When Playing Out of the Back Goes Wrong

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Keeper Misses Ball

Even World Cup winning goalkeepers make big mistakes when trying to play out of the back. Danny Ings pounces on an embarrassing mistake from Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal to bring Southampton level in London. Lloris tied to pull off a Cruyff turn or pull back move but failed badly and Ings does the rest. I’m somewhat surprised that forwards don’t charge at keepers more when they’re trying to cleverly play out of the back. Samuel Etoo was very good at this when he played for Barcelona. Keeping the keepers honest. I think just a burst of speed at the keepers would throw them off and scare them.

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Arsenal’s Aubameyang pounces on a mistake by Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster. It’s harder than it looks to play out of the back like Barcelona. Don’t try this at home unless you’re pretty confident in your skills set. I wonder if keepers will start smashing the ball down the field a bit more often just to surprise the other team. The playing out of the back strategy has it’s limits you know. Especially when a team is pressing you.

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This the moment Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner loses track of the ball and takes an air shot in the Bundesliga meeting with Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday. Zentner just about atones for his error and avoids conceding a goal. After the game Zentner revealed he’d mistaken the penalty spot for the ball. For keepers it hard to see the whole field with the ball at their feet – they’re just not used to trying to have the field vision of Xavi or Iniesta.

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Hat tip to Brian Sciaretta of Sports Illustrated for this great “When Playing Out of the Back Goes Wrong” series idea. I’m guessing some soccer teams might start working on clearing the ball at the most basic level when necessary. There’s actually a certain art and skill involved in clearing the soccer ball. Teaching your players when and how to clear the ball is something that coaches should go over with their teams.

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