Grassroots Coaching

Juergen Klopp’s Gegenpressing made simple – Phase 2

In phase 2 of Gegenpressing made simple, we progress to a small sided game. Phase one was a structured game, in which the coach controlled and created Gegenpressing situations within the game – if you missed it go to  –

In this progression from phase 1, the game is allowed to flow and the coach is looking for the players to recognise and react to Gegenpressing situations that happen in the game.  They are looking for possession turnover situations and triggers, for example as Jurgen Klopp says “the best moment to win the ball is immediately after your team just lost it”


Play a small sided game of 5 v 5 to 9 v 9 on an appropriately sized pitch.



Teams play. Coach to look for one team to lose possession of the ball

2 structure

The Gegenpress

As soon as the ball is lost, can team immediately Gegenpress?

3 gegenpress


Let game flow and look for players to recognise and react to Gegenpress  situations

5 second phase


As soon as this trigger occurs, the coach is looking for the following to happen quickly:

  1. As soon as the ball is lost the nearest player to the ball – communicates and presses the player on the ball aggressively – no fouls!
  2. Players 2, 3 and 4, swarm round the ball cutting off passing angles and also winning the ball if they can
  3. Player 5 and GK communicate and provide depth for the defence in case the ball is knocked long
  4. Players to be alive to second or even third phase “Gegenpressing” situations – 5 second rule – can they win the ball back or force a mistake in 5 seconds or less

If the ball is won back, can the team that have won it try and score.

If a mistake is forced and the ball goes out of play, play starts immediately from a GK or from the coach, so the game intensity is high.

This is physically a hard training game, so the coach could have 3 teams. 1 resting, 2 playing and rotate the teams often.

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Defending Sessions Tactics