Direct football: The Benefits of playing the Long Ball

“When playing against a team that sits behind the ball and focuses on maintaining a compact defensive unit, using a target player has its benefits. Many teams will concede that they have inferior levels of playing ability to their opposition and so will see fit to ‘park the bus’. In a compact team, the gaps between each player will be small and so their opponents will find it difficult, not only to play penetrative passes between these gaps but will also struggle to find space to receive the ball between the defensive blocks, i.e between the defensive line and midfield line. One way in which the side in possession can break these lines, however, is by utilizing a target man.” Outside of the Boot

Long ball
In association football (soccer), a long ball is an attempt to move the ball a long distance down the field via a cross, without the intention to pass it to the feet of the receiving player. In Continental Europe the style is called kick and rush. It is a technique that can be especially effective for a team with either fast or tall strikers.[2] The long ball technique is also a through pass from distance in an effort to get the ball by the defensive line and create a foot race between striker and defender. While often derided as either boring or primitive, it can prove effective where players or weather conditions suit this style; in particular, it is an effective counter-attacking style of play in which some defenders can be caught off-guard. …” Wikipedia


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