Low Block Defensive Tactics

By Soren Schamberg

As of the writing of this article, Everton Football club are sitting in 16th place having played 20 games. Having lost 4 of their last 5 games and seeing their manager Rafa Benitez being released from the managers duties finds Everton in a bit of crisis both in the leagues table and with their playing identity.

During his time in the managers seat, Benitez would be described as taking a more conservative approach to his teams tactics.

Everton typically would set up with a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 formation and would employ a playing system of a low block, defensive patience looking to take advantage of the transition from defense to attack with long balls and quick counter attacking passing. While this strategy seemingly is effective against like minded setups, this system does not address the threat from opposition that sets up to press high and win the ball in midfield or higher and to possess the ball.

The majority of teams Everton competes against are know to put a strong emphasis on winning the ball back quickly and possessing it to pass and shift Everton’s defense to find a gap or opportunity.

Placing such importance on winning the ball back and being able to release a counter attack depends on winning the ball to begin with and positioning themselves to try and absorb pressure by playing the low block only resulted in Everton being able to get out of their own half to threaten their opposition’s goal.

This would result in after winning the ball back and trying to build something, their attack would be outnumbered and then when losing the ball, they are on the back foot and find themselves having to fall deeper in their own half and having to cope with mounting pressure as the game progresses. Their current goal difference of -11 is evidence of the low chances they present on their oppositions goals.

If Everton are to turn their season around, they will need to address their methods on how to get more chances and possession in their opponents half.

By Soren Schamberg

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