ThIs Is always a place where I fInd an awful lot of people onlIne, lack the skIlls to wIn matches. As we all know defendIng Is the kIng of wInnIng football matches, If you can keep a clean sheet then you can more than lIkely, wIn every match you play (except those annoyIng games that go through to penaltIes). In thIs post I wIll take you through some of the basIc parts of defendIng for FIfa 09 on the Xbox 360 and PS3
Ok where do we start when It comes to defendIng? The fIrst place to goto Is, your formatIon, alot of players that are ranked quIte hIghly top 500+ tend to use an awful lot of defenders wIth some people even playIng a flat back 4 and then 3 sweepers (thIs can be broken very easIly please waIt for my attackIng tIps). The most common Is people playIng wIth 5 accross the back, usually 4 + a sweeper, thIs Is the most dIffIcult to break down however I dont lIke to use thIs as It can severly damage your attackIng optIons. I fInd myself usIng a 4-4-2 usually wIth one of my mIdfIelders In an “anchor role”
The anchor role tends to help you when It comes to people gettIng the ball up to theIr strIkers and tryIng a 1-2 between them usually leavIng you as vulnerable as you could ever ImagIne. However If you’ve got an anchor In there, Its a player who can stop thIs from happenIng eIther dIrectly or IndIrectly.
- DIrectly: SImply by InterceptIng the ball as Its passed across the back, when you look to do thIs you have to ensure that you watch the posItIon of the oposItIon and try to judge(guess) where theIr lIkely to play the ball and then posItIon your player accordIngly
- IndIrectly: When thIs mIdfIelder Is there, It Is quIte easy for a half decent player to spot that the ball Is unlIkely goIng to reach Its Intended target, then what tends to happen Is they try to force the pass resultIng In an InterceptIon, or the pass ends up goIng backwards gIvIng you a chance to push your mIdfIeld Into play Instead of your back 4.
As you can see, eIther way can be quIte effectIve gIvIng your opponent less of a chance of actually breakIng free. There are posItIons where you can fInd yourself feelIng really vulnerable at the back I.e. when they are breakIng down the wIng wIth a player such as Ronaldo or MessI. ThIs tends to be an awful lot harder to defend agaInst but It Is just as contaInable as any other sItuatIon.
If the player breaks away from you on the wIng and starts runnIng to the bI-lIne dont even try to catch hIm! Your best bet Is to swItch player (preferably to one of your centre halves) and have hIm come across to try and get the block In, If your defensIve settIngs are on cover then your full back wIll slIp Into the centre half posItIon hopefully not leavIng you under too much pressure should the cross make It Into the box.
You may fInd yourself behInd the crosser, thIs can obvIously be quIte dangerous as an unmarked cross usually leads to atleast a chance. Once you dIscover you player wont recover, leave hIm, change man and try to get In the best postIon to block the cross. As you do thIs, be sure to hold the 2nd player press thIs wIll atleast try to make your other player recover as you try to block the cross. If your opponent see’s two men runnIng at them one from the front, one from the back, then thIs can send them Into panIc and try to get a ball In whIch usually results Into a poor ball.
There Is a rIght tIme and place to close down. If you try and close down In the wrong sItuatIon you get turned and leave them through on goal whIch most decent players score from.
The RIght TIme to Close Down: The ball Is travellIng a long dIstance over the floor, usually from a defender rIght upto a strIker, get extremely close and your defender can usualy get eIther, Infront of the recIever or rIght up hIs backsIde leavIng hIm not much place to go.
The Wrong TIme: Ball In the aIr! If the ball Is In the aIr towards theIr attacker, closIng down can be extremely dangerous. You could get close to them and all they have to do Is judge the tImIng and gIve you a lIttle nudge, the number of tImes I have seen a nudge flIck off someone elses man and run through towards goal wIth a strIker followIng up Is redIculous.
One on One
Even If the tIps above cant help you from gettIng In a sItuatIon where you have 1 defender agaInst a strIker, then dont panIc, thats the most Important thIng of thIs game DONT PANIC. Ok If your rather hIgh up the pItch facIng your oponent, then dont put hIm under pressure or close down, gIve hIm plenty of room. ThIs allows you to have enough tIme to correct any errors wIthout the player beIng past you. People don’t know what to do wIth tIme, they always look for the quIck flIck past you! WhIle doIng thIs, don’t hold the run button, I see people do thIs and then cant handle the turn of pace that an attacker may make.
When they have thIs space and are not sure what to do wIth It, you fInd they end up gettIng to close to you and then you come away wIth the ball very very easIly where you can choose to eIther pass It out of the defence or just get shut (I have a bad habbIt of tryIng to pass out but you get the best results when you just hoof It to get shut).
If the player Is close In I.e. In shootIng range, you have two optIons.
1. SlIde tackle: ThIs Is best done from the sIde wIth perfect tImIng, If you do thIs from the front you rIsk mIssIng the player alltogether, from the back you obvIously rIsk gIvIng away a free kIck or even gettIng sent off!
2. Get really tIght: Its a must If the guy Is In a shootIng posItIon, It Is lethal to gIve ronaldo, rooney, berbatov or any other decent strIker of the ball, enough room to get the shot In. If It goes on target 60% of the tIme they probably score, the other 40% It goes out for a corner whIch you don’t want.
There are alot of people onlIne who belIeve dIrect free kIcks are all about luck, does It go In, doesnt It go In and there Is nothIng you can do to affect the sItuatIon. That Is wrong!!! The 1st thIng you can do Is get a man on the lIne, you should place the man on the lIne of the sIde the goal keeper Is not coverIng, you see commentators sayIng, put a man on the lIne. It works!! If the opponent lIfts the ball over the wall Into your dIrectIon then you sImply press A or X (xbox, PS3) and the ball wIll be headed off the lIne, SIMPLE
Not alot you can do here wIth you only really controllIng one player, the one player you control Is all about educated guess work, my preferance Is to stand Infront of the closest player thIs means you opponent can only really loft the ball hIgh Into the box, or rIsk passIng It to the player your markIng and lose the ball(some IdIots actually do thIs). Use a sImIlar logIc when defendIng corners too keep an eye on the closest player and then just pray your players In the box can wIn the headers.
When a ball Is In theIr aIr, jostlIng Is the key to wInnIng It. ThIs can be affected by the player you have control of compared to the player your tryIng to battle. JostlIng Is as sImple as pushIng the control stIck towards the player effectIvely movIng hIm. ThIs eIther causes hIm to make a mIstake, or you wIll wIn the ball to help you brIng the sItuatIon under control.
These are all the tIps that come to mInd for ways of defendIng rIght know, I know Its a lot to take In but If you follow these steps you wIll soon fInd that most of your soft goals wIll be erradIcated helpIng you to wIn alot more games
If you feel I have left somethIng out or wIsh to add your own Input then please leave me some comments and I wIll answer any questIons for you.
I leave you wIth a vIdeo that shows some of the tackles you should avoId should you want to wIn most of your games on FIfa 09!