How to define it?
It is a process where I must disturb the opponent´s offensive organization considering two central aims: to avoid being scored and to regain ball possession (as shown below in the video).
Regarding the types of defense, there are several definitions that vary among countries. Most are based on how the team is positioned along the pitch. However, in order to make it simple to get a general idea, we just highlighted the main defensive behaviors, which are:
It is an approach where I constantly seek to stop the opponent´s progression over the field, shortening the space between the player in possession and the defender.
Pros: Such pressure can lead the opposition to be more susceptible to make mistakes and/or to pull its team back to the defensive field.
Cons: It is more physically strenuous for the defending team as well as it leaves the defense unit more exposed.
It is a conduct where a team applies little or no pressure on the opponent, basically waiting passively and carefully for a mistake to happen.
Pros: It demands less physical exertion for the defending team and there are fewer chances to leave gaps and space to be exploited. In addition, bringing the opponent higher up the pitch will eventually increase room for counter-attacks.
Cons: Such behavior gives away field zones to the opponent to be “taken over” and to apply its offensive strategy with less disturbance. Moreover, it increases the opponent´s ball possession percentage, which does not always result in more goal-scoring chances but definitely rises up the attacking team´s confidence.
In either scenario, we must respect the same defensive principles:
I believe that both processes have their advantages and disadvantages. Distinguishing “how” and “what” times to choose between one and another is what differentiates top teams from average ones.
So, which approach would you choose?
Have good training sessions!