How to defend like England: crosses
Are your players equipped to handle a cross? This article is part of a series on the defensive tactics of our national teams. This time, we explain how their approach can help you prepare your players to defend against crosses.
Imagine you're facing an attack. Your team have pressed high and pushed the opposition out wide, but a player wriggles past and advances on your box. It looks like they’re about to make a cross...
How do you handle this situation? Who marks who? What happens if the ball is whipped into the penalty area?
These are questions for every team, especially England. Just like the example above, our national teams stay compact and encourage the ball wide, which means they face a lot of crosses.
However, depending on the age group you coach, crossing may not be a big part of your game. Yet.
As your team gets older, prepare for that to change. Your players will need some key skills to confidently walk out onto their Wembley every week.
The defensive tactics that come into play
To handle crosses like England, your players must be able to:
- successfully defend 1v1 within any area of the pitch
- cope with moments of transition
- effectively defend the space both in behind and out wide.
And that’s not all. They must also understand their roles and responsibilities. It’s essential to know who does what, and when.
How our national teams defend crosses
To see the skills your players are aiming for, watch the England Women's senior team in action: