Game Management Scenarios

In this guide, we analyse 7 game management scenarios that we a frequently asked and provide coaching tips and appropriate session links on each situation.

The Coaching Manual
May 23, 2019
Written by The Coaching Manual
Game Management Scenarios-min
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1. My team are playing 4-4-2 and winning 2-1 with 10 minutes to go, what can I do to protect the lead?

  1. Compact defending

  2. Evaluate the opponent's threat

  3. Change formation (4-4-2 to 4-5-1)

  4. Change personnel (striker off defender on)

  5. Keep possession of the ball

  6. Hit the correct areas with long balls (corners)

  7. Slow the game down

You can find the Defensive Compactness session here. 


2. My team are playing 4-5-1 and losing 2-1 with 10 minutes to go, how can we chase the game?

  1. Change formation (4-5-1 to 3-5-2)

  2. Change personnel (defender off striker on)

  3. Play a more direct style of play (hit the forwards early and get runners off the forwards)

  4. Move the ball quickly and exploit spaces left by opposition

  5. Get the ball into wide areas and create crossing opportunities

You can find the Breaking Into The Final Third session here.


3. My team are losing 2-1 with 10 minutes to go, the opposing team has just had a man sent off, how can we take advantage of the extra player to create goal scoring opportunities?

  1. Make the pitch as big as possible to stretch the opposition

  2. Change formation (4-5-1 to 3-5-2)

  3. Change personnel (defender off striker on)

  4. Get the ball out wide as early as possible to create 1v1 situations or 2v1 overloads

  5. Patient build-up play and play penetrating passes

  6. Expose the opposition's weakness

  7. Press high up the pitch to regain possession as quickly as possible

You can find the Attacking Overloads session here. 


4. My team are winning 1-0 with 10 minutes to go, we have just had a man sent off, how do we defend the lead?

  1. Change personnel (sacrifice an attacking player for a defensive player)

  2. Change shape (4-4-2 to 4-5 formation)

  3. Compact defending

  4. Defend centrally

  5. Counter-attacking

  6. Maintain defensive shape (do not over commit players forward)

  7. Slow the game down

Find the Defending out of Balance session here. 


5. We are top of the league and are playing a team who are bottom of the league. We drew 0-0 in our last game against them as they were compact and sat behind the ball. What can we do to break them down?

  1. Formation that will allow your team to be expansive and creative (3-5-2)

  2. Make the pitch as big as possible (use width)

  3. If you can"t play through or over, go around

  4. Use quick combination play in the final third

  5. Be patient and wait for the opposition to commit which will allow penetrating passing opportunities

  6. Encourage forward players to use movements to move the defenders (encourage interchanging positions)

Find the Creating Space In Wide Areas here. 


6. My team are playing a 4-4-2 formation against a 4-3-3 and their midfield are controlling the game. What can I do change it?

  1. Match the formation of the opposition and play a 4-3-3

  2. When out of possession, one of your forwards drop into midfield to create a 4-5-1

  3. One of the central defenders steps up and marks the opposition number 10 who is in between the defensive line and midfield line

  4. Wingers defend narrow and compact

  5. Counter-attack when gaining possession by exploiting the space in wide areas.

Find the Coaching Defenders In A 4-3-3 session here. 


7. My team are winning 1-0 with ten minutes to play in the semi-final of a tournament and the opposition have just had a player sent off. Do we attack to try and score again and ensure we go through, or do we try to see the game out?

  1. Keep possession of the ball (make the pitch as big as possible when in possession)

  2. Compact defending

  3. Play counter-attacking football when opponents overcommit

  4. Slow the game down by keeping possession of the ball

  5. Create overloads when in possession

  6. Do not over commit players forward when counter-attacking

Find the Defending To Counter Attack session here.