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Fundamental Attacking Strategies

German Top Level Tactics

  • Tactical Principles

  • Analysis of Game Situations

  • Practices and How to Coach Them

Author: Steven Turek

With Help from: Ralf Peter

Edited by: Peter Schreiner

Layout: Oliver Schreiner

Translation: Tjorben Becker

Publisher: Institut für Jugendfußball

Pages: 62 Pictures: 58


Prologue by Ralf Peter

Dear Coaching-Colleagues,


the soccer-game today is as seen from a defensive point of view, shaped by the ball-orientated defending. The defensive chain of four players is not even in the lower leagues a sensation anymore. Spaces to play shrink and thus, the attacking play is made more difficult. Therefore, it is important to create strategies against tight defensive formations. But even sophisticated attacking strategies only function if certain fundamental principles are well developed. Eminently important for this purpose is it to cleverly open and use spaces and passing-lanes. This includes individual technical skills and abilities as well as a developed and aligned group-tactical behavior.

The idea behind this booklet: Based on definite match-situations, solutions will be presented which can be trained in small groups as well as in a complex exercise.

Ralf Peter eBook Passwege

I came to know Steven Turek as a young talented coach. It was my pleasure to help him converting the idea and accompanying him with the creation of this eBook. It contains and provides knowledge of tactical analyses and attractive exercises usable for coaches of all levels.

We hope that the eBook contributes to the improvement of your team’s performance.


Enjoy reading

wishes Ralf Peter

Fundamental Attacking Strategies - Sample


Receiving and Passing as Foundations!

The illustrated solutions are based on flat passes. This demands high passing-skills of all players. As a basic principle, every pass shall be played as sharp as possible (pace of playing), but as soft as necessary (teammate must be able to control the ball safely). All passes shall be precisely passed into the ball-away foot or slightly into the forerun, depending on the current situation of the receiver.

If the ball receiving player has wide space in front, the pass optimally comes into the forerun in order to achieve the highest pace possible.

Initial Dribbling Instead of Passing from a Standing Position!


In order to ensure a save combination play, it is necessary for the players without ball as well as for the ball carrier to regularly create situations in numerical advantage. If the ball possessing player has wide space in front, it is advisable to conquer this free space in a fast dribbling. Thereby, the ball carrier is supposed to dribble as long as possible towards an opponent. Then, he passes in the last possible moment the ball to his teammate without any risk (last-minute-pass). This results in the situation that the opponent is not able to instantly pressure on the ball receiver. Additionally, the passing player is already in movement which leads to a higher passing-quality. Furthermore, he is able to use the dynamic in order to re-offer again to play for example an one-two combination.

Tactical Principles: Fundamental Attacking Strategies
Football Tactics against a back four

Regularly Attacking the Depth


There is a great chance to create goal-scoring chances if one attacks the in-between spaces of the last two defensive chains of the opponent. If a player receives the ball in an open position in that specific space, he has the possibility to dribble towards the last defensive chain, play final passes or finish himself. One opens up this space by attacking the last defensive line. Especially if the ball is situated on one of the wings (and the ball carrier is not situated under pressure), there is a realistic option to play the ball behind the defensive chain (illustration above - red arrow). This danger leads to the dropping back of the chain. In turn, space between the lines is created. This space is usable as for example by another forward or an up moving midfielder.

Attention: Against a team fundamentally defending deep into the own half, this is only a limited option.

Übungsform Passwege öffnen und nutzen
Variation Passing Drill # 15

The players B, C and D open the central area. B is passed to and directly plays to C. C forwards the ball to D, who again plays to B. B passes the ball into the depth to E. The aim is exclusive one-touch play. The focus in the coaching lays on the open position towards the ball. Change of the outside-players with the inside-players after 5 (10,15) combinations or one (2,3) minute.

Exercise 2.4: 7 v 8 After Long Ball
Trainingsform 7 gegen 8 Passwege

Organization: In one half of the pitch is being played 7 v 8. The ball is introduced by one of the center backs, who play a high ball to the ball-distant side. The outside-zones serve as an orientation for the blueteam (first with the high ball are they allowed to enter the zone and defend). If the blueteam gains possession of the ball, they counterattack on the mini-goals.

Coaching: The outside-zones serve Redas well as orientation to always position one of the wing-players (wing-back or wing-player of the midfield) in that zone. The other player occupies the in-between space towards the center.

Variation: Center backs are allowed to play flat passes to the ball-near wing-backs and among each other freely. Free Play: 7 v 8 with the played high ball without rules in the zones.

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