Half spaces Part 2 - How to train

Part Two of DOMINIC CASIATO's Half Spaces topic - Part One can be found here. 

How To Train It

If you read my last article here, you’ll know that we worked on the principle of breaking lines, focusing on the right back. Now we’ll progress from this, linking the right back with the right winger, who we try to get free in the half space.

Exercise 1

In blue we have two holding midfielders, a right back and a left back, joined by a right and left winger and an attacking central midfielder in the top half of the box. They’re up against three red central midfielders to ensure success at the beginning.

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Conditions - Reds try to score in one of the three mini goals upon winning the ball back. Blues try to score in the central goal at the other end. Blues cannot score from outside the box – for a goal to count, the scorer must be in the half spaces or central channel. If the full backs receive the ball or move up the touchline, the wingers must come inside.

Here we see how the right back moving up brings the closest defender towards him slightly, which creates space for the right winger to receive the ball in the half space.

As the players get comfortable with the exercise, add a red centre-back to make it more difficult.

Exercise 2

Next we build on this, splitting the ball into five vertical channels for a game of 9 v 8.

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The ball starts with the goalkeeper, who plays into one of his midfielders. The right back then moves up to offer a line-breaking passing lane. As he moves up, the right winger moves inside between three players – left back, left centre back and left centr midfielder. We are then looking to create the same problems for the red back four and midfield three that we demonstrated earlier – who picks up the right winger when he moves inside? Through this questioning, we hope to force miscommunication between the reds and create goal scoring opportunities for the blues.

Exercise 3

Finally, we finish with a game 11v11. Again we work on the relationship on the right-hand side, using the trigger of the right back moving forward to signal to the right winger that he should move into the half space to create questions for the red team to answer.

Ciaran Skinner