The holding role: Press space, not players

Don't waste energy hounding players, cut off the options to regain possession, says England midfielder Michael Carrick

Players can feed off the passion teeming from the stands, remorseless harassing the opposition and throwing themselves into crunching tackles, but tactically this can be damaging says Manchester United's Michael Carrick.

The England midfielder insists discipline and control are essential qualities for the holding role.

More after the break

Carrick argues the case for pressing the space and not players, when trying to win the ball back.

"Shut off the angles. If you press the player on the ball you’re creating space in behind you and they can pass into that space," he told FourFourTwo Performance.

"Force the opposition to play the ball where you want. Do this by stepping off the player you’re marking and drawing them into a pass, then trying to intercept it."

Further your understanding of the holding role with one of the best.

Michael Carrick wears Puma football boots. For more details, visit

Also see:
The holding role: Pick the right pass
The holding role: What to do when you are overrun
The holding role: Track your opposite number
The holding role: Cut the supply line
The holding role: Discipline is key
The holding role: Know your job
Michael Carrick: Protecting the back four

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