting for the arrival of a mate (see figure).

15In this case if the defender went to cover on the ball carrier, the same would try to point the marker in order to make a pass to the partner on the right. This maneuver would skip the cover and would benefit the attackers.


In possession of the ball "aiming" an opponent means approaching the same, with the aim of making a pass in depth to a partner or to perform a dribble.

This maneuver, if done correctly, is very effective and, above all, can make the action unpredictable.

At the same time, aiming is a dangerous maneuver if it is not carried out correctly and, therefore, in the correct times and modes, since it risks triggering an opponent's counter-attack.

For this reason, the aiming is a maneuver that must not be performed absolutely in the defensive phase, nor from the midfielders (at least that the same have not moved to the attack area and then covered by some other player), which many times instead abuse of this solution, compromising the structure of the team.

Should a player start a maneuver in a dangerous area, the teammates must understand the danger situation and arrange themselves so as not to be surprised in case of loss of the ball.

In the aiming phase one must try to "hide" and cover the ball to the opponent; to do this it is using the external foot or the inside during the conduction, with the possibility, in the case in which the defender tries to intercept, to turn the back to the marker, interposing the body between the opponent and the ball , trying to keep the ball as far as possible (arms wide so that the defender can not overcome me).

In the case in which the aim has a passageway, the receiver must find the player who handed him the ball ready to support, thus trying to close a triangulation that would guarantee depth, staggering and, above all, an economic maneuver.

The passage that the pointer must perform to his partner must be performed with the foot corresponding to the direction of the passage itself. A passage to the right must be done with the right foot, a passage to the left with the left foot; this to avoid an easy interception.

If the pointing maneuver does not have the space to perform a deep raid, a player must always guarantee the possibility of making a support passage.

Assumed that the aiming maneuver is preferably performed by a player in the attack phase, we now see the considerations that must be made to trigger this maneuver.

Possible situations:

- Il defender is slower than the attacker: aiming for dribbling. If space allows, the attacker extends the ball and then chase him in speed and then seek the conclusion.

- Il defender is clearly faster than the attacker: aiming for the passage. If the attacker is near the door (perhaps in an 1 situation against 1), he should try to reset the defender's advantage (speed), aiming the opponent with continuous changes of direction and repeated body faults, taking full advantage the reaction time factor.

It should be remembered that a defender will always try to lead the attacker on his weaker side; for this reason the attacker must try not to be dragged to the area that is less congenial to him or, in any case, to the side areas.

Given that near the goal of the goal can be aimed at the conclusion, the attacker must consider, in addition to the difficulty of disengaging from the opponent, all the concepts related to shooting on goal (see the position of the goalkeeper, choose the type and direction of the shot, analyze the situation around, etc.), paying great attention to the speed of execution of the various maneuvers (speed change, unpredictability, maximum reaction speed).

In the event that the offensive unit is in numerical superiority (2 against 1), the player without the ball must move trying to unmark to receive the pass or to facilitate the raid of the partner.


The concept of "peripheral vision" indicates the knowledge of what is happening around us and it is very important for all those teams that decide to play a technical and tactical football. At the base of the good game, in fact, there is the ability to "read" the game and to see and predict the movements of their team and opponents.

Peripheral vision is the consequence of a good ability to play and run with the high head, analyzing and processing the game situations that are gradually created during a game.

A player who receives the ball should already know the possible developments of an action, otherwise, after controlling the ball, he must worry about finding the supports, making himself vulnerable to his own marking.

Sometimes it may happen that there are more possibilities of passage; in these cases a good player must use the peripheral vision on several levels, choosing the passage that he can give (perhaps through other passages) more depth to the team or more possibilities of development of the action itself.

The concepts described above also apply in the non-possession phase, since a good player should be able, through careful observation, to understand the "future" moves of the opponent, to implement a good cover or interception action.

The concept of peripheral vision must also be applied during ball conduction: the wearer must look at the ball at the moment of impact with the foot, and then raise his head and take a picture of the surrounding situation.

The players without the ball have a greater peripheral vision, therefore they must help the ball carrier (especially if pressed) and guide him with essential indications (eg, from the ball in the band, back, etc.).

It is a good rule, in the absence of specific indications of the companions, to play the ball in the visible areas ("game where I see"), to avoid intercepting the opponent.

Naturally, there are situations where balls can be played in areas that are not visible, but only following established and previously analyzed patterns. These automatisms must be tested and researched even during training, with the aim of being able to apply them with maximum synchrony during matches.

To perform the various movements in the right time, it is necessary to insert simple and very clear vocal commands in the game (eg size, parts, etc.).


When you are about to receive a ball, it is very important to decide which type of stop to take, taking into account the fact that the best stop is the one executed at the point of fall further (anticipating the ball).

If, for example, a high ball arrives, the optimal stop is the one executed head (if possible) or chest. If you decide to perform a foot stop, the opponent will have more time and more chance of interception. During reception, the stop is characterized by a backward jump which, combined with a damping action, will stop the ball in the desired position.

In the stop of head in elevation, the damping will be guaranteed by an early jump (out of time), which will make us "hit" the ball in descending phase, then accompanying it downwards. If you do the head stop with your feet on the ground, you have to bend your knees and, by cushioning, you look for control of the ball.

The body posture plays a fundamental role in the correct execution of a stop, as it must guarantee the maximum protection of the ball that will be received.

If, for example, you receive a ground ball, the most suitable stop will be that performed with the sole of the shoe, taking care to use the foot farthest from the opponent and, above all, to use the arms to avoid the interception marker and the advance.

Even in the stop (since it is a ball receiving phase) it is important that the receiver approaches the ball, anticipating the marker in order to make it more difficult to intercept.

The teammates can also provide indications on the position of the marker to the partner who is about to receive a ball, so that the receiver can decide which type of stop to perform.

For example if a partner says "free", the receiver can perform a stop to follow in order to speed up the action; if, instead, said "covered" or "marking", the receiver must pay much more attention and adjust accordingly.

Whatever type of stop is undertaken, it is of primary importance to hide the ball from its marker, interposing the body or parts of it (knee in cover, leg, wide arms) between him and the ball.

If I receive a ball with my back to my opponent, I must avoid turning around and proceed facing my marker face to face, because in the rotation I have a very high probability of losing possession. In this case the support players are important and receive the ball "straight" and can reset the action.


16In this case the player with the ball is marked and with his back to the opponent. The most rational and safe solution is to support the partner, then looking for the reception of a protected ball and face facing the opponent's goal. As you can see, the support is placed staggered with respect to the player who has the ball, since the staggering facilitates the passage in depth. If the player in support was positioned behind (not staggered) to the player with possession, the passage in depth would have been more difficult (see figure below) and, above all, more interceptable because of the very narrow angle of opening. Support is a safer and less expensive solution than trying to turn around and dribble; it also generates greater depth in a short time.

In this tactical maneuver we find many concepts previously analyzed:

  1. 1 - 2
  2. peripheral vision
  3. staggering
  4. depth
  5. unpredictability
  6. choice of passage

choice of stop


A football match is a medium-term sports activity and, depending on some conditions, it can be considered a more or less tiring performance.

Some conditions that can influence the loading of a race are as follows:

- team athletic preparation

- weather

- type of playing field

- type of play of the opponents

- athletic preparation of the opponents

- kind of game of our training.

In general, a competition is based on the rules of the economy, aimed at obtaining the "maximum result with the minimum effort without incurring too many risks".

For this reason, the tactical approach must take into account the parameters listed above, which can certainly influence the type of game that a formation expresses.

The "carry ball" does not meet economic requirements, because, in addition to being a difficult maneuver and with little depth gain, it is also a very dangerous choice, as it obliges us to repeat 1 against 1 (with a success rate of 50 %).

Of course there are cases in which the conduct of the ball is recommended: if we find ourselves in the band with a wide corridor at our disposal, we should definitely proceed towards the opposing goal carrying the ball.

For the reasons previously discussed, the ball run in situations of 1 against 1 in our half of the field is to be considered in principle a tactical error, while offensive is a possibility that the attacker must consider. Naturally, if the personal action of a striker is repeatedly neutralized by the opposing defense, alternative methods of incursion must be found.

In the conduction phase, the wearer must always have full control of the ball and, above all, must make sure to protect it from the opponent with the various parts of the body.

During the conduction, one must lower one's gaze only on the ball-to-foot contact, while in the remaining time one analyzes the situation to decide the next moves (peripheral vision).

The prolonged conduct of the ball, besides leading to the aforementioned drawbacks, is not unpredictable, another important component in the game of football. Sometimes we find ourselves in a position to "overplay" the ball because we do not find cooperation with our teammates who, instead of staggering and proposing themselves, hide behind their own markings or do not accompany the action that is developing.

In this case we witness a game played without the chorality and the collective, but based on individual actions that are triggered by the ball carrier on duty.

The continuous and prolonged conduction could also derive from the poor peripheral vision of the wearer, that is from the inability to lift the head and to see the companions to whom the ball can pass.

Conduction is to be considered an expensive maneuver, slow, intuitive and that generates little depth. Let's see, then, what tactical attitude could be adopted to bring us closer to the principles of economic football.

The certainly cheaper tactic that allows for greater depth and unpredictability is given by verticalizations (= launches), although it is clear that a formation can not base its game on this tactic, because it makes the action too predictable and allows the opponent to easily put appropriate countermeasures.

During a football match we must try to use and harmonize various methods for achieving a goal (GOAL). These methods must be decided on the basis of the situation, the opponent, the match phase, the result to be achieved and, above all, the players disposed in the field and the relative characteristics.

If, for example, we recover ball in our area and we have the opportunity to make a launch at our first point, we must first assess if the attacker is able to make a shot without being intercepted by opposing rearguards (you must evaluate the speed of the points to their defenders). If the assessment is negative, this strategy must be abandoned and other solutions must be found.

17This solution is to be considered optimal in the case where the first tip be a lot fast.

In the presence of a slow tip this solution should be avoided.


In the course of an action, a player in possession of the ball should always have at least two possibilities to perform the passage, one in depth (staggered) and one in support (always staggered). For this reason it is important that the other players move in order to create these possibilities.

In the event that a player in possession of the ball starts pointing, the same must absolutely be supported by his teammates, to offer alternatives to dribbling (it should be remembered that in the 1 against 1 you can choose dribbling or passing).

Naturally, the passage must privilege the depth as shown in the following figure.

18In this case, on equal terms (eg type of marking applied) the player in possession of the ball must favor the most advanced player, as the passage generates more depth.

When you make a pass, there are two rules to follow:

- Prevent the passage from being intercepted from an opponent. All appropriate precautions must be taken, such as using the foot closest to the partner to make the passage (left band, left foot).

- Benefit the mate receiving the passage, giving him the ball on his best foot and in a protected way, in addition, of course, to choose a trajectory easily managed by the receiver.

Another concept to be assessed in the possession phase consists in playing ball within the visual ("where I see") even if, in some circumstances, especially if the agreement with the companions is very high, it will be possible to use some Czech games, which are more risky (easily interceptable), but at the same time less predictable.


The psychological aspect is a fundamental and primary component in a sporting competition, and for this reason we now face some problems related to it.

Initial phase

First of all, the attitude that a training proposes at the beginning of the race is very important: if a team enters the field immediately showing determination, determination and organizational skills, it puts the opponent in a waiting condition, normally connected to a typically defensive phase.

In this offensive and proactive phase, it will be possible to rage on the adversary with an offensive or ultra-offensive pressing tactic, or advance a defender in the midfield, reinforcing the central wall and thus raising the team's center of gravity.

Naturally this "gritty" attitude must not be programmed (acted), but must derive from a typical self-belief of the team.

It is for this reason that the phases prior to the race should be lived in a coherent way to the competition itself and aimed at the search for maximum concentration.

It 's natural that even the opposing teams could take the field with determination and determination, trying to exploit the so - called "initial heat".

If our formation suffered this initial tactic from the adversary and was in difficulty (pressed in our half field), the most effective method would be to verticalize with throws, avoiding the pressing opponent.

In this condition, with the opponent unbalanced in attack, it will be possible to trigger a counter-attack that, if finalized, could psychologically mortify the opponent.

On the other hand, if we try to deal with the opponent's ultra-offensive pressing, with the ball coming out of the foot and with short passes, we will certainly take advantage of the opponent.

Our formation takes the lead

Generally the opponent increases the pace for a few minutes and with great determination tries to bring himself back into parity; the same phenomenon can also be found in the final moments of each single time if we are in a disadvantaged position.

Also in this case, to cope with the attacks, the most recommended method is the verticalization aimed at the counter-attack.

Imagine the psychological condition of a team if, following a network suffered, it is unbalanced to look for a draw and as a result of this move gets the doubling opponent on the break.

Final minutes in terms of advantage

In the event that a formation is in the final minutes of a game with a minimum advantage on the opposing team, it must try to spin the ball and to stall, maintaining possession of the ball in conditions of maximum security.

Also in this case, if the opponent makes an offensive or ultra-offensive pressing, verticalizations are used, with the aim to trigger a possible counter-attack. In the case examined, it is advisable to play with only one tip with good speed and skillful in situations of 1 against 1 or 2 against 1.

Based on what has been said, it is obtained that the behavior of training in critical situations should be rational in any case and such to avoid dangerous imbalances that could only make the situation worse.


In these pages I tried to describe some of the fundamental concepts that govern the game of football, without which we would witness a game based solely on the instinct of the players.

To get the best result you need to find a the right balance between the rational and the instinctive component.

In football the concept of balance is very important, in fact a player is considered "good" when he manages to harmonize the following components:





When a player is deficient in one of the aforementioned characteristics, one must work to fill the gap and regain the balance with the other components. This is one of the reasons why in the next season many workouts will be studied individually, with customized exercises, based on the roles and characteristics of each individual player (a midfielder will have to train more resistance than the free and the first tip ).

Author: gentaWebsite: www.tecnoprogress.itEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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Journalistic newspaper registered with the Court of Florence, n. 6032 of the 15 Settembre 2016, with director Giancarlo Padovan.


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