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Scoring on the Break!

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

This week's MSC Breakdown focuses on the attacking transition side of the game and taking advantage of moments when the opponents are potentially disorganized and in moments where you can get a numerical overload in a high-value position. The statistics would show that the majority of goals are scored from transitions, but somehow it's an aspect of the game that is potentially overlooked on the training pitch. Why is that? Perhaps there is a stigma that you are preparing your team to play 'counter attacking football' and celebrating a somewhat negative side of the game. However, as discussed in the breakdown, attacking transitions can be 20 yards from goal or 80 yards from goal, depending on the philosophy of the coach or the moment of the game. However, there can be consistencies with both and that can be worked on in training in a manner consistent with a high-pressing and progressive system.

The exercises that we look at this week are split into 3 specific areas:

  1. Tactical Picture to Create Overload

  2. Overloads vs. Even Numbers

  3. Overload with a Trailing Defender

Below is an example of the tactical picture, adapted from a session by Roger Schmidt when we worked at PSV. The idea is for the 'attacking transition' team to start the game in red, outnumbered in a 2v4 rondo. Then once, they win possession, they can play the center forward (also outnumbered in a 1v2 situation, break out and get support from midfielders to overload the center backs and create a chance on goal. When you work one side at a time, it allows players to recover and keeps the moments at intense as possible to replicate the game. This is a great exercise to work on the initial pass in transition which can be challenging for players as space and time is extremely limited.

The three exercises that we have selected will hopefully inspire some ideas around session design and tactical work. You can watch the full breakdown in the video below. If you enjoy it, please subscribe to our YouTube page so you do not miss the next one.

If you are a coach who is looking for tactical analysis software, we highly recommend KeyFrame. They are one of the most efficient, effective and affordable solutions for coaches looking to build graphics and animations alongside their analysis work and are perfect for player meetings and remote learning. You can find out more about them here.

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