During their return to the Premier League last season, Wolves made a habit of preying on clubs much bigger than themselves. Portuguese coach Nuno Espírito Santo guided them to 16 points against the top six, a record bettered only by title winners Manchester City and runners up Liverpool. While Nuno’s team excelled in the championship
Currently in charge of German second division team Stuttgart, Tim Walter is one of the most innovative figures in modern football. The 43-year-old spent last season training Holstein Kiel, and his bold approach drew admiration from coaches across the globe. As we will discover in this article, Walter deploys a wide variety of inventive methods
Basic Organisation: Main area with 5 attackers and 4 defenders. Two mini goals behind defenders. Two gates and an ‘end zone’ behind attackers. Ball returns to attacking team for each restart. Objectives: Attacking team look to move opponents and create space/lanes to progress through and score in one of the two mini goals.
Basic Organisation: Attacking team begin with a 5+GK vs 2 inside the first phase of build-up. Grid ends approx 25 yards out from goal. 3 additional defending players are positioned just outside the grid. Further forward, 2 attackers flank the last man on the defending team. Small goal either side of centre-circle. Objectives:
Basic Organisation: 2 separate identical grids. Each with two start/end zones seperated by middle zone. In one of the grids, the reds are the attacking team and have two players in both the start and end zone, as well as two players in the middle zone. Two yellow players also occupy the middle zone
Basic organisation: Grid with 4 players on each side and a small goal placed at both ends. Players on both teams assigned numbers from 1 to 4, matching the players directly across from them. Coach calls a number and passes the ball into centre to start the play. Objectives: Players on both sides
Basic Organisation: Begin with 5 attacking players in grid on one side of the field. ‘Switcher’ for attacking team positioned outside the possession grid at the half-way line. Additional attacker positioned in the far half-space. Defending team begin with 2 players inside box. 3 more defenders start on the edge of the penalty area.
During their incredible 2018/19 campaign, Erik ten Hag’s Ajax represented football at it’s most intelligent. Of course, he hasn’t reinvented the wheel; much of his philosophy has been inspired by the likes of Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola. However, he isn’t a replica of his role models either and has been brave enough to apply
When coaching build-up play, it’s important to give players alternative routes of progression. Every coach will have a preferred method of building attacks, but the opponent’s approach to defending will change from game to game, and even within games. It is therefore essential to implement a varied approach that accounts for the different challenges that
Quite often, coaches whose philosophies are more ‘defence-minded’ will get criticism from fans and pundits. The likes of Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez have come under such scrutiny during their careers, especially while at clubs whose supporters identify with a more offensive approach. Most football fans would like their team’s to be offensive and positive