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[av_heading heading=’Awareness: How to defend on the opposite half’ tag=’h1′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’46’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#ffffff’][/av_heading]

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Author: Francesco Farioli

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In order to describe how marking can best work as a fundamental defensive tactic, we used Hummels, a centre back who came up under the leadership of three great coaches: Jürgen Klopp during his days with Borussia Dortmund, Joachim Löw with the German national team and Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.

The defensive lines of Germany and Bayern Munich are accustomed to playing with 50 metres of pitch behind them and, in order to effectively defend, they need to have players who are skilled at anticipating the lines and preventive marking.
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As written in the text “Defensive line: organisational and training principles” co-authored by Renato Montagnolo, we can define Preventive Marking as that defensive manoeuvre that is implemented during ball possession phase, the objective of which is not to allow the opposing team to mount counter attacks, blocking the adversaries who are above the ball line.
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This defensive measure must be applied to all of those players who, during the ball possession phase, are below the ball line and not open to receive a back pass.
These players can be used in one of two ways:

  • if the tactical choice presumes preventive marking, they must preventively mark the opposing players who are above the ball line and who act as receivers for a possible counter attack;
  • if the tactical choice presumes preventive coverage, they must guarantee coverage for their teammates who have the ball, taking up positions behind the ball line without marking their adversaries.

The preventive closings, therefore guarantee playing in ball possession phase with the assurance that the opposing team will not be able to mount a counter attack.

Below are a few mental attitudes that are fundamental to successfully defend on the opposite half of the pitch:

1) Aggressive mentality
2) Proactive attitude
3) Be aware of proper reference points
4) The idea of defending when we are attacking
5) Play before being part of the play
6) Continuity of thought, never stop thinking
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Francesco Farioli
Aspire Academy (Qatar Football Association), Senior Goalkeeper Coach, Video Match & Performance Analysis.
www.francescofarioli.com

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