Defensive Styles

A defensive style is a component playing style that relates to the overall use of a small number of complementary defensive methods.

The main defensive styles are:

Each of the main defensive styles is summarised below, with details of the following:

The extent to which it is appropriate for a team to implement each of the listed style-defining methods (including the key primary and secondary methods) depends on player suitability, the overall defensive risk level desired by the team’s manager and the preferences of the team’s manager.

Pressing Defending

Pressing defending is based on closing down in order to restrict space in more advanced areas with a high level of defensive pressure. This is typically complemented to some extent with a high line to further restrict space.

Key Primary Methods

Key Secondary Methods

Other Suitable Style-Defining Methods

Defensive Risk

Pressing defending involves taking on a fairly high overall level of defensive risk by focusing more on restricting space. This can be balanced by combining it with counter attacking football.

Player Suitability

Containment Defending

Containment defending is based on sitting off in order to protect space in deeper areas and create space by drawing players forward. This is typically complemented to some extent with a deep line to further protect space.

Key Primary Methods

Key Secondary Methods

Other Suitable Style-Defining Methods

Defensive Risk

Containment defending involves taking on a fairly low overall level of defensive risk by focusing more on protecting space and retaining compactness. This can be balanced by combining it with offensive football.

Player Suitability