Switch runs  






Switch runs allows players to switch position, which confuses the defense.


Switch between strikers and midfielders

This switch can be very powerful. Strikers pull back, which presents a difficult problem for defenders. If the defender goes with the striker and stays close, then a hole emerges in the middle that attacking midfielders can easily fill. If the defender stays home, then the striker is unmarked and can pick up the ball and turn for goal:


Striker pull out and switch – defender stays put

Striker (A2) pulls out [1]. Defender stays put – so midfielder (A4) moves up [2] to create 2 v 1. Striker turns and attacks defense with ball. 

A3 and A1 stay fairly wide, stretching the defense across the field making it hard for the defenders to support D2 against the coming attack up the middle.


Striker pulls out - defender follows

Here the striker (A2) has again pulled out [1]. This time the defender (D2) has followed, to stop any attack from A2.  A1 and A3 again remain wide, stretching the defense across the pitch.

Because the defender followed, there is now a dangerous advantage zone for the offense right in the middle of the defense that midfielder A4 can attack with a direct run.

Essentially, A2 has made a run to create space in the middle that A4 can now use.

Defensively, the only way to stop A4 is for the midfield who should be marking him to get back and play defense.


Striker and winger switch

A striker-winger switch also presents real problems for a defense.

Typically, the switch starts with the winger on the ball. By moving to the outside, the striker forces his defender either to come with – which creates a weakness in the middle that could open up for the winger - or a number’s up situation on the outside if the center defender stays put.

Striker - winger switch . Defender goes with striker.

Here striker (A2) has pulled the center defender (D2) all the way out the wing. The winger (A3) can now cut in and drive for goal.

If D3 does not come across quickly to cover, there is a large hole in the middle of the defense.

The attacking midfielder (A4) can make things even worse for the defense by making a run up the middle, distracting D3 or opening a passing lane for A3.


In many cases, the defender will not come out to the wing, leaving the attacker and winger 2 v 1 against the wing defender (D2). In this situation, the winger should move infield with the ball, to create more space for the striker, before releasing the ball outside



Contact: rgaster@north-atlantic.com