by Erik Imler
In the image below, where would you choose to put the left midfielder for the red team….
Position A or Position B?
I watched the red team (U12 soccer playing 8v8) play for the entire half. While they did a solid job defending, they struggled in the transitional moments of the game. On many occasions, the players recognized that upon winning possession of the ball they had to switch the point of attack to the weak side of the field. While the ball would often find the feet of the left midfielder, the red team’s attack would sputter and stall when his starting position was Position A as position A did not allow the red team to relieve pressure….and a red team turnover would result.
As a coach what do you do? Do you encourage the left midfielder to select the B starting position? If so, why?
It is very difficult to say Position A is correct while Position B is incorrect…and vice versa. So many factors may play into your decision.
- Circumstances of game
- Strength of opponent
- Conditions of field
- Speed (or lack there of)
- Technical qualities of players
In the particular match I was watching, all things were fairly even…including the scoreline. I would have liked to have seen the red team’s midfielder take up the starting Position B to determine how it might have impacted the game. If that starting position changed,
- What starting position would the black team’s right midfielder take?
- Would the red team find an immediate outlet upon winning possession and create dangerous counter-attacking options?
- Would the movement of the red team’s left midfielder negate forward movement of the black team’s right midfielder?
My hope is that the coach addresses/has addressed this dynamic with the players.
And perhaps, has allowed the players to talk through this particular scenario to uncover a tactical solution. Maybe the players will offer the correct solution….they are smarter than we often give them credit for.
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