Wingers Attacking Off the Line

By Sean Pearson

Area Size: 18 yard area + 5 yards

Teams: 20 mins

Players: 6 v 7 (Underload)


  • To drive inside, off the line, at every opportunity
  • For other players to make supporting runs off the ball to move opposition players for the winger to make decisions on what to do with the ball.


The attacking team sets up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but with just the midfield and striker. The defending team does the same. Three goals are at the top of the area for the defense to score in if they win possession. Each time the ball goes out at the ends either #8 or #6 retrieve a new ball.



First of all, it is important that you switch your wingers so their strong foot is on the opposite side. As the attacking team you must get the ball to the #7 or #11 as often as possible. When they receive the ball their first touch should be inside, they should aim to drive at and commit the closest CB. At the same time the #9 should move to the opposite side the ball went, they should run along the line of the CB’s and look to run in behind the CB as the winger players the ball into space. The #10 and #11 also make runs behind the defense.


Once the defending team can stop this pass, have the winger continue their run across the field, The #10 should make a curved run and opposite winger a run behind the full back. Depending on how far in the full back has come this decides their pass.


Finally, If the #7 or #11 receives the ball deeper, have them run more of a flat line across the 18yard area, (see most Arjen Robben goals on YouTube). Have the #9 run across the 1st CB, to almost screen the #7. Have the #10 do the same with 2nd CB. Right now is the time for the #7 or #11 to shoot.



  • With more players you can use FB’s on the attacking team
  • Try different options with players such as a ball to the opposite winger behind the defense

By Sean Pearson.  Sean is also the author Coaching Team Shape in the 3-3-1, Coaching Team Shape in the 4-2-3-1  and Coaching Team Shape in the 4-3-3

About the Author Tom Mura

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