'When I see
my forward, in practice, receiving the ball with his back towards
the goal he is attacking, I stop the practice and tell the player:
"You are wasting your time and that of your fellow teammates.
Don't Do It ....Receive the ball with a tilted body, preferably
on the run!" '
Now, more than 15 years later, with the introduction of the new
obstruction rule, the game has changed. Forwards have the liberty
of receiving the ball with their back towards the goal they are
attacking, or spinning with the ball more or less at will, whenever
and wherever they want.
This point has its advantages and disadvantages. Let us analyze
receiving from both angles, concluding when and where to execute
this skill, and when and where to avoid it.
Players receiving a pass with their back to the opponent's goal
have a big advantage. They can cover—protect—the ball
with their whole body. The chances of keeping possession are much
higher than in the past—even in tight marking situations.
Smart players can receive then spin with the ball, changing direction
to either side to beat an opponent.
Players can receive the ball and lay it off with one touch to
either side for a team mate coming through or overlapping.
In the game phase, when the objective of the team is just to maintain
possession. For example, when there are 5 minutes left to play
and the team is leading by one goal.
These are the major advantages, if one knows when, where,
why and how to use this skill and exploit the opponents.
My observations have been that often the Modern Player, even at
the highest level of competition, lacks this understanding.
In certain game situations he is hurting his own team more by
slowing down the flow of the attack.
In the early 80's the Chip Shot came into fashion. It was
just used the way a kid plays with his new toy. Later, it was
discarded. This may well be the case with this skill to a certain
degree, given time.
Please remember Menotti's quote.
When a player is receiving the ball with his back towards the
goal he is attacking, for a few seconds his vision of the field
behind him is blurred and he looses contact with the changing
game situation. This deprives the forward of the awareness of
the latest changes which have occurred, especially in a breakaway
or counter attack game situation.
When the forward is spinning and curling with the ball it gives
the defense a golden opportunity to Recover and Reorganize. In
certain attacking game situations delays are dangerous
and the attacking team doesn't want the defense to settle.
In a breakaway situation, it takes a forward with his back towards
the attacking goal extra seconds to control the ball and take
off for scoring. In these extra seconds a good defense can create
a lot of obstacles.
the ball with the back towards the attacking goal.
This move is a negative one. It is done more out of
fear than desire: fear is bad, desire is positive and powerful.
With the tilted body, the chances for loosing possession while
receiving are greater. But, when one masters the skill—art?—the
advantages are far more. The Higher the Risk, The Higher the
We should teach our players—especially juniors—to
know when, where, why and how to use this skill to their maximum
advantage. More importantly, they should develop the art of receiving
the ball with a tilted body on the run.
When one exposes the ball, while in the process of receiving,
this entices the defender to commit, especially on a common ball.
This gives him a false impression that he can get the ball, but
instead he gets beaten. Just like a fish, he has taken the bait.