Jul 3, 2013
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This tactic worked really well for me, won 4 EPL in 5 years with Tottenham, then went and won the World Cup with an old and not so great England squad. The thought process behind it is simple, when the opponent gets the ball, make sure they don't get to do much with it. Early pressing, crowded midfield and hard tackling, all followed by long passing and counters help you turn defense in to attack in a second.

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What you are looking for on each position.

Goalkeeper - because you play a high defensive line, good rushing out is a must, preferably with some acceleration too. A good kicking skill also helps massively since you'll always have one or two people high on the pitch. Throw in some good reflexes and command of the area and you've got a winner.

Central defenders - Not necessarily sprinters, but you don;t want them to be the slowest either, since your opponents will try to play balls behind your high defense. So acceleration, pace and agility should be double digits. Good jumping, heading and positioning will also help them deal with opposition trying to send balls behind them.

Defensive midfielder - You want good tackling, strength and bravery since he'll get stuck in a lot trying to recoup the ball.

Wing backs - speed, speed, speed (maybe some stamina too since they run back and forth a lot). With good speed they will get themselves free very often and even the ones with abysmal finishing will get their share of goals from clear cut chances.

Central midfielder - Here is where it gets complicated, because you want a jack of all trades. He is important to both defense and offense, therefore you want him to be your typical central midfielder (passing, creativity), but he is also an integral part of stopping the opposition early on and therefore ideally you want his tackling, strength and bravery to be in the double digit area too. That beeing said, I mostly used a MC/AMC type of player there rather than a DMC/MC type

Attacking midfielder - Here we're talking about a player that can net you 15-20 goals/season, mostly by rebounding blocked shots. Because the opposition already has to deal with 2 strikers, he is without a marker quite often and therefore good off the ball, finishing and composure are the ingredients of success. Of course, creativity and passing help too, but he is more of a sit in the hole and send it home type , rather than a facilitator.

Target striker - Needs a certain degree of aerial attributes (jumping, heading) but not to a very high degree. I've had success with less towering players like Lewandovski. So my advice is get a good finisher, with good agility and off the ball, and reasonable physical and aerial skills (13-15, anything above that is a bonus) . Since a lot of the attacks will go trough him, a high work rate is also helpful. Male sure he is not the slow type since he's likely to recive a fair ammount of passes behind opposing defenders.

Advanced forward - Here things are pretty simple, get a poacher type (very good finishing, composure, off the ball, agility).


I didn't use shouts, training I left as is, team talks were assigned to the assistant manager.
The only thing that I constantly did was to focus on defensive positioning as match preparation, since the tactic is based around not giving the opposition a lot of room.

It's not tested on a lot of teams andmore importantly it's not tested at lower levels, but the results I got were encouraging and I wanted to share it, feel free to post feedback.

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i don't know if it's only me but i can't see your screens.