Depth and Width  
 

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When in possession, you will want to stretch the field in both directions - horizontally and vertically - as much as possible.

Depth

Depth mainly means having the striker push up as far as possible – right against the opposing last defender.

This presents problems for the last defender – who is now playing one v. one against the striker instead of being the free player at the back. He can either drop back further to find space – allowing the striker to push up yet more – or he can hold his ground and play with the striker on his back.

In the figure below. the striker (D2) is positioned well away from the last defender (D3). While he can get the ball, his advantage zone is not very dangerous to the opponents.

 

Depth – poorly positioned striker

In the figure below, the striker is right up against the last defender, and has a dangerous advantage zone on the edge of the box behind the near side defender (D1).

 

Depth - Well positioned striker

      (The “advantage zone” is the area where the attacker can get to the ball first)

 

 Width

Just as we try to play compact on defense, we want to play as wide as possible on offense. This stretches the defense. When the attack is wide – and prepared to switch from side to side, vertical passing lanes open up in the defense.

 

Width – Poorly organized attack

 

In Figure 24 above, everyone is pushed together in the middle of the field. The lack of width means that defenders and defending mids can jam up the center of the field, leaving little room for attackers and no diagonal passing lanes.

There is no visible advantage zone, and every opposing defender is well supported.

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Width - Well organized attack

 

In Figure 25 above, a wider attack offers more options and poses more problems for the defense. There is a dangerous advantage zone right in the middle of the field, and D4 is not supported; if he is beaten it could be 2 or even 3 vs.1 defender as A1 and A4 push up

 


 

 

 

Contact: rgaster@north-atlantic.com