Wingback Defending: From My Book Coaching & Playing The Modern Wingback Position In Soccer

unitspacing1.0Slide#1) Shows the back “4” shifting and adjusting to the the ball as the right wingback steps up to cover space and the left wingback shifts over to get goal side of the #10 orange striker. Notice the defensive line covers up to the yellow horizontal line and the midfield line will pick up any players who cross the yellow horizontal line coming towards midfield.  The units & players shift and change shape as the ball is moved across the field.  The units must become comfortable shifting players not just horizontally among their own unit/line but vertically between the back “4” and midfield units as well.  When marking and passing a player on to another teammate there should be both verbal and visual contact made between the players – this will ensure the attacking player is always picked up and accounted for.

tmarking1.0Slide#2) In this slide I give you the example of simple “T-Marking” – this is displayed by the line drawn between the wingback and the player he is marking.  From the middle of that line simply draw another straight line – this makes the “T”.  Anything on the inside of the “T” the blue defender can get to first – anything on the opposite side of the “T” the orange player can get to first.  You can see that the blue wingback’s have the area going to goal covered against any through balls – the defender gives up the area to the outside but that is ok because it is hard to score from outside and wide.  T-Marking is a very good teaching tool and you can use it with any player on the field to illustrate what space they are actually defending.

depthlines1.0Slide #3) This slide shows lines of depth and the principles of pressure, cover and balance.  This back “4” are using 3 lines of depth which is very hard to penetrate but very hard to play an offsides trap with.  I personally do not like holding a high line and pulling offsides traps that often so I am comfortable having my defensive line be “elastic” when they need to be and use multiple lines of depth in necessary.

If you are interested in my book “Coaching and Playing The Modern Wingback Position in Soccer” here is the link