More about the game principles

From the stands, soccer may look like a single, 90-minute-long game that’s broken into 45-minute chunks by halftime. In reality, each soccer match consists a series of smaller plays involving groups of players.

Soccer consists of ten basic tactical principles, originally developed by soccer tactician Allen Wade in 1967 called “The F.A. Guide to Training and Coaching” and expounded upon by coach Alan Hargreaves, that both players and coaches can use to gain skills and evaluate performance on the field. These principles are classified as attacking – offense – or defending – defense – depending on which team has the ball.

The five principles of attacking and defending are a fundamental basis for a soccer coach to focus his team’s broader objectives and strategies. According to Allen Wade and other proponents of the principles, every practice and match depends on the successful execution of the principles, so they are indispensable to success in the sport.

Effective attacking and defending depends simultaneously on individual and team actions. These actions consist of corresponding attacking and defending actions known as the “Principles of Play.”

Fundamental Principles of Attack

When your team has the ball, everyone on the team becomes an attacker.

Your goals as attackers are:

➢Keep possession of the ball

➢Move the ball forward into an attacking position

➢Create chances to score a goal

Fundamental Principles of Defense

The moment your team loses possession of the ball, everyone on the team becomes a defender.

Your goals as defenders are:

➢Stop the other team from creating chances to score a goal

➢Limit the chances for the other team to get into attacking positions

➢Regain possession

Read bellow the full document:

Game Principles

More about the Game Principles at the online course: Soccer Game Principles: An Introduction


Soccer Coach at Benfica Soccer School of Toronto and Soccer HUB content specialist. Founder of Canadian Soccer Coaches Network!


  • Evans Dadzie
    October 17, 2020

    Great work

    • Teles
      February 24, 2021

      Thanks, great that you enjoyed.

      Feel free to share it.

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