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Roberto De Zerbi: Breaking the Rules of Build-Up

We were recently joined on the Modern Soccer Coach Podcast by UEFA 'A' coach and acclaimed writer, Jamie Hamilton, to discuss Italian coach Roberto De Zerbi and his in-possession system.

Jamie discusses how De Zerbi 'breaks the rules' of traditional thinking by:

- Provoking a press rather than avoiding pressure

- Exposing team to what many would consider 'high risk' in build-up

- Keeping players narrow in build rather than wide

- Slowing game down rather than opting for tempo

The conversation then progresses into why variety and thinking outside the box are so important, both to coach and player development. There is no doubt that soccer has become more structured today at the highest levels with extreme levels of detail both in and out of possession being displayed by the top teams in the world. However, if we take that same template to younger players, does it have a detrimental impact on creativity, engagement and enjoyment levels? Jamie discusses this and much more in the interview!

This conversation was inspired by an article that Jamie had written recently on Roberto De Zerbi, called 'Dangerous Provocations'. Click here to read the article. Below you can see exactly why the style of play of De Zerbi has caught the eye of Jamie and so many. In the interview we talk about this clip and others and ask questions about risk and structure. Conventional thinking would lead us to believe that building with two 'sixes' in your own penalty box would be the 'wrong' way to go about it, but you learn pretty quickly in this conversation that there are other factors in play and maybe they are worth considering when we are consuming coaching information these days.

You can listen to the full interview on the link below. Also, please subscribe to our YouTube page so you don't miss any content we have coming up.

If you are a coach gearing up for the upcoming season, please check out 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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