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Possession Soccer

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Possession Soccer

Post by finish1 on 8/2/2017, 3:04 pm

We hear it all the time from our coaches about how they promote development by teaching possession soccer. Some coaches will even claim development and possession soccer is more important than winning.

I have to admit that after more than 43 years in the game I have never met a coach who claimed to teach anything other than possession soccer. So I have to ask the bored, does your coach teach a style of play that is not possession soccer. And, if not, what is it?
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Re: Possession Soccer

Post by go1 on 8/4/2017, 11:04 am

I heard this from a well known college coach (who will remain unnamed) it sounds more like the German style of play I see.  

3 Gs of Soccer:  When people would ask him, he would never endorse "possession" for the sake of possession. He called his style of soccer the 3 Gs of soccer.  He said soccer is extremely simple if you just follow the 3 Gs of soccer:  
1) Get the ball,
2) Get the ball up the field,
3) Get a good shot on goal,  
Then repeat.  

Sounds simple enough, and if you watch his teams, they do look like a possession team when they get to final 3rd where they are looking for a good shot.  He just emphasizes getting the ball in position to get shots and not messing around with the ball in areas where only bad things can happen to you.

I suppose this helps develop a soccer IQ for players - to recognize areas of the field where it is appropriate to be creative with the ball, and areas where the risks outweigh the rewards. Players with high soccer IQs are usually the best players.

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Re: Possession Soccer

Post by finish1 on 8/4/2017, 11:45 am

Shampoo, rinse, repeat. The 3 Gs of soccer. Love it!

I also did see that you posted how they do look like "a possession team when they get to the final 3rd." Curious what is the difference between a possession team and a non-possession team?

Take, for example, the Real Madrid vs MLS All-Star game recently. You could argue that both teams tried to play a game where the intent was to possess the ball, advance it forward, then create a scoring opportunity.

The difference is that RM turned the ball over less frequently, and when they did, found a way to reset by playing out of the back. The All-Star team tried to string together a few passes, then chipped it up top for a breakaway run.

The point is that both team played possession. One built up play from the back and one played more direct.



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Re: Possession Soccer

Post by davito on 8/4/2017, 12:31 pm

The beauty of soccer is that there are many different styles. Some are pleasing to watch and others are not.

Getting the ball up the pitch quickly tends to decrease errors in your own half but if not done properly can result in very little possession and poor results. When Leicester City won the EPL they got the ball up the pitch quickly to fast and skilful players in lots of space. When the England women moved the ball quickly up the pitch last night against The Netherlands it was just speculative balls lumped forward and cut out by the defence.

Conversely possession teams create space in the middle and final 3rd by playing out of the back and inviting the opponent onto them. This stretches the opponent and means there can be more space when the ball does get into the final third. Pep Guardiola took this to the extreme at Man City last year with Claudio Bravo and the defenders drawing opponents onto them near the end line. It didn't work out to great as Bravo and co made several bad errors and gifted teams some goals.

Personally I prefer to watch a possession style and appreciate the skill required. Too often what we see in NTX is the less appealing, less technical and safer direct style (played more like England women than Leicester City).
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Re: Possession Soccer

Post by go1 on 8/4/2017, 5:37 pm

Not sure if Bayern Munich considers themselves "possession" or not, but when I think of the 3 Gs of soccer, I think of their style. The "more direct" style of play takes extremely talented wings to work well. Think Robben and Ribery. Bayern plays the long cross about as accurately as most teams play the short back-pass. You rarely see Bayern messing around with the ball in the defensive end of the field. They get to the final 3rd quickly, and either go for the throat, or control the ball and wait for support.

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