Versatility and Unpredictability.

Our style of play is entrenched around responsibility. We want you to experience and enjoy freedom in your play. In order to achieve this, an understanding must be developed that with freedom comes incredible responsibility. You simply cannot have one without accepting the other.

I believe in complete interchangeability throughout our lineup. A player may begin at right back and through the course of play move to a midfield position, a forward position or a different spot in the back line.  It takes time to develop this type of flexibility, but it is time well spent in my opinion.

Of course, most players have a preference for playing a certain position, but with this group almost everyone has bought into playing a variety of positions.  I have made season long plans for their learning and development. With some we are simply using "their" position as a starting point and working with them on "branching out" to surrounding positions.

It is this versatility that makes our team very difficult to mark in a man marking system. When we are fluid with our movements we can destroy an opponents shape with our interchangeability.  Our player movement does not significantly impact our own shape as long as we communicate and / or are observant of the game about us. We must be game watchers. It is only when we are ball watchers that our player movement or lack thereof can lead us into trouble.

This versatility also serves us well against zonal defending as it keeps opposing backs from getting comfortable defending against certain and specific forwards. They cannot just keep an eye on one or two primary threats because the personnel is constantly changing as dictated by the run of play.  As each player has a different style, different strengths and weaknesses it is keeps us unpredictable and defenders guessing.

Confusing or manipulating a defense is a king consideration in opening seams to attack through. The idea behind this is actually quite simple - Movement of the ball is predicated on player movement off the ball.  With nearly unrestricted player movement, ball movement becomes very dynamic... and unpredictable. A second key consideration is the ability of our players to fill out our defensive shape without the need to scramble back into "their" position. We fill the position we are closest to and the versatility we have established allows each player to know the role of the position in our defensive system.

I am likely making us sound a lot better than we actually are.  We are not consistent enough in our movement for my liking . A couple of our players "abuse" the freedom of movement we allow them by roving mindlessly at times instead of moving purposefully .  They lose sight of positional responsibility in equating freedom of movement with positionless soccer.  We do not play positionless soccer, we just are not overly concerned with which player mans a specific position through the run of play. At dead ball situations we sort positions out and begin again. 

We do grant our players a LOT of freedom, but in return demand they accept a LOT of responsibility.

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