Switch runs allows players to
switch position, which confuses the defense.
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
Striker pull out and
switch – defender stays put
Striker (A2) pulls out .
Defender stays put – so midfielder (A4) moves up  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 -
Here the striker (A2) has again
pulled out . This time the defender (D2) has followed, to stop any attack
from A2. A1 and A3 again remain wide, stretching the defense across the
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
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