Teams can maximize the effectiveness of their defensive strategies by adjusting their defensive principle of compact defending based on the field zone they are in. Here’s how to do it:
In the defensive third, the primary objective is to prevent the opposition from creating goal-scoring opportunities. Defensive strategies in this area should focus on:
Closing down spaces: Defenders should limit the amount of space available to opposition players, making it harder for them to pass or dribble through the defense.
When the opposition is in possession in the defensive third, players should press to force them into making mistakes or losing possession.
Defenders can use clearances to remove the ball from the danger zone and give their team time to regroup.
In the middle third, the objective is to limit the opposition’s attacking options and regain possession. Defensive strategies here include:
Players must mark opposition players tightly, denying them the space and time to create chances.
Players should look to intercept passes and cut off opposition attacks before they gain momentum.
Compact defending: Defenders should stay compact, blocking passing lanes and making it harder for the opposition to break through the defence.
In the attacking third, the goal is to prevent the opposition from creating chances and regain possession. Defensive strategies in this area involve:
Pressing the opposition high up the field can force them into making mistakes and conceding possession in dangerous areas.
When possession is regained, players should quickly transition into the attacking phase, catching the opposition off guard.
In the final third, players should man-mark opposition players, preventing them from receiving the ball and creating chances.
By adapting their defensive strategies to different field zones, teams can effectively implement the defensive principle of concentration and limit the opposition’s attacking options, creating turnovers and regaining possession.