11 against 10 – why can it be so difficult?
Why should one deal with the situation 11 against 10? It seems obvious that the team playing with 11 has an advantage and better chance of winning the game. As
described in this report, it does not always seem to be the case. My experience is that coaches even a top-level do not prepare the 11 vs. 10 or 10 vs. 11 situation. Moreover, it could be a challenge for a coach to optimise any condition that can make the team successful.
To start with, the set-pieces, the 11 vs. 10 and 10 vs. 11 situation should be discussed and trained. Usually, as coaches do not have the time to train and prepare such situations which may regard as having minor influence. Considering that the 11 against 10 situation occurs in about every fifth match, it appears logical to focus on it, even though it often lasts less than 30 minutes. Therefore, in the present report, I have included up-to-date statistical analysis, interviewed top-coaches with many years of experience and made tactical considerations as well as included exercises and drills, to stimulate to a further discussion of this topic.
Fianlly, I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to the coaches Massimiliano Allegri (AC Milan), Luigi Delneiri (Juventus FC), Sir Alex Ferguson & Mike Phelan (Manchester United), and Morten Olsen (Danish National Team) for taking the time to discuss these matters with me. Also to Casper Skovgaard, who has played a key role in the analysis of the games.
Author: Jens Bangsbo
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