Basics of the Back Four – Practice Examples (1)
13 graphics - easy to read


1. Introduction – entry into the back four

The introduction of the back four (ball-oriented defence) means: The entire team moves in direction of the ball, not only the back four defenders, whereby the goalkeeper gets particular importance. He can run for the balls which are being hit into the back space of the back four and serves as open man after ball-winning.

1

These are the youngest stars in soccer

Graphics back four – static

The purpose is to constantly act superior in number near the ball. The principle is: The closer the opponent is to the ball, the tighter the cover; and the farther away an opponent is from the ball, the less dangerous he is.

In this paper we explain the fundamentals for the introduction of the back four within the defence network. The individual presentations are briefly touched on theory-wise and subsequently broadened in the form of exercises.

In a further contribution we have put together some preparatory exercises that can be incorporated best as warm up in a back four training unit. You will find these exercise series soon under “Back Four – Warm Up – Constructive Exercises”.

This presentation comprises exercises that project the theoretical part. As a small deepening unit we have furthermore briefly shown the attack by a player without ball.

In order to test the back four in a match, the following starting games are suitable: 2 defenders against 3 attackers, 3 defenders against 4 attackers, 4 defenders against 4 attackers up to playing 11 against 11. The defensive players move in all these exercises as a chain.

2A

These are the youngest stars in soccer

2. Ball-oriented defence in marked zones

Mark the field zones (see illustration), then following the arrows below the animation.

A. Static zones

Each defender and each attacker is located in as zone. Each attacker has a ball. The zones will be numbered 1 to 4. Take ample time to carefully view the animation.

B1

These are the youngest stars in soccer

B0. Orientation against attacker

Please observe: In these next units it is not primarily a question of speed but rather of correct execution. Between instructions sufficient time is required by the defence to get orientated.

B1

These are the youngest stars in soccer

B1. Defensive conduct in attacks via wing positions

In our example, the coach gives the signal “1”.
Defender A attacks attacker A. Defenders B, C and D orientate themselves in direction of the ball and keep at the same time an eye on the attacker located in their starting zone.

The sequence in our illustrated example:

- The coach cries the signal “1”.
- Defender A attacks attacker A.
- Defender B moves to zone 1, so as to secure the back space behind defender A. At the same time he keeps an eye on attacker B, to be able to react quickly if need be.
- Defender C advances to zone 2. At the same time he keeps an eye on attacker C, to be able to react quickly if necessary.
- Defender D advances to zone 3. At the same time he keeps an eye on attacker D, to be able to react quickly when indicated.

At this moment, attacker D is of no danger to the defence, hence it can neglect covering the attack side. Should a shift of the attack to the other side of the playing field take place, sufficient time remains for realignment.

If the coach gives signal “4”, an entirely new situation for the defence will occur.

B2

These are the youngest stars in soccer

B2. Defensive conduct in attacks via center positions

In our example, the coach gives the command “2”. The attack takes place on the left center position. A general movement of the players in the back four versus the ball occurs.

B2

These are the youngest stars in soccer

Defender B attacks attacker B. The defenders A, C and D orientate in direction of the ball and at the same time observe the attackers located in their starting zone.

The sequence in our illustrated example:

- The coach cries signal “2”.
- Defender B attacks attacker B.
- Defender A advances to the left side of zone 2, in order to secure the left back space behind defender B. At the same time he keeps an eye on attacker A, to be ready for a timely reaction, if need be.
- Defender C advances to the right side of zone 2. At the same time he keeps an eye on attacker, to be able to react on time if required.
- Defender D advances in zone 3. At the same time he keeps an eye on attacker D, to be able to react on time if necessary.

Attacker D may be neglected at this point in time. He is essentially more dangerous as in an attack from the other side of the field but still the attacker with the largest distance to the ball.

And this is how the defence shift if the attack occurs from the right center position.