5-A-Side Football Tactics


Five-a-side football has enjoyed massive growth over the past few years, particularly in the UK. While being based upon the same principles as 11-a-side, 5-a-side is significantly different and, as such, requires far different tactics from 11-a-side. You should know such techniques as they can be very handy while playing on sites like mm88.

The Problem with 5-a-side Tactics

The biggest problem with 5-a-side soccer teams is the strict delineation of roles. Many players will insist on assigning roles and giving their tactics a name – the 1-2-1 or the 2-1-1, etc. However, this is overthinking, and misunderstanding, the game of 5-a-side football. Five-a-side is fluid and requires players to work hard, play quick, and react to play as it unfolds.

Rather than having concrete positions players should have, and understand they have, defensive or attacking tendencies. The only position that should be stuck to with any rigidity is “last man” in defense, particularly if the keeper has nominated someone to play the role. Even then, this position is only temporary and, with sufficient communication, interchangeable.

Strikers and Defenders

The biggest manifestation of the strict delineation of roles is having one or two committed forward players who are not marking or tracking back. Without a defensive contribution from your most forward players, opposition teams can easily gain extra players in their attack and effectively walk the ball into the net.

While having a player advanced on the field does offer a significant counter-attacking threat ball rarely breaks loose in a helpful way. It is significantly less useful when the goalkeeper has to distribute the ball by underarm roll because long rolls are not usually an available option.

Of course the counter-example of the committed striker – the committed defender – does exist. However, having a player who is committed to nothing but defending is not a bad thing as it allows the rest of the team to attack freedom. The only time that the committed defender is a tactical problem is when two or more of your players are unwilling to move from defensive positions as your attacking options will be severely limited.

Playing to your Strengths and Working as a Team

The most important part of 5-a-side soccer tactics is to understand the individual strengths and weaknesses of your fellow players. To understand your team’s individual strengths you must honestly and openly discuss with your fellow players what you think are their, and your, strengths and weaknesses. Many teams have foundered because teammates were unwilling to openly recognize their own or fellow players’ weaknesses.

When you have identified your team’s strengths and weaknesses you can begin to account for them. So, if you have a player who is good at heading, or holding the ball up in advanced positions, then you can play them as a target man and create an attacking game plan around it. Similarly, if you have a player who is not very good at marking and tends to drift off their player, ensure that one of your substitutes or your keeper continually reminds him where he needs to be and what he needs to be doing.

Communication should also be encouraged between players on the field. Not only should players be calling for the ball, but they should be informing their teammates if they are closing a player down, if they want space for a pass or if they are marking a particular player. Without this, players will be working as individuals rather than properly operating as a team.

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