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Four Ways to Build in a Back 3

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

It's become one of the fastest growing tactical trends in recent years. In theory, playing with a back three is such an effective shape for beating traditional pressing systems and unlocking higher spaces. Most pressing systems are often prescribed movements to back four scenarios, so if your opponents do not have access to scouting and preparation time, you may cause them a number of problems when they face a build. Below are some tactical advantages of building in a back three. My personal favorite is number three, because not only does getting your attacking players high help with your ability to create chances… it also helps you counter-press higher up the pitch and taking advantages of moments when the opponents may not have their defensive structure set.

As appealing as it is becoming however, building with a back three can be quite difficult to coach, specifically the aspect of flexibility around starting positions and key spaces to occupy. At youth levels in particular, players typically need clear reference points when they are learning how to build with confidence. Yes, freedom and flexibility are elements of attacking systems, but the clarity around those initial structures and frameworks are crucial. This video is designed to look a little closer at some solutions.

You can watch the full session with the breakdown of each exercise on the video below. If you enjoy it, please subscribe to our YouTube page so you do not miss the next one.

This video was part of the launch of our new MSC eBook:Twenty Attacking Training Sessions, designed to help coaches connect the dots between philosophy, tactical flexibility and session design. The book contains twenty full session plans that are broken down into three phases: build-up, midfield progression, and goal-scoring. Each session will contain three exercises so there are 60 exercises overall! With his experience in the professional game as a coach and an analyst, Gary Curneen has designed these sessions to help bring out intensity, tactical understanding and game-like situations, that are enjoyable for both players and staff. Click here to get your copy.

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