For the most part of the game, Croatia was happy to control the match tactically. They didn’t do so by possessing the ball comfortably, but by facing Argentina generally without the ball and not letting any chances to be created on the opponent side thanks to their great defensive organisation.
To read more about Argentina v Croatia match and truly understand the match dynamics, head over to The Half Space. The author explains in depth how the teams stood on the pitch and their offensive/defensive organization.
About the author:
Kristóf Bakos, Football fan and analyst from Hungary. Opponent Analyst at ASR Gázgyár between 2016-17. Currently a free agent. Co-Owner of @thehalf_space.
You don’t need the ball in order to dictate the play. A clever positioning and closing down can force the opposition to play where you want them. But that is only the half of the full story.
Creating an efficient pressing trap, and training it, is one of the most difficult coaching tasks. As the game is so fluid, it is difficult to predict how exactly will it go. However, it all starts with individual roles and duties.
Here we will take a look at a pressing trap that is set to provoke a diagonal pass towards the weak flank. This difficult to execute pass is a pressing trigger for the team.
You will notice a few points on how it works in theory and how little it takes to break down and how dangerous that can be.
MATCH: Gremio (dark) v Fluminense (white)
Video capturing technology: InStat AUTOCROP
Just as an attacker is instinctively attracted towards the ball, a defender is attracted towards a striker. During the attacking phase, we use this to drag the defenders out of position and create space. However, coaches frequently neglect this when they coach defensive phase.
On all levels from youth to the elite, we see defenders tracking the attacker on a run into depth, behind the back line. In this video, I’ve tried to explain when this shouldn’t happen and why it is a liability for a team when it does happen.
The best players aren’t only those who can dribble at speed or those that score goals. Some players can do that, but all players have to think quickly. All other conditions being equal, the ability to make a right decision in a split second is what makes the difference between the top, and an average, player on all levels.
While offensive phase has a tendency to get more creative and free of strict rules as we progress further up the pitch, the defensive phase is its mirror picture. It gets more structured and bound with rules as the opposition gets closer to our goal.
The defender needs to be aware of his position, the ball, his teammates and the opposition. It is difficult to track all that at the same time, and communication becomes a fundamental part of the game.
In Europe, Brazilian championship is rarely taken seriously. We drool watching Guardiola’s teams, the half backs, inverted full backs… Things that are present and widely spread in South America.
That being said, this time we will take a look at the defensive organization from (currently) 5th side in Brasileirao – Cruzeiro and in a rather new format of video analysis. Enjoy.