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How to stop key players of the opposition


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Hi everyone. I have seen a lot of advice on how to make your team play better. However, I am yet to see how to stop a team's game plan. More specifically how do you target specific players to take them out of the game. Let's say your typical Haaland, Mbappe etc.

Would be super useful to know how to do it based on your block - if say, I have a standard block what team instructions would I be looking and inversely what would I do on a high block? Also how would that differ if you played with a narrow versus a wide system.

I welcome your input.

Edited by Zenji Banba
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You can try divert the play away from him.

For example, if you're playing Liverpool and you want to restrict Salah's influence. You could show Liverpool's Defence and Midfielders onto their left foot and encourage them to play down their left.

Or if you wanted to stop a key playing the AMC spot, you could divert players outwide.

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Thank you for your response. I have tried diverting play away from that specific player but it seems to have backfired.
 

The player then finds themselves unmarked when they roam to a wide position. 
 

Another thing I have tried is to structure myself so that I would have a player to match their position. So let’s say setting up as a 4312 against a 442 diamond but I still could not control the game the way I wanted to.

What would you add to angled press to make it successful? Do I need to swarm the ball carrier that finds themselves in the funnel? 
 

Let’s say I have a 433 Dm linign up against a 442 diamond. I set up an angled press on the two midfielders in the centre to get them to play to a specific side. Would marking the AMC with my DM be sufficient to take him out of the game? 

 

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2 hours ago, Zenji Banba said:

Another thing I have tried is to structure myself so that I would have a player to match their position. So let’s say setting up as a 4312 against a 442 diamond but I still could not control the game the way I wanted to.

Thats already a good idea. Restricting space and protecting the area where a specific player acts in can be very effective in shutting him down. However, an exceptional player may still find his space and room for action now and then.

Regarding your example of a 4-3-3 DM, lineing up against a 4-4-2 Diamond, you have to keep in mind that your team is outnumbered by 1 player in central midfield. I that case it will always be hard for your team gain control over that particular area. What you can do is either switching up your formation so you can match the number of players, or simply play to your own strength by exploiting your numerical advantage on the wings.

Unless your opposition is doing it all wrong, you will never find yourself in a situation where you can gain advantage over all aspects of the match, so you need to decide where you wanna give up space / advantage.

 

Edited by CARRERA
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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, CARRERA said:

What you can do is either switching up your formation so you can match the number of players, or simply play to your own strength by exploiting your numerical advantage on the wings.

In this instance - how would you not leave yourself open in the middle whilst posing a threat on the wings? I use wingers on each side. One on support and the other on attack. The aim is to pin the opposition wing back so that I can focus on getting the ball back in the middle of the park.

The main highlights I am seeing are the opposition passing around my defense. This becomes even more obvious when one of my central defenders steps forward - thereby living a gap for them to play the through ball.

 

Do I just have to accept that I will always struggle in the middle. Is there any other way I can deal with this kind of situation?

Edited by Zenji Banba
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9 hours ago, Zenji Banba said:

In this instance - how would you not leave yourself open in the middle whilst posing a threat on the wings? I use wingers on each side. One on support and the other on attack. The aim is to pin the opposition wing back so that I can focus on getting the ball back in the middle of the park.

The main highlights I am seeing are the opposition passing around my defense. This becomes even more obvious when one of my central defenders steps forward - thereby living a gap for them to play the through ball.

 

Do I just have to accept that I will always struggle in the middle. Is there any other way I can deal with this kind of situation?

You have to accept, that you may struggle in central midfield against that formation. Thats why i said you need to focus on taking advantage in areas that the other team exposes naturally when in possession. Its simply not possible to gain advantage in all areas of the pitch, as i said before.

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