Basic Principles of Play

Contributed by Grant Findlay.

In its simplest form, soccer can be categorised into two basic principles of play:

  1. Attacking – in possession of the ball;
  2. Defending – out of possession of the ball.

Giovanni Trapattoni, current manager of the Republic of Ireland, believes that the attacking and defending principles of football are inter-connected through the constant transition of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ possession. These three principles have been neatly presented in the Basic Principles of Football Model (See Figure 1).

Figure 1: Basic Principles of Football Model

Basic Principles of Football / Soccer Model

Source: Trapattoni (1999)