In recent years, teams like Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City have all gained attention for their style of play. Barca in particular (and Spain at the international level) have relied on a style that utilizes taking advantage of passing channels to create scoring opportunities. In essence, they all use possession to penetrate. The idea is to utilize passing and player movement to create gaps between defenders for attacking players to run into and for the ball to be played through- the KILLER PASS. The killer pass is the pass that creates a goal-scoring opportunity. Players that can play these combinations in and around the box become the most effective players.
Passing lanes used to be called “gaps between defenders”. It is a space available for a ball to be passed through, typically on the ground. The “gap” must be wide enough so that no defender can extend the leg to cut off the pass. Or the passing distance must be short enough and the pass hard enough such that defenders don’t have time to react.
The purpose is to play a ball into space behind the defense for another attacker to run into- the KILLER PASS. If it’s inside the penalty box it will set up a great scoring opportunity. Anywhere else in the field it will open up space and keep forward progression moving.
It is easy to see how channel and lane can be used interchangeably. What matters is the concept of having space for a pass between defenders, or space for a pass between the most outside defender and the side line.
- ANGLED RUNS- Dribble at an angle going across the field.
- SPACE- Pass the ball into space, in front of your attacker running onto the ball. Not so hard the goalie can come out and get it, but hard enough so your attacker doesn’t have to slow down to receive the pass. A very important element is that your attacker runs across the back line instead of just backing up in the direction you are dribbling towards.
- COMMUNICATE- Shout and point to your teammate where to run. Say something like “Go” or “Make a run”. Your teammate probably won’t make this run until you pass and shout at them to go. Maybe talk to them prior to the game and tell them that if you see me dribbling across the field then make a run in the opposite direction and I’ll find you.
- PASSING TECHNIQUE- Pass the ball with the inside or outside of your foot. You make the call. By using the outside of your foot your pass will be more deceptive. Which means sneaky. If you turn and use the inside of your foot the defenders could read the pass quicker because of your body positioning.
- MIX IT UP- DO NOT use this angled dribble and pass every time you have the ball. Mix things up to keep defenders guessing.