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Midfield cannot / will not win the ball ?

My team has just moved up to youth football 11 aside. Our defence is solid and our forwards skillfull and quick but we seem unable to win the ball in midfield. Our midfielders watch what is happening hoping the opposition midfielder will mess up, rather than attacking the ball. Encouragement from the sidelines does not seem to help. Can you suggest some training drills.

Play attack v Defence to begin with. Show how the defence gets pulled out of position. Add a central midfielder to protect the back four, he must go hunting for the ball and encourage appropriate tackling/jockeying technique. Change every three plays or he will fatigue quickly. Progress- Allow the midfielder and the two fullbacks to counter attack. They score by controlling the ball past the halfway line, preferably on either wing. Ask the attackers to attack a certain way... Direct/over the top/throughball/passing across the back line. So that the defence can practice defending against each method. I'd only focus on two types of attack in one session. Progress to two central mids. Alter the numbers on either side as you experiment with it.

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  • search our library of 500+ football drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans