Soccer Positions & Field Tactics

Teamwork: Understanding the 4-5-1 Formation

The 4-5-1 formation has become an increasingly established European formation. Coaches and teams alike in Europe have proved it is – if played correctly – one of the most effective soccer formations.

Some of the notable teams that use this formation are:

  • Spanish, European and world champions FC Barcelona;
  • English Premier League champions and European runners-up Chelsea FC; and
  • AC Milan of the Italian Serie A among others.
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Pass, Pass, Pass…Pass the ball

My current soccer coach is a Brazilian named Bento.  Read more on Bento by clicking here.  Bento barely speaks English, however, his small vocabulary of the English language actually simplifies what he’s trying to express and as a result many players have a better understanding of what he is asking.

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How to Maximize Ball Possession

Many teams in North America have developed a bad habit of playing the long ball. From a young age players think that it is acceptable for their first choice of attack, counter attack and defensive clearances to simply kick the ball down the field, battle for the next possession and hope to come out on top. It’s similar to the “dump and chase” style that some hockey teams will play.  Growing up, I played on a couple teams whose coaches taught this style of play. And those that did actually tell us to play this way certainly did not speak against it. This whole style of play needs to change.

Soccer Positions & Field Tactics

Defender’s Guide: Left & Right Back

The fullback, aka the left or right back, plays a very crucial role in modern day football.  It is not to say that it never played a crucial role, it suggests that in today’s day and age, the fullback is given much more room to maneuver, but much more responsibility as well.

In the modern day 4-4-2 formation, the fullback has very little support from a defensive standpoint.  Because the defense is arranged in a flat line and the two central defenders have the responsibility of marking the two forwards, the fullbacks are left to fend for themselves in many regards.