Offensive Tactics You Should Study and Use During The Practice and Games

Being able to understand different tactics is something you need to get faimiliar with, especially if your goal is to play at higher level!

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The following tactics represent some of the methods your team may use to control the game and instigate attacks. Let's start

The Possesion of The Ball

If your team aim to retain control of the ball over longer periods of time, in making a large amount of passes with low risk of losing the ball to your opponents, your team is said to play possession soccer. Utilizing this tactics demands you and your teammates to have precise passing abilities.

If successful, it will tire your opponents because they will be forced to sprint and tackle more. Also, the term possession of the ball sometimes indicates that each of your teammates retains possession for a longer period of time, using more touches on the ball.

Direct or Counter Attacking Soccer

Counter attacking means that you and your teammates spend little time with the ball before passing it to each others.

In order to achieve this, you and your teammates need to have maximum two touches on the ball before passing it. The counter attacking tactic is one of the easiest tactics to adapt and will (if performed properly) bring your team good results.

The decision of whether to counter or build up the attack of your team must be made quickly. You need to read the current situation, calculate the probabilities, make a decision on what to do and act. Your speed of thought and action will be essential for successful counter attacks.

Long Ball Crosses

Using a long ball tactic is fine (especially on a bad soccer field). However, using it as the dominant tactic throughout a game is limited: good defenses don't allow you to deliver balls into this space.

You need therefore to vary your game with long and short passes and don't limit your team to one single tactic.

Wide Play

The final goal of the World Cup final 1970 is considered to be one of the best goals ever scored. The Brazilian, using the wide play tactic with their samba moves, conquered one of the best defenses ever seen; the great Italian catennacio (even referred as padlock defense).

The Italians were playing with four defenders inclusive a sweeper. They plan was to play a counter attacking strategy deploying three midfielders and two strikers. However, Brazilians managed to look through this tactic and turned it against Italians.

The problem with the cattanacio tactic was that Italians focused too much on the forwards which gave the other Brazilians opportunity to dominate the midfield.

So how did it end? Well, the Brazilians won the final with 4-1 and exposed the weakness of cattanacio tactic. They also showed that any defense in the world can be beaten by using the width and depth principles.

Set Plays

This is an efficient tactic for technically strong teams. Using the set plays tactic means simply exploiting all types of free kicks, corner kicks and throw-ins.

Avoid to use this tactic against physically strong sides. They will usually have good heading skills and your team should consider using some other soccer tactic to get around their defense.


In this guide I have shown you some of the most common offensive tactics but to cover all tactics I would had to write a book but I don't have any plans of doing that (yet) :-).

I hope you have found this informative useful and feel free to give me a hint through my contact form if there is something you wonder about.

Oh, I almost forgot, make sure you check our main section on different soccer skills as well!

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