The Arsenal Game

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

This game was based on how you would structure a small sided game in the style that the present Arsenal side would play. Their play is made up of lots of quick short passing with plenty of movement off the ball. They use give and goes a lot (wall passes) which I have highlighted in the game.

The Arsenal Game


  • Pitch size –40 x 20 or at the discretion of the coach, but basically a standard 4 v 4 pitch

  • Number of teams –3

  • Team sizes 4 players

  • Bibs optional

  • Goals –5 a side or mini soccer goals


I play this game as a 4 v 4 with keepers. I also have four additional players, two on each side (who are neutral and play with the team in possession). The game is a standard 4 v 4 game, except that the neutral players on each side can be used. The neutral players have one touch only (younger players and less technical players may require two touches) and play with the team that have possession. They take any throw-ins or kick-ins from their side. Having the neutral players encourages plenty of give and goes. The players should also be encouraged to play at a fast tempo. Change the four neutral players (one team) with one of the teams on the pitch every few minutes.

  1. Play with 1 v 1s in each zone so players must stay there OR they can move around but must maintain 1 v 1 in each zone.

  2. Can add a neutral player who can create a 2 v 1 overload in each zone.

  3. Play two touches / play ONE TOUCH.