Defensive Styles

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

Defensive styles include:

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 primary and secondary style methods detailed below depends on player suitability, the overall tactical risk level desired by the team’s manager and the preferences of the team’s manager.

Aggressive Pressing

Aggressive pressing 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 complete a high defensive block.

Key Primary Style Method

Typical Primary Style Methods

Common Secondary Style Methods

These higher risk defensive methods naturally complement closing down.

Tactical Risk

Typical overall defensive risk level: high - focuses more on restricting space.

Tactical risk can be balanced to some extent by compositing aggressive pressing with the defensive football core style or the short plays attacking style.

Tactical Organisation

Tactical reorganisation frequency typically required:

Typical speed of tactical transition:

A high level of defensive pressure can cause the opposition team to be more tactically disorganised, which can be taken advantage of by counter attacking.

Player Suitability

Players assigned defender and midfielder playing positions in particular:

Containment

Containment is based on sitting off in order to protect space and retain compactness in deeper areas. This is typically complemented to some extent with a deep line to complete a low defensive block.

Key Primary Style Method

Typical Primary Style Methods

Common Secondary Style Methods

These lower risk defensive methods naturally complement sitting off.

Tactical Risk

Typical overall defensive risk level: low - focuses more on protecting space and retaining compactness.

Tactical risk can be balanced to some extent by compositing containment with the attacking football core style or the direct plays attacking style.

Tactical Organisation

Tactical reorganisation frequency typically required:

Typical speed of tactical transition:

The opposition team typically moves forward into deeper areas in the defensive phases, leaving available space behind opposition team players in the attacking transition phase that can be exploited by counter attacking.

Player Suitability

Players assigned defender and midfielder playing positions in particular: