Slow the Opposition Build Up

By Soren Schamberg

When playing without the ball, finding the most effective position to keep the opponents from passing between the lines is important…and a challenge.

Done correctly, this can stop even some of the most dynamic teams from advancing the ball during their attack.

Using the term “shadow” speaks to exactly that, the space behind a defending player, usually in the shape of a triangle or cone representing the area a defender covers and an attacking playing can see and make an unobstructed pass.

During Game week one in the Premiere League, we saw this done to great effect in newly promoted Brentford FC vs. Arsenal.

During Arsenal’s build up play, Brentford’s positioning can be seen causing problems for Arsenal.
On this throw in we can observe that even the Brentford players who seem to not be a big part of the play at the moment are paying attention to where they are, making sure that an Arsenal player is in their “shadow” and taken out of the immediate options.

As seen again here, even as the Arsenal attack moves into their defensive half, Brentford players continue to move and keep Arsenal players in their shadow. by doing so, they minimize the risk of that player becoming involved and slow down the player with the ball in being able to take advantage of any developing options, also making it easier for the defenders to isolate and regain possession.

By Soren Schamberg

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