In the first exercise we looked at the 8 and the 10 and their ability to combine with the wide players on each side of the field. When building up from that exercise we now add in the #9 and #6 so that the #8 and #10 have a definite area to work in to find space. In the games over the season Manchester City have been very good at finding the space between the defensive lines of the opposing team. In this exercise it is determined that the #8 and #10 find that space, but that is not always the case. As you will notice when watching the Manchester City game the player may interchange positions but what is important is that someone is taking up the space between the lines and other are taking up the wide and high spaces on the field. This is exhibited in the photo below.
Creating Overloads - Players Between the Lines
Setup: Using just over 1 half of the field, play 8 v 8. The Blue team will be attacking 1 large goal with the defending red team attacking 2 smaller counter goals. Also within the half place 2 10x10 yard grids as a guidance for the #8 and #10 of where the find space between the lines. These boxes are just guides and there is a not a mandatory station in these boxes.
Organization: The attacking blue team looks to find the spaces between the back and midfield lines of the red team to create penetration opportunities. The Red team should try to win the ball and play into the small counter goals. Encourage the blue team to press to win the ball back as soon as possession is lost. Also, be sure to encourage the red team to defend about 10 yards outside of the 18. This will create pressure on the ball and force the blue to find the space.
Variations: To encourage the midfield 3 to work together you can add a #4/#5 for the Blue team and a #10 for the Red team so that the #6 is not last defender and can interchange positions with the #8 and #10.
Coaching Points: Encourage the players to keep their heads up and look for the space on the field. There should allows be 1 player on each side occupying the wide zones of the field to ensure the team can move the ball side to side. Talk to the #8 and #10 about the timing of the movement into space so that they arrive in space when the player with the ball has taken a first touch and is ready to pass the ball. Once the players receive the ball facing forward in the space between the lines coach the players on runs behind the defense and the type of passes that can be used to penetrate the back line.