Players attacking roles within a 4-3-3 system

We have looked at the player roles in a 4-3-3 in defence, prior to that a video explaining player movement and basic idea plus a tactical look at the way we play it.

Before we look at positions here are the players attacking roles which I was going to tackle later but a post comment rightly shows it's relevance now.

I'll put off looking at the full-backs play until Wednesday evening after the Ukraine vs England game is out of the way.

THE GOALKEEPER
1) Accurate distribution – diagonal distribution
2) Support defenders for balls back.
3) First thought to play short. If not on to play short play long and wide (taller winger if kicking increases chance of success).

DEFENDERS – FULL BACKS
1) Provide outlet support for goalkeeper and central defenders.
2) Quick and accurate distribution to target forwards, both in the wide and central channels.
3) Pass either directly into the forwards or beyond them and the opponents’ back line forcing both the forwards and the defenders to turn and engage in a foot race to establish ball possession (i.e. ball inside a full-back for winger).
4) Think like an outside midfielder to provide width, overlap and the option for switching attack.
5) Think like a winger in the final third.
6) Push up on offensive restart opportunities (high pressure to ideally win the ball back in opponents half).

CENTRAL DEFENDERS
1) Spread the width of the penalty area to receive and give quick, accurate distribution to full-backs, midfielders or attackers as situation demands (Dawson is designated to have the diagonal ball option to a tall winger under AVB - less room for error than to a short winger).
2) Provide depth support for midfield.
3) Switch attacking sides of play when situation demands.
4) Come out of defence with the ball if sufficient cover, otherwise don't.
5) Provide a scoring threat from dead ball situations.

DEFENSIVE MIDFIELDER(S)
1) Dictating the speed of the game.
2) The link from defense through midfield to forwards. Find space to receive ball from defenders.
3) Switch side of attack when possible, through midfield (give-and-go passes) or pass from central defenders.
4) Stay available to attack to redistribute the ball forwards and start another attacking probe/scoring opportunity.
5) Take shots from outside of the box (30 yards or closer).

ATTACKING MIDFIELD(S)
1) Provide immediate support for midfielders to establish possession dominance.
2) Provide accurate forward passing to teammates.
3) Use combination play (give-and-go passes) to create space in center of the field.
4) Switch side of attack when possible.
5) Stay available to attack providing a pass outlet.
6) Make penetrating runs with (receive cut back from wide player) or without the ball.
7) Take shots from outside of the box (30 yards or closer), score goals.
8) Provide creative defence splitting through balls (make chances).
9) Understand that ball retention in the final third allows time for penetrating runs from forwards having moved the opposition out of position.

CENTRE FORWARD
1) Play deep, off-shoulder to check back and receive as the ball as the primary target.
2) Look to spin and get in behind.
3) Look for penetrating through runs for balls into space, look for quick switches to wings.
4) Make penetrating runs to drag defensers out of position and create space for others.
4) Take outside shots to high corners to catch keeper off their line.
5) Go strong to the box to finish crosses and through balls.
6) Create scoring opportunities and score goals.
7) Be mobile in the penalty area whenever crosses are imminent (movement is difficult to mark so attack the space the ball is likely to go).

WINGERS
1) Near side support and runs off target player; far side runs for quick switches.
2) Provide outlet opportunity from the full backs.
3) Look to switch play if solid defensive set-up.
4) Attack the space for through balls, overlaps and corner runs, avoid running in straight lines.
5) Attack the space behind defenders by dribbling past them.
6) Attack in the box to finish crosses and follow-up opportunities when the ball is on the opposite side.
7) Provide width and off the ball running to stretch the defence or pull defender out of position.
8) Provide crosses (forward or cut back) for attacker and attacking midfielders arriving in the box.
9) Make chances, score goals.

Previous articles:
Player roles within a 4-3-3
Video: The 4-3-3 Explained
Tottenham: A Tactical Analysis

Next installment in the series Wednesday 9.46pm (21.46hrs) UK time.




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