Individual Striker Movements Off the Shoulder Part 3

This is part 3 of 4 on our Individual Striker Movements Off the Shoulder Series.

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Get Part 2 Here

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off the shoulder striker movement

Striker moves “OFF THE SHOULDER” of the defender. Only a matter of a few yards can open up wonderful space and attacking opportunities.

In this case moving off the shoulder of the defender means there is a space in behind the defender that the player on the ball can deliver to (that was previously difficult to see and / or deliver into). If the defender does not adjust their position then this is a great chance to receive and attack the goal. 

Striker is now:

  1. Facing forward, and off at an angle, not having to turn and run forward (saves time and puts the defender at a disadvantage).
  2. Can see the ball, the goal and the defender at the same time.
  3. Striker can even take their position off the sweeper (in terms of being offside) if the opposition employs one, so they are almost in advance but also wide of the marking defender. This position (off the shoulder) is very difficult to defend against.
  4. If not facing forward at least in a side – on position so they can see forward and not have their back to the defender.

Striker moves “OFF THE SHOULDER” of the defender. 

The defender comes with the striker and closes them down. Now the timing of the pass and timing of the run come into play. Striker then checks back inside into the space the defender has vacated and attacks inside and across in front of them. Striker (9) can run off the other center back (B) to create the space inside also. The player on the ball plays it inside the center back.

Also try to time it where as the defender in this case, plants their right foot down (and be flat footed even) so are leaning forward and towards the striker, that is the time to check back inside and across them. The defender is likely to be most off balance at this time, and that is the time to take advantage as they have to spring back on themselves and adjust their feet. It may give a valuable yard or two to the striker which can be the difference between a goal and not a goal.

Striker moves “OFF THE SHOULDER” of the defender. 

Same as the previous diagram where the defender closes the striker down but this time the striker makes a run outside and behind the defender rather than inside and across them. Timing of this is important for being on side.

Timing the movement also as previously, when the defender is in an off balanced stance making it more difficult to check back in one movement and cover the strikers run.