Pre-Game Soccer Tactics

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Pep Guardiola Half-Time Talk

When you approach a game you might say, we need to go at their left defender, he’s inexperienced and slow. Or, you might say, the other team likes to play the ball directly from the back into their forward, so we have to close their defenders down quickly so they don’t have time to serve the ball in. Or, you might say, in the first ten or fifteen minutes let’s drop back into our own half and stay compact, the team we’re playing is very good on the ball and we don’t want to concede an early goal.

The tactics and strategy you take coming into a game often hinge on the team you’re playing. However, the best teams stick to their game no matter who they’re playing. Spain won the 2010 World Cup not by adjusting their style of play but sticking to it. But famous coaches like Jose Mourinho, is known for his stringent defense and conservative play, packing the box with players if they’re playing say away from home at the Camp Nou against Barcelona.

How can you as a coach or player use this in your games? Well, stress to your team to get back on defense, funnel back towards goal and not necessarily pressure the ball right away if it’s out wide, but get back into position as a team unit closer to goal and then begin to pressure the ball. One player shadows the player with the ball, holding him or her up until the team can recover.

What about Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson? What does he tell his team prior to a game? What can be assured his all Manchester United teams come out ready to play. They don’t jog around the park and know they’re going to win the game just because they showed up. They are aggressive and go at the other team.

Pep Guardiola Half-Time team talk | All Or Nothing

Most of this comes from their preparation though. They are in good shape, all have an understanding of how they want to play, and play for one another. Teams can’t win games if the players are disorganized or players aren’t playing for each other. Think of France in the 2010 World Cup. There was talk that some player didn’t want to pass to other players.

These dynamic exercises will ensure you and your soccer team ready to go when the whistle blows.

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