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Training for counter attacking

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Hi all :) Could anybody give me any thought's on how to train your player's to counter attack ? I see that there's a 'pressing transition' option which may help your team to close down & break quickly, but is there anything else that might help ?? Thanks for reading & for any advice :)

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  • 3 months later...

Hi everybody :) I'm still puzzled by what to do to improve my counter attacking (I've been thinking that first touch, passing, acceleration. pace, off the ball, composure & decision making are the key attribute's). Do you think that training transition press (trying to win the ball back) is a good idea ? Or to focus on training attacking or tactical attacking ? Any help would be great :)

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On 26/12/2018 at 15:54, phnompenhandy said:

"Quickness", in my opinion. It's about the speed.

Yeah, quickness is a logical choice when it comes to the physical side of training. As for the rest... well, I don't know what particular type of counter-attacking football you want to play, but I can tell you which sessions I tend to include in my weekly schedule when using a counter-based tactic (which is pretty often):

- general>tactical

- general>technical

- general>defending

- general>attacking

- technical>transition-restrict (as opposed to your transition-press)

- defending>ground defense

- attacking>attacking direct

- match preparation>defensive shape

- match preparation>attacking movement

Of course, the schedules are not chronologically set in this particular other. This was just a list of the sessions I generally look to include in my counter-attack-based weekly training.

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Hello Experienced Defender :) Thank You very much for taking the time & trouble to offer me your thought's. I appreciate your help mate :) What you've said makes perfect sense too. Yeah, counter attacking is all about anticipation, then pace/movement & decision making & your training idea's all offer that. My counter attacking tactic is based on Mexico v Germany in the 2016 world cup & also, England (especially in the first half) in their 3-2 win in Spain last year. I try to outnumber the opposition's central midfielder's & have my forward player's staying in between the defence/midfield. I'm currently managing Preston, so my player's do offer the speed on the break, but their ability does lack in the dribbling/decision making. Thanks again pal :)

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I have this in one my quick guides for training. this is a weekly session geared towards flank play. Cos i assume you do want to do counter attacks and the best time to hit them is usually during a transition.


So if you want your players to develop a good counter attacking game, you need a plan. And this involves basically a 10 week breakdown, cos its easier since the training calendar fits 5 schedules per page. Ideally you want to break a season into a few phases. P1 you focus on getting tac fam up, phase 2 you worry about fixture congestion or worry about winter break (depending on your league) and P3 is when you have achieved tac fam and you can afford to be a bit more targeted.

So basically you want to focus primarily on those attributes that help you deliver a counter attacking game. And this depends on your formation.

let me give you an example. I have a style of play called Liquid Football, and its been very very successful on FM19, Both Liverpool and Stalybridge are playing superbly, but we had to get to that point by developing a program that fit the style i was after. So i went through my team to identify the attributes we needed then i went to my training calendar and created one. So based on that, i started noticing a big kick in performances in the second half of the season which led BOTH teams to close out the seasons with winning streaks. Training isn't difficult you need to know what attributes your team need work on to play the system you want.

So let's take counter attacking, and i have no clue how you want to counter attack. So i will use my own tactic its a 4123 as an example. In my system i have 4 players expected to run at defences. In my team my midfield is meant to keep the ball/or hit on the break. This means decision making is important, vision, anticipation. In defence we are expected to defend tight and well. We expect a lot of aerial threats.

So here i have a snap shot:

Acceleration, off the ball, crossing, finishing, composure, agility, balance and vision for the 4
Vision, decisions, passing, composure, balance, positioning, tackling, concentration, stamina, work rate for my midfielders
Jumping Reach, Marking, Tackling, Anticipation, Concentration - Central defenders

Now based on this i will look at sessions that give me this, now i break this down into periods. Naturally you can't hit everything in a week, so you need to break it down in periods. I work off a 5 week period. Now I don't need every player to work on say "balance" for example, this I can do via additional focus. 

Once you have a clear plan and you work out a strategy you can map out an entire season's worth of training. That schedule would be one week in a 10 week cycle. The other 4 schedules in the 5wk period could be different.

I have to admit the more i play FM19, the more i feel this game is the easiest version to date, if you get all the parts working well, there is no reason not to get great runs.

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WOW Rashidi !! :-O That is one heck of a comment mate & as I said to 'Experienced Defender', I'm really appreciative :) I like the way you've set out your training program into just HOW you want to attack on the break (through the flank's). What I want to do in my counter attacking & I'll definitely use more 'Attacking Wings' in my training, is to have a biggish or a pacey-ish centre forward with also a player in the hole (Cristian Erikson, Raheem Sterling, Gianfranco Zola type). I'd like him to turn & have the option of running with the ball himself or to play it to either wing & on one wing to have two player's (creating an overload). I also want one or maybe two central midfielder's bombing on (maybe arriving late for the pull back cross) Mexico did this really well v Germany in the 2018 world cup. They let Kimmich burst forward & won the ball & hit them hard on the left flank (the space he vacated). I'll have a tinker with my training scedule now Rashidi :) Thanks again my friend for your time, trouble & thought's :)

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