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Using Midfield Rotations in Build-Up

I recently put a video together of ideas of how to use three simple midfield rotations in order to create goal-scoring opportunities higher up the pitch. Rotations are so important in my opinion because they can unlock both a press and a block defensive organization from the opposition. They also have the ability to manipulate positioning on the pitch and allow your key players access to specific areas that you want to exploit. Of course, rotations can change depending on the preference of the coach or the system of play, but for this example, I wanted to look at a traditional 4-3-3 system with one holding midfielder and two attacking midfielders, playing against a 4-2-3-1 shape (see below).

These new tactical videos are part of the launch of our new eBook: 'Twenty Attacking Tactical Training Session Plans' which you can get your copy here.

Part one of the video covered the most familiar rotation that we see in the game today with the holding midfielder dropping in between the center backs, and the other two center midfielders rotating into a lower space below. This allows the fullbacks (#2 and #3 in red) to push on, but it also asks questions of the wide midfielders for the opponents in that 4-2-3-1 defensive system. By manipulating those players, you can create more space for your central midfielders to find space or move opponents and creating passing lanes into that green zone where you have attacking players in optimal positions (see below).

The second rotation again moves the holding midfielder lower alongside the center backs, but this time they are going outside them and creating an overload on one side of the pitch. This will have a knock-on effect to push the full-back higher and then allow the #11 to move inside and occupy an inside channel (see below). Again, this will ask questions of the opponents and could potential unbalance their press, or create a central overload that the attacking midfielders can exploit and create a goal-scoring opportunity.

For the third and final solution, yo can watch the full video with below. If you enjoy it, please subscribe to our YouTube page so you do not miss the next one.

This breakdown 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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