How to keep Possession in A 4 V 2 Rondo (05-P1)

 Organisation / Set Up

In this Opposed 4 v 2 practice, possession team must keep the ball in each of the 4 parts within this 20 x 20 area, against 2 defending players who can press to regain in any area.

If defenders win the ball, they can now play a 2 v 1 in a single 10 x 10 area to make 5 passes, before moving into another square to do the same. When attacking team win the ball back, they keep possession the initial 4 v 2 again.

  • Attacking Emphasis 70% 70%
  • Defending Emphasis 30% 30%

Age Group

Number of Players


See all of Coaching Theme 5:


Key Points – Dispersal (Pitch Use)

Players must make full use of this 20 by 20 yard area, keeping the ball moving in each area to keep possession. Dispersal to create space making it difficult to for defenders to win the ball is crucial and gives possession players more time and space to play around defenders. 

Progression 1: Must Split Defenders

When they get they opportunity they must look to split the 2 defenders to score a point as shown. To achieve this, they must look to move defenders apart by keeping the ball on the outside and forcing that pressure. 

Progression 2: 2 Defenders Go 2 v 1 On Regain 

If the 2 whites win the ball, they must make 10 passes in this single area to score a point against a single defender. They must quickly move into a single 10 by 10 yard area and complete these passes under pressure using this smaller space to keep the ball moving.

Progression 3 – Extra Defender Joins After 10 Passes

After 10 passes another defender can press in this small zone to regain quickly creating a 2 v 2, ensuring players are checking shoulders for any pressure that might arrive behind them. As well as checking shoulders, players will increase their level of communication with extra pressure triggered by 10 succesful passes. 

Key Coaching Points: Split Defenders to Break

If players can split the 2 defenders quickly, they can then move into the empty square unopposed, awaiting one of the two remaining defenders to press to regain, repeating the process. How long can the pair keep possession? Set challenges for paired players with 3 teams of 2.

Key Coaching Points

– Short, sharp and concise passing
– Understanding between players of each other’s movement to keep possesson
– Supporting angles to create space and time to keep the ball


How can you draw players in to create space?
What is the best passing angle you can provide for your teammate?
How quickly can you win possession to force the possession team to move the ball at pace?


Difficulty Rating


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