21 - Defensive help - Group Tactics by Martin Perciavalle - BD
Futsal Concept Explanation
The defensive group tactic, is the cooperation of 2 players using their individual tactics and foundations, in the search for a common tactical objective and knowing that by using the individual tactic they will improve the collective tactic.
As a reminder, we talk about: Individual Tactic: 1 player. Group Tactic: 2-3 players. Collective tactic: 4+ players.
“It is a joint defense against the ball holder provided by two defenders whom, by pressing and closing line of passes, preventing the normal progression and circulation of the ball, aiming to recover the ball or forcing a offensive disarmament” Fede Vidal, Spanish National Team Head Coach
Based on that concept, when using this tactical situation as part of the model of play, it is essential for all the players to understand that when this resource/action is being utilised, they are weakening their defence of the direct pair, or creating more attacking space for the opponents. Knowing how and when to use the defensive help, specially the intensity in which the team mate is going to be helped is essential.
These situations normally start after a defensive jump (covered in future post) and as mentioned before with the right intensity. The picture below shows that the winger moved 2-3mts closer to her team mate and with no real pressure on the player with ball, nor blocking the line of pass to her direct opponent, allowing by that the usage of the space on behind her.
Assuming the player with the ball is an excellent dribbler and/or her shoot from distance is very good and maybe powerful, the coach might have decided to prevent that from happening utilising defensive help when that particular player has the ball:
Pros: Prevent the progression Prevent the shot Cons: Space behind winger’s back
The defensive help is a risky action if it is not carried out properly, and this is simply because the numerical superiority used in this tactical action implies a defensive inferiority (2×3) in the other areas of the pitch. If the player in possession of the ball manages to play it effectively outside the area limited by 2×1 can harm the defensive team heavily. This is the reason why, teams that utilize this tactical action, making it common within their model of play, usually guide their players to use it in specific situations or spaces:
Wide areas only (wings). Only when the ball reaches the pivot on the wing. Never on center areas. Etc.
Successful utilisation of the action:
Unsuccessful utilisation of the defensive action against the pivot.
The fact that this defensive numerical superiority conditions a 2×3 positional defensive inferiority, it forces the two players who do not perform 2×1, to change their behavior and focus their attention on the defensive space dominance.
Therefore, it is essential that the player knows how to measure the distance of the help provided without losing the individual mark (the individual mark being a priority). This distance is different for each player depending on their characteristics, but it is also different in each situation, depending on multiple variables that can occur in the game.
If using this tactical action, measure you are aware of the prons and cons, explain them to the players and make sure that you have a proper plan of action to tackle the cons if they occur.