Door 22: Decision Making in Build-Up Play

There is no question that football has changed a lot in recent years. This also had a huge effect on the goalkeeper’s style of play. Before 1871, the position of goalkeeper did not even exist. At that time, the position of the goalkeeper was where exhausted outfield players rested. This changed in 1871, when the rule was introduced that only one player can hold the position of goalkeeper. It was not until more than 100 years later that football tactics began to deal with the goalkeeper game. At the 1982 World Cup in Spain, the position of goalkeeper also appeared in team tactics. But not in the way we know it today. Back then, the back pass rule didn’t exist, and goalkeepers could pick up the ball. So, the goalkeeper was used as a reference point in time management. In response, the biggest rule change for the goalkeeper was made. The back-pass rule was introduced. This innovation can be seen as the starting signal for the current development of goalkeeping. Suddenly the requirement profile of the goalkeeper changed. From this point on, he no longer has to concentrate only on defending the goal, but also on defending the zone and setting up the game. The ability to make tactical decisions is becoming more and more important. 

In today’s exercise we focus on the ability to recognize game situations and then make decisions about how to set up the game. The training is carried out with 10 field players and a goalkeeper and consists of 2 parts. In the first exercise the goalkeeper is subjected to pressure and constant quick decisions in order to get used to the following task. This is followed by a situation close to the game, which can be adapted depending on your own game philosophy.

Exercise one

The first exercise is a simple rondo from which is played with 2 players on the string sides (GK & 8). The task of the team in possession is to play the ball from the goalkeeper to number 8. The ball may not be played high. The team in possession can score a point if they make it from GK to number 8 without the white team touching the ball or vice versa. All ball recoveries from white will be count.

General coaching points

  • Communication of the players as well as the goalkeeper
  • Angular play
  • Adjusting the position
  • Quick and correct decisions
  • Find triangles

Exercise two

  • Aim of the exercise:
    • 6 vs.4 in the square
      • If white team wins the ball -1 point for green
    • Sign for play, backpass to the GK
      • Goalkeeper get´s pressed, no build up play possible 🡪 play to the depth (big goal) 
      • Goalkeeper get´s no pressure 🡪 build up play to the two small goals
  • Main coaching point GK
    • Communication
    • Angle play
    • Push with the team after pass
    • Decision making, positional play vs. play into the depth
  • Main coaching point outfield player
    • Search for the triangle
    • React whether postpone or build up play, search for possibilities
    • Fullbacks, flat or high depends on pressing
    • #6 helps
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