To successfully implement the attacking principle of Width & Depth, players in different positions must understand and fulfill their specific roles within the team.
Expanding width: Fullbacks play a crucial role in applying Width & Depth, often overlapping or underlapping wingers to stretch the opposition’s defence and provide additional attacking options.
Switching play: Central defenders should look for opportunities to switch play to the opposite flank, helping to maximize the use of width and exploit gaps in the opposition’s defensive structure.
Supporting midfield: In possession, central defenders can support the midfield by moving the ball forward and wide, ensuring the team effectively stretches the opposition’s defence.
Defensive organization: While applying Width & Depth, defenders must maintain a strong defensive structure to protect against counter-attacks and quick transitions by the opposition.
Ball circulation: Midfielders are responsible for controlling the tempo of the game and distributing the ball to wide areas, helping to maintain possession and stretch the opposition’s defence.
Vertical runs: Central midfielders, particularly box-to-box and attacking midfielders, should make vertical runs to exploit the space created by Width & Depth, offering additional attacking options.
Supporting wide players: When the ball is in wide areas, central midfielders should move towards the flank to provide support and create numerical advantages against the opposition’s defenders.
Defensive cover: While applying Width & Depth, midfielders must also be mindful of their defensive responsibilities, ensuring they maintain a balance between attack and defence.
Stretching the defence vertically: Forwards and attacking midfielders should make well-timed, penetrating runs behind the opposition’s defensive line, forcing defenders to drop deeper and creating space for teammates.
Utilizing width: Wingers must maintain wide positions to stretch the opposition’s defence horizontally, opening up gaps between defenders for central players to exploit.
Dropping into space: Forwards can occasionally drop into pockets of space between the opposition’s defensive and midfield lines, drawing defenders out of position and creating space for teammates to make runs.
Combination play: Attackers should participate in quick passing combinations, such as one-twos or give-and-gos, using the space created by Width & Depth to break down the opposition’s defence.
By understanding and executing their roles in applying Width & Depth, players in different positions can work together to create space, maintain possession, and generate goal-scoring opportunities, effectively stretching and disorganizing the opposition’s defence.