The wrong versus the right timing of making a foul
There’s a time and a place for making a foul. But all too often I see players making unnecessary fouls, especially in the last 10 minutes of a game when players get tired. See for example the differences per league and team in fouls per game. This is negatively impacting a lot of teams, and also players individually. Not only because of yellow cards, and unfavourable free kicks against your team, but also because of the possibility to have good opportunities to win the ball. Another interesting article about the number of fouls in the World Cup can be found here.
But first, why do players make a foul? In general, I think players make fouls because of three things:
1. Fatigue: They’re tired and everything becomes a little bit slower and because of this they are too late.
2. Lack of individual tactical knowledge on how to defend: Players don’t know how they should defend in several game situations, like an (aerial) duel or a cross.
3. Overcompensating: A player makes a mistake and wants to repair this immediately, he sprints into the press and tackles the player. YELLOW CARD.
Of course, these three are connected as well. If you’re tired and don’t know how to defend, the chances of making a foul are even bigger.
At Tactalyse we teach how to properly defend, we often refer to it as ‘clean’ defending. This is so important because by understanding how you need to defend and storing this in your brain, you reduce the chances of making a foul and/or mistake. Two other positive things about making fewer fouls are that you have less chance of getting injured, a lot of injuries occur when players make a foul, and the second positive thing about not making fouls is that your data will improve. Nowadays a lot of players get scouted on data, and fewer fouls and fewer duels lost is a positive thing for your data.
So what is the right time to make a foul if you should make a foul at all? There are several moments when it can be the right time to make a foul. Generally speaking, the right time to make a foul is when you or your team is in an unfavourable situation, where the odds of conceding a goal are big. But also then we need to ask ourselves the question still, do we need to make the foul, because yes you can be in an unfavourable situation, but if your foul leads to a penalty or a red card it’s still no good.
The most unfavourable situations are often transitions after losing the ball. This is when players are out of position and when your team often is in numerical inferiority. When getting in numerical inferiority as a player you have two possibilities, if possible you delay the attack so that your teammates can come on the right side of the ball again. If this is not an option you have to make a foul. When making the foul, try to make it in such a way that you not even getting a yellow card.
When the opponent is with his face to their own goal and is trapped, you don’t want to make a foul. The same goes for when your team has a good structure and you’re covered. In these situations, you don’t want to make a foul.
So trying not to make a foul is almost always the best option. It will be better for your team and you individually. So even if you’re in an unfavourable situation, try to not make a foul.
At Tactalyse we’ve found the best way to defend cleanly, this results in fewer yellow cards, fewer injuries, and better individual data for you as a player.
Schedule a trial session with us now, to find improve your defending or improve the defending of one of your players