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Half Spaces & Potential Dangers

With the full back wide and cam picking up the half space room in between opponent’s full back and centre half’s gives the player on the ball options to stretch play or directly into the danger zone ware by a simple pass will gain access to inside the penalty area.

This shows even with 9 players and Goalkeeper behind the ball taking up spots in the half space zones really courses panic as defending side are not sure to stay with or deal with wide attacking threats

Exploiting half spaces at the right times moving from out to in and arriving at the perfect time unmarked

The half space runs off the ball will pull opponents away opening space for your teammate to exploit, clever runs well timed. Not only dragging opponents away but creating and opportunity to get either a shot away or a pass for the advancing opposite half space zone for a back post 6-yard tap in. We look at Manchester city here and this is a common theme during Peps reign here.

This season 68 goals scored 14 inside 6-yard box 9.52% of the goals (Before lockdown)

18/19 95 goals scored 20 inside 6-yard box 19% of the goals

17/18 106 goals scored 26 inside 6-yard box 27.5% of the goals

First season 16/17 80 goals scored 16 inside 6-yard box 12.8% of the goals

A total of 21.7% of Pep's goals in the premier league have come from the six-yard box

Up against a back 4 maybe the CB should be tighter to the attacking player in the half space, but this again shows that dropping in these areas in between CB and FB makes defending teams nervous not knowing to go tight, leave the furthest man and these split second decisions make all the difference.

Not just the player who attacks the half space, there needs to be an understanding with the full back or winger otherwise the decision for the defending side is much easier to just stay with their man. Mixing up these runs with an underlap from the wide player from out to inside the half space opens space to deliver a cross/cut back/shot etc

Picking up these positions not only can they lead to direct shots or chances created directly, as this image shows the potential passing options. Also, key to point out that every passing option is diagonal and not vertical or horizontal why is this important

Adding the half-spaces between the centre and wings results in a different view of the strategic and tactical peculiarities of the game

• the fields of view are one aspect. In a central position, with both teams standing right in front of the goal, the fields of view are both vertical. For positions in the half-spaces, however, the fields of view are not vertical, but diagonal

• . A player in the half-space has as many options as the central player, but doesn’t have to turn away from the centre and play to the side, instead maintaining a diagonal, goal-facing view of the field in his passing game

The field of view

The field of view or visual field is composed of the foveal and peripheral vision. In contrast to the foveal vision, in which the eye’s sight line is aligned exactly with a targeted object to take advantage of the maximum central vision, peripheral vision provides rough, blurred, and distorted visual impressions outside of a solid fixation point. In principle, the object in question is “seen by” the peripheral vision. The sight field has a horizontal binocular (binocular) expansion of about 180-200 °; and vertically about 130 °.

But if a player looks diagonally from the half-space towards goal (or from the spaces near the goal or the wing), he sees a lot more space and thus has, in theory, not only more options, but also significantly more space to work with

Disadvantages of vertical or horizontal passes

• A vertical or a horizontal pass can at most cause only a simple change of direction in the game, making the opponent’s movements less complex

• For a square pass or a vertical pass, the opponent needs only move in the direction of the ball

• In a series of square passes from one side of the field to the other, the ball will pass through various valuable areas, but when it comes out the other side it will have the same theoretical starting point.

• the view of the field is restricted for the pass receiver since he usually has his back to the opponent’s goal and can’t see what’s going on behind him

Diagonal passes importance

• diagonal passes are an important alternative to vertical and horizontal passes.

• A diagonal pass, however, both directly gains space as well as shifts play, which means that the pass receiver has a good field of view and a safer opportunity to pass

• The risk of a lack of pressure on the opponent from horizontal passes and the limited viewing angle from vertical passes are circumvented by the diagonal pass. Thus, diagonal passes combine the advantages of the vertical and horizontal passes, while neutralizing the respective drawbacks

• A diagonal pass causes the opponent to make a more complex movement than is the case from horizontal and vertical passes. The opponent must adjust both their direction and their height, not just one or the other. In most cases this requires the opposing players to behave somewhat asymmetrically

What does this have to do specifically with the half-spaces?

• On the one hand, the goal-focus in the half-spaces often automatically results in diagonality

• where the diagonal passes are played from is crucial • From the middle of the field a diagonal pass leads away from the goal; from the wings it heads towards goal, but from an isolated zone to a player who must be turned away from goal to accept the pass. • Again, the half-space combines two positive aspects and makes the disadvantages rudimentary. Diagonal passes go from the half-space either into the strategically important centre or to the wing but with the ball aligned with the view of the field and directed towards goal. These advantages of the diagonality in the half-space and its underlying diagonal character are among the key features of this zone

Counter attacking while again directly through the half space zones running directly at a full back, defenders have no option but to be drawn to the ball otherwise clean through on goal as touched upon having a understanding with winger or full back is very important and knowing when to realise the pass

Just to provide further evidence why the understanding with each other is vital, Player in the half space is body position is already pointing that he is going from in to out that will open up space for the wide player to drive into the half space area.


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