Academy Coach Course

Width & Depth in the Game

What does Width & Depth look like

Width and depth are fundamental attacking principles in soccer. They’re about utilizing the entire field to stretch the opposition’s defence and create spaces to exploit.

Width is achieved by spreading play across the field, primarily using the flanks. This stretches the defensive team horizontally, creating gaps in their defensive structure. Depth, on the other hand, is about stretching the play vertically, from the defensive line to the forwards. This forces the opposition to cover a larger area and opens up passing channels.

Let’s examine some specific scenarios illustrating the successful execution of the attacking principles of width and depth:

Tactical Knowledge

To apply Width & Depth effectively, players must develop a strong understanding of the following tactical concepts:

Spatial awareness: Players should be aware of their position on the field relative to teammates, opponents, and the boundaries, enabling them to maximize the use of available space.

Off-the-ball movement: Intelligent off-the-ball movement is essential for creating and exploiting space in the opposition’s defence.

Decision-making: Players must make quick decisions, such as when to pass, dribble, or shoot, based on the dynamic nature of the game.

Anticipation: The ability to read the game and anticipate teammates’ and opponents’ movements is crucial for exploiting the space created by Width & Depth.


Effective communication and teamwork are essential for successfully implementing Width & Depth. Players should:

Use verbal cues: Players must communicate their intentions and positions to teammates to coordinate movements and create space.

Employ non-verbal communication: Body language, such as pointing or signalling, can help convey information and synchronize movements on the field.

Be aware of teammates’ positions: Players should have a clear understanding of where their teammates are on the field to make effective decisions and maintain possession.

Develop chemistry: Building a strong rapport and understanding among teammates will improve the fluidity and effectiveness of Width & Depth implementation.

Technical skills players will need

To effectively implement Support, players must possess the following technical skills:

Passing: Players should be proficient in short and long-range passing to maintain possession and switch play to exploit space.

Receiving: The ability to control the ball under pressure and quickly transition into attacking actions is crucial.

Dribbling: Players must be able to beat defenders in 1v1 situations and use dribbling to create space for themselves and their teammates.

Crossing: Wide players, especially wingers and fullbacks, should have accurate crossing abilities to deliver the ball into dangerous areas.

Shooting: Capitalizing on the space created by Width & Depth requires players to have strong shooting skills to finish goal-scoring opportunities.


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