4 v 4 a Basic Diamond Shape for Defending

The following drill is part of Soccer Awareness New eBook: Tactical Thoughts on the Development of the 4 v 4, 7 v 7 and 9 v 9 Game Sizes

This eBook shows how these different size games can be taught and also shows different systems of play that might be useful to you. Run with them as you may and of course come up with your own solutions too as that is what coaching is all about. I have introduced the use of RONDOS to initially aid the development of players for the game situation. Click Here to Preview The Book

The main idea here is for the defending team to condense the area the ball can be played into the defending team become a diamond within the opponents attacking diamond. (9) Forces (A) one way and the rest of the team adjust their positions off this. (3) Protects the space inside but can close down (B) if the ball is passed, (2) and (6) is the same scenario and this results in the diamond being shorter and tighter.


As the opponents move the defending team must move to compensate. Also if any pass is played behind (2), (3) or (6) they should be first to the ball.

Coaching Points:

  1. Pressure – 1 v 1 defending to win the ball, delay or force a bad pass.

  2. Support – position of immediate teammate (angle, distance and communication).

  3. Cover – positions of teammates beyond the supporting player.

  4. Recovering and Tracking should the ball go past our position, recovery run to goal side of the ball and tracking the run of a player.

  5. Double-Teaming – (A) passes to (C), (2) closes (C) down from in front, (9) follows along the path of the ball to close down from behind or slightly to the side. (9) Closes in such a way as to obstruct a back pass to (A).

  6. Regaining Possession and creating Compactness from the back (pushing up as a unit).

The objectives of defending are to disrupt the other teams build up, make play predictable, prevent forward passes and ultimately regain possession of the ball.

Techniques include – pressuring, marking, tackling and winning the ball.