Small sided game to get midfielders linking defence with attack

The midfield is the engine room of your football team, it makes everything else tick. The following soccer coaching tips and small sided game should help link your defenders to your attackers, so when the defence clears the ball into midfield it is moved quickly on to the attackers to fire at the goal.

Watching the best teams around the world you will see they all have good midfielders who can get the ball from the defence and be creative with it for the attackers. The Messis and Kakas of this world are more than just link players but they also have to be able to play that role, to hold onto the ball and get a pass to the attackers to keep the move going.

I use this drill session, which is a small-sided game with no goals in an area around 40 yards x 20 yards. You need two teams of four players, and two floating players who are the midfielders.

It is essentially a possession game but once you have played it you can add two small goals to give extra focus to the session.

The main point of this soccer coaching session is that the two midfield players are on the side of the team in possession. They need to string a series of six passes together to score a point. Play is normal except the team in possession must pass to one or other of the midfielders every third pass.

What you want to see is movement from the players, the team in possession playing the ball quickly between each other and the midfielders. You also want to see the defending team making it difficult for the midfielders to get the ball by tight marking – the defenders should soon realise that by blocking the ball to the midfielders you stop the opposition scoring points.

Develop the football drill

Advance the soccer skills involved in the drill by using the small goals so the midfield players are looking to make passes that create goal-scoring opportunities rather than just keep possession.

You can also advance this soccer coaching session by making it one or two-touch passing.

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