Grassroots Coaching

Juergen Klopp’s Gegenpressing made simple Phase 1

To get your players to become good at Gegenpressing, they have to be given opportunities in training to understand what the triggers to Gegenpress are and why, what and how they should react.

In this training session, we have structured a small sided game of 6 v 6, this of course could be a game with more or less players.

The coach or one of the players plays a very important role in this session. They have to become part of the structured game so that they pass and receive the ball back from one team – the Yellows, like they are a player in the yellow team. After a couple of passes, they then pass to the opposition team.

This is the trigger for the yellow team – who have in a game sense lost possession, to immediately Gegenpress.


Coaching Tips

  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

4 press and 1,2 3

The team that have the ball try and score, the team Gegenpressing (Yellows) try and stop them. If the yellow team win the ball, they can try and score. If the ball goes dead, the coach starts play again and the session is repeated.

Important notes for the coach:

  1. The coaches objective is to pass the ball to one team – the yellows and from the side of the pitch be a  part of that team.
  2. The coach then passes to the opposition – this is the trigger for the “Gegenpress”, as Jurgen Klopp explains “The best moment to win the ball is immediately after your team just lost it,”
  3. I would suggest that the coach plays with one team and controls the session for 3 – 5 goes, then swaps and plays with the other team. This way both teams get to have a go at “Gegenpressing”
  4. The coach should try and create varied game related “Gegenpress” scenarios.

Once the coach is happy that the players know what “Gegenpressing” is and why, how and when they do it, the session can move into a small sided game – see phase 2 which will be published over the next couple of days


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Defending Sessions Tactics