Grassroots Coaching

Tactical Changes in Football Part 1

Tactically football has changed dramatically over the last 15 – 20 years.

Players are less likely to have fixed positions and need to have a more all round game where players have to be able to play in their own position, but also to be flexible, efficient and effective in many different roles and areas of the pitch.

Football coaches need to work with players to give them a much more all round game, so that when they move out of their fixed position, they have the capability to fulfil the role of the position they find themselves in.


Being a central defender ensures that for 90% of the game a central defender will have the ball and most players in front of them. This gives them a unique opportunity to be able to read the game and see what is going on. Central defenders tend to be good organisers, communicators and leaders of the team.

•The main priority of a central defender is to defend their goal

•They have to be strong, be a good tackler and powerful and competitive in the air.

•A central defender will have to be competitive and aggressive to match and beat opposition forwards

•Central defenders need an ability to read the game by spotting where the likely danger will come from.

•Central defenders need to be very committed, concentrated and focused on their role.

•They need to have good levels of concentration, they cannot relax for one second – there is danger on the football pitch from every possible angle.

•Central defenders need good pace and running power

•Very often the opposition will allow central defenders to have the ball; as a result they should have good ability on the ball and a wide range of passing skills

In addition, central defenders are now expected to move forward with and without the ball and to operate in central midfield and possess the skills that central midfield players possess.

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