In the past, I have published (with permission naturally) parts of Lee’s (@FMAnalysis) superb Mechanising The Play series. In an effort to explain what I’m doing, I am going to try and expand upon Lee’s work. The first topic I wish to cover concerns layering your strikeforce. What is it, why should you do it and how do you do it? These are all solid questions and questions I shall try to answer in great detail, with explanatory videos and images to back up my words. For starters, just watch the video below to get an idea what I mean by layering attacks.
What you can see here is a rather typical strikerless attack. The defence intercepts the ball and clears it towards the flank. The winger looks for a team-mate in space and finds one of the attacking midfielders in space, dropping back into the space between the lines. The attacking midfielder receives and controls the pass and holds it up, whilst his team-mates surge forward to take up their offensive positions. A quick flick-through sees the attacking midfielder, whose run has overlapped the attacking midfielders position, go clean through on goal to cap a nice move with a clinical finish.
Whilst I characterise this move as being typical strikerless, the underlying concepts and principles can and should be universally applied to any formation and style of play. The reason why my teams play the way they do is because I try to layer the attacks, attacking a defence in multiple waves, making it harder for a defensive side to maintain a cohesive defensive line and adding an element of surprise to the equation.