Do you want to learn the black art of soccer coaching strategy that the pros do not reveal? In this article, I'll give you some essential tips on how to emulate the top tier elite of world soccer coaches.
Actually, the title is a little incorrect. Soccer (or football) strategy is not really a black art – it just looks that way from the outside. It's more like a science that you normally learn through experience but luckily there are many good points out there that I want to share with you.
A good way for you to look at strategy is to focus on each game, one at a time. What I am about to tell you is a good general approach but over time you can tweak it so it works best for you and your team.
Before the match you have squad and first team selection. You need to look at your opposition and decide how you are going to beat them. Try to find out their formation before the game because it may affect your own choice. For instance, if they play only three defenders at the back and one of them is poor then you may want to play with a tall man up front who can knock the ball down to your other attackers. Or you may just want to play your own way with what you think is your best formation.
You can either pick the formation to fit around your best players or you can pick a formation and then select the best players to fit it. Different managers have different views on this particular aspect of football strategy.
Once you have chosen your first team then you need to pick some subs to make up the squad. Of course, you need one goalie but then you need to decide who else gets a seat on the bench. It depends on how many subs you want but in any case, I would choose very versatile players and reach a nice balance between attacking and defense. So, for instance, attacking midfielders who can play as strikers or wingers are good and so are wing-back style defenders.
If everything goes well you should win comfortably. You might need to make changes during the game though. Without your formation and choice of players is a complete disaster then I never recommend touching the team till half time. If there are bad problems, make one change at half time. Then you need to give the team time to gel so do not make any other changes until 65 and 70 minutes. This leaves enough time for a super sub to come on and change the game. Finally, if you have a commanding lead and not used many subs then use them up after the 80 minute mark to waste some time and annoy the opposition.
You can repeat this process above for every match that you play and through your experience, tweak it for your own needs – remember that every team and coach and situation is different so you need to be ready for that.