TACTICAL ANALYSIS ON HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF POSITIONAL OFFSIDE WHEN ATTACKING

March 23, 2018, 2:04 p.m.

TACTICAL ANALYSIS ON HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF POSITIONAL OFFSIDE WHEN ATTACKING

In our latest soccer video analysis, we’ve observed a trend where the strikers place themselves in offside positions to avoid being marked by the rival defense. The common practice is to stand behind the defenders to block their visibility.

Players like Luis Suárez, Messi or Timo Werner are great examples of these game situations.

Being in an offside position prevents the striker from participating directly on a play, however, there are two possible situations that can work in favor of the team:

1. On the one hand, if the defense is very advanced, the team can place a player at the attack point in an offside position. This player will look to find a space to play with a teammate who enters through the back of the defense. This way, the player who was in an offside position, is enabled, and will look for a back pass that leaves him free, which will allow him to get to the ball before the rival defense does.

2. On the other hand, the attacker may be on an offside position without an option to intervene but, when he detects the arrival of a teammate with the ball, he will leave the offside position and unmark himself. The defenders have not identified the position of the attacker, and the entry of another teammate with the ball causes them to be attracted to him, which will make the defenders lose track of where the other attacker is positioned. These actions have to be very well coordinated between the passer and the player who comes out of the offside, providing the speed and necessary time to avoid falling into an offside and surprise the opposing defense. To do this, it is essential to perform a good unmarking action, with the tactical considerations that we can see here.

These actions are very difficult to defend for the opponents because, on the one hand, they seek to leave that player in an offside position and without options to participate, but, at the same time, they must be very attentive and identify when the attacker gets back in the game and performs the unmarking at the defenses’ back. There are many situations in which the farthest located player, usually the lateral defender, is the player who takes longer to coordinate with the rest of the defensive line and breaks the offside by enabling the attacker.

Here are some considerations that the defending team should take into account:

· Do not leave spaces between lines. The central defender and lateral defending line must avoid falling too low to avoid being dragged by the offside players and leave spaces between lines.

· The midfield line must apply a strong pressure on the player who has the ball and who seeks to connect with the strikers. The central line must avoid leaving spaces at their back.

· When the attacking team makes a backward pass, the defensive line must move forward, clearly leaving the attacker without the option of receiving the ball.

· When a player from an attacking team enters with the ball, the defensive line must retreat by means of a lateral run and prepare to run to the space behind them, this should be timed well to get help from the midfielders.

· Have a great coordination when executing the offside. For this we can consult the following link with clear considerations on offside.

With the LongoMatch video analysis tool we can code several events of a match and create presentations like the video we have shown in this article. This will help us when presenting the analysis of the most relevant moves or tactics to the players. In the following link we can see how to perform the coding of events during a match.