The field is broken into four vertical zones
1. Attacking zone goes from the end line to 30 yards away from goal and sideline to sideline
2. Next is the midfield zone which is broken into two areas attacking midfield zone and defensive midfield zone why because roles are different in each.
3. The attacking zone is the same size and the defensive zone.
4. Next there are 5 horizontal channel starting with 2 wide channels which encompass the space of end line to end line vertically and horizontally sideline to the corner of the penalty box
5.. There are 2 internal channels vertically going from end line to end line and horizontally from the corner of the goal box to the corner of the penalty box
6. The final channel is the central channel vertically going from end line to end line and horizontally is the width of the goal box. In the next entry, the details of why the field is divided as such will be explained
For the team that wants to have control of the game by dominating possession, the team must understand the overload principle of attack. The attacking team must always outnumber the opponent around the ball. This allows the attacking team to maintain possession by outnumbering the defense around the ball. Outnumbering the defense around the ball causes the defense to decide to come to try to win the ball in that area of the field. If they come and the outnumbering becomes numbers even or numbers down for the attacking team around the ball they must find routes to a new area of the field to maintain possession. This type of possession leads to an unbalancing of the defensive shape which could lead to an attacking route to goal. The overload principle takes insight by all players, takes technical qualities that will allow players to play under pressure in tight spaces. The players must also be brave to hold the ball in any part of the field. The attacking overload principle is so much fun to watch. Remember this is a short explanation of the attacking overload principle. Take a look at this video below to see some examples of the attacking overload principle and a podcast I did on the Attacking overload principle.
In this section, the information will tie in the idea of how important the Attacking Overload Principle in regards to team shape has a direct effect on the Defensive Overload Principle. First, the Attacking Overload Principle is creating numbers up situations in the immediate space around the ball and having a second line of support to play away from the immediate space if the numerical advantage no longer exists. The overload around the ball allows for the immediate press of the ball upon losing possession. The numbers that are the second line of support provide players who can join the pressing action quickly without much ground they cover.
Next, the Defensive Overload Principle focuses on the restricting of space and setting traps to allow double and triple-teaming the ball. Looking at the diagram to the right you will see the field divided up into zones and channels which was explained in the first post of this page. The basic idea is if the opponent breaks the immediate press and the second line press the team must immediately react to getting behind the ball to cover the central channel and the interior channels setting traps to press the ball. There is so much more to cover but simply wanted to give the reader a glimpse into the thought process of the Defensive Overload Principle.
Here is a short video to show the Defensive Overload Principle if you watch closely you will see the covering of the zones and channels by the defending team. Also, there are moments for the double and trip team of the ball.
There are many views about systems of play from a rigid perspective to being unimportant in the minds of others. In this short writing, the idea will be laid out that systems are simply starting points and reference points in the modern game.
Looking at history, the game shows at one point in the game if a player played right back that played in a certain area of the field and for the most part did not deviate from that particular of field. As the game evolved with Dutch Football leading to the idea of total Football whereby players had various characteristics that allow many players within the squad to have qualities that saw players interchanging positions frequently.
Fast forward to the game of today some players can play multiple positions. While evaluating the system of 4-2-3-1 playing with inverted wingers it is clear players can play in the central areas of the field as well in the wide areas of the field. Take a think about Raheem Sterling he can play as a traditional winger taking players on in wide areas or coming inside as a central player. This one movement opens space for another player to fill the space vacated by Sterling. Continuing the ideas of interchanging positions Kevin De Bruyne fills the space opened by Sterling movements which now goes to the point of this article systems in the modern game are starting points and reference points for players.
Going back a few years in the height of Barcelona’s success it is clear that what made the club so dangerous was the ability to use a system as a starting position for players as well as a reference point. The use of possession to dominate the opponent Barcelona needed to exploit the idea a system is a starting point and reference point as a player under pressure would trust the knowledge based on the ball location players would be in particular areas that the player in possession could connect a pass. This use of a system as a starting point for players and reference points for other players is a vital reason why Barcelona could maintain possession at the rate it did during the club's period of great success. Without question, the quality in Barcelona's team at the time was a significant factor as the quality in every position allowed the team to make consistent high-level plays.
The idea of systems brings much debate as to which one is best. The truth is systems are important providing players at a minimum opportunity to scan the field seeing the team set up knowing the strong points and weak points of a certain system. When the game starts teams attack and defend some better than others, goals are given up as well as scored with the system and yes, the system has a role in all that, but there are so many other aspects of the game to take into consideration before simply saying the system determined the outcome of the match. The ultimate reality is what players do and do not do on the field determines the outcome. Therefore, it is better to see a system as a starting point for players and a reference point, but the best system for a team is one that highlights the players allowing each to impose ability on the game at a high level providing the team the best opportunity to win the game.
The modern game has various styles, various positions, multiple technical and tactical philosophies. The approach to the game that is most intriguing is using the ball to dominate the opponent. Why intriguing because the most important aspect of the game is the ball. If the team has possession it is very difficult for the opponent to score, the team in possession is in control of the opponent even when an opponent prefers to allow the opponent to maintain possession of the ball as the defending team has to react to the ball movement and player movement. The defensive team can be extremely organized and set traps in certain parts of the field but those traps rely upon the team in possession to move the ball into the trap areas of the field. The idea of playing without the ball to win a match seems to contradict the fundamental idea that to win goals must be scored to score a team must have the ball. There is no question the argument can be made a team needs the ball only for a short amount of time to score especially in the modern game. There is more to explore in that theory at a later time.
Teams using the ball dominance theory train in a manner that is different than none ball-dominant teams. First, the key element is the mentally of players as the ball-dominant team believes the ball is the most important aspect of the game, therefore training sessions focus on the ball. Second setting the fundamental idea the ball is most important creating a mentally playing without the ball is counter-productive leading to players fighting quickly to winning the ball back. The training organization is designed in such a manner game-related sessions dominate the core of training. By training in such a way, the session focuses on playing the game developing more complete players. This structure of training provides a more linear transition on match day.
There is not a question that a playing philosophy based on a theory of playing without the ball can win games. The bigger question is does the philosophy of playing without the ball lead to long-term player development, winning multiple championships over multiple years the answer is a strong no. Whereas the mental development, phycological development, technical, and tactical development that takes place following the ball dominate philosophy is superior. The ultimate factor that separates the two philosophies is ball dominate philosophy trains players in a way the players are more flexible to make in-game changes to how the team is playing depending on the opponent, score of the game, and the time within the game. The ball-dominant team also is flexible because training is focused on all aspects of the game.
The debate can go on between these polar opposite philosophies, but in the end, when players are on a ball-dominant team the joyful mindset as this philosophy wants every player to have many touches on the ball which in a way creates connectively between players with the ball being the linking agent. Ball dominance is the philosophy that provides the best opportunity for teams to win over multiple years not just in the short term. In the modern game, there are teams @mancity, @FCBarcelona, and @FCBayern all over the world that a ball-dominant philosophy is a key component to the structure of everything the teams do on the field. Also, look at the number of trophies these clubs have won just in the last decade.