Stretch the opposition

Teams that dominate possession are faced with a common problem: How do we break down opponents that sit deep and flood the midfield?

“You’ve got to move the opposition around so you can create gaps for your players to play a through ball to break the defence,” explains Edu Rubio, Nike Academy assistant coach.

“To do this you’ve got to switch play very quickly and be intelligent enough to pick the right pass.”

Straightforward then? Not so much. A well-organised defensive unit will congest the midfield and squeeze the space. With no room to penetrate, a team is left to force the place and invariably concede possession.

The best teams find a solution to this conundrum by working on their attacking play in training. When match-day comes and their confronted with this problem they know just what to do.

That’s how Rubio ensures his team have the tools to break through stubborn defences. The Spanish coach has a drill he uses to practise this scenario and he was kind enough to share it with FFT, so we could share it with you. Enjoy.

You can find out more about how you can get involved with the Nike Academy, and watch the players’ progress this season, by visiting facebook and

For more tactical tips see:

How to improve your passing
Tony Carr: Switching play
How to keep possession: Alter the point of attack
Countering a team that defends deep
Breaking down a team that defends deep

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