By Eric Clermont -
During the past ten years and beyond, football has seen the rise and fall of Spain and the re-emergence of Germany as the global superpower on the world stage. The world of youth coaching will always attempt to replicate the ‘flavor of the month’s’ style and at this point in time, this revolves around building out from the back, attempting to keep possession at all costs, use combination play, mobility and technical quality to break the lines and score ‘the perfect goal’ with 55 passes from back to front without the opposition touching the ball. The developmental positives for youth players throughout the growing ages are also great, meaning that players can both gain success playing this way (given they are given time to develop in this way) and improve as football players.
While I am a major advocator of this school of thought and the perceived positives, I have also noticed the lack of defensive capability and ability of youth coaches to teach ‘the nasty side’ of the game. While I may seem unfair in my criticism, (and of course, there are exceptions to the rule) I urge you to watch a youth team who is comfortable in possession play against a direct team who looks to lump the ball forward. Many teams will struggle more against these types of team due to the