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The purpose of this page is to provide a central place where my Man City players can go and watch their homework. When you watch these videos please try and visualize (see yourself) doing the tasks they are talking about and the tactics they are discussing. 

Week 1 (leading to game on 6 April)

The training focus for this week is developing an effective back line that works as a team to prevent opposing shots and begin an effective build up out of the back.  Please complete watching these videos by our Wednesday practice on 3 April. 

Understanding Man vs Zonal Marking

In this video he does a really good job of describing different man and zonal defenses. We play a hybrid with our defensive line playing a zonal defense and our midfield and forwards mostly playing man. As we move through the season we are going to discuss and apply these concepts frequently. 

High Defensive Line 

He does a very good job of discussing the advantages and disadvantages of playing a high defensive line. We want to play with a high defensive line and we realize this risks the opponent beating us vertically with long through passes before our defensive line gets back. This puts pressure on our center back to make the timely decision to drop back. 

One particular point on this is we will want our keeper to play above the 18 when our defensive line is at midfield. The keeper becomes more of a field playing sweeper than a keeper. 

 Individual Defending

I know we have worked on defending before, but we are going to revisit this early in the season to improve our individual ability to force the opponent to go to his left (weak) foot. He has a good discussion of this in the video. We have a new coach who is going to work with you to improve your individual defending. The ability to individually defend is important for every field player. 

We are going to be doing some of the drills he demonstrates so pay attention to his drills. 

Match of the Week

Each week I am going to put a part of a game or the highlights of a game here for you to watch. The purpose of this is to expose you to professional level soccer and have you look at how they execute what we are focusing on this week with our training. 

This particular match between our namesake and Liverpool was a good one to watch. 


At our last Wednesday practice, Miles demonstrated this slalom cone drill. 

Set out 6 cones. If you do not have cones put out rolled up socks, paper cups, paper plates, etc. Be creative. 

Cone slalom course

The for 15 minutes slalom back and forth through the cones following this sequence:

Use the inside of your feet back and forth Croqueta between the cones back and forth (tap the ball from your left to your right foot and back again using the inside of your feet)


Each player will demonstrate next week at practice. 

  • Use first your right foot to dribble between the cones going down and then your left coming back. 

Week 2 (leading to game on 13 April)

This week we are focusing on improving our offensive play by playing a style of soccer known as tiki-taka. Tiki-taka is a widely used phrase in the soccer world. Within the tiki-taka concept this week we are focusing on building triangles around the ball when we gain possession. 

What is Tiki-Taka?

This a good video discussing what tiki-taka is and its history. 

AMAZING 26 PASS BERNARDO SILVA GOAL | Every player touched the ball! | Utd 0-2 City

This video shows how Man City moves the ball around the field in a controlled manner seeking out and creating a goal scoring opportunity. Watch how they try to give the player with the ball two passing options (forming a triangle) and then switch the field. Step one, create a triangle to maintain control of the ball and pull in the opposing team. Step two, switch field away from the pressure. 

 Body Position

This is a very good discussion about body position and the use of the back foot. I cannot over state the importance of facing. Getting your facing right is critical to playing good passing soccer. Click the "Watch on Youtube" link to go to the video. 

 How to receive a soccer pass with a good first touch

He does a really good job in this video describing and demonstrating a good first touch on the ball to control it and set up your next play. Pay special attention to his body position and the bend of his knees as he controls the ball. 

Amazing One Touch Football In Bayern Training!

The quality of the video is poor, but the quality of the soccer and passing is exceptional. Pay special attention to their body position and shape as they await the ball. They are all focused and ready even when they are unlikely to be the next receiver of the ball. Great example of one touch passing and it is only about 30 seconds.

Week 3 (leading to a game that is postponed from 20 APR)

Since it is Spring Break and many of you will not make practice to actually touch the ball, we will focus the videos this week on concepts and tactics and less on technical skills. Coach Leo has be discussing with us the style of Bayern Leverkusen and its exciting mix of ball control and aggressive attacking. These two videos this week focus on analyzing this style. The purpose of these videos is not to have us mimic their style, but to learn how teams play a deliberate style of play to have a deliberate approach to winning games. 

Often we (and nearly every youth soccer team) get the ball and frantically attack to goal like a moth plunging into a fire. Notice through these videos how players deliberately move to spaces on the field at deliberate times to create deliberate situations. Please notice I have used "deliberate" just short of one hundred times here. These professional teams are not just frantically running around the field hoping to score. They have trained to play a deliberate style. So, as you watch these videos think about our style and how you can deliberately play your games AS PART of the team's style to achieve the outcomes we want. 

Our focus this week, and likely the week after that will still be on building triangles and switching fields. These videos fit in perfectly. 

 How Xabi Alonso Created His Own Style of Football

This is a video of great analysis. He does and exceptional job of showing the tactics of Bayern Leverkusen through positioning and timing to create opportunities to switch field and creating situations where they out number their opponents in their attacking third. As for the way we play, please focus on how he shows how BL creates controlled tight passing situations where they pull in their opponent and then switch fields. This is something we are trying to do with the triangles we are working to create. 

How Xabi Alonso Created A NEW STYLE Of Football | Tactics Explained

Here is another very good video discussing BL's style of play. Notice early on how he highlights one of the critical aspects of BL's style of play being the "counterpress". What he calls the "counterpress" we call "gegenpress". In both cases it is the immediate pressure to get the ball back after you have lost it. We have not trained this yet, but just notice this concept as we will be focusing on it later in the season. 

Soccer Position Numbering

Within the US soccer community and the international community their is a commonly accepted system of numbering soccer positions instead of using names. Below is an image showing how it works. I do not use it because it is inflexible and does not make much sense to me, but you should know it because there are coaches who love it. Additionally, as you listen to soccer analysis on YouTube there are people who use it like the guy in this video. 

Just to orient you. The goalie is number 1. 

Soccer position numbering

 This video is full of advanced concepts and can be challenging to follow. If you don't get it all that is completely ok. Lots of big, critical and complex ideas. Get what you can and if you have the time, watch it twice. Focus on how players moving to different space on the field effect the game and the opponents differently. 



Week 4 (leading to a game that is postponed from 27 APR)

No new video homework this week. Please make sure you have watched weeks 2 and 3. Our focus this week is once again building triangles and switching fields.

Please remember to do you 15 minutes of day of dribbling that Miles showed. It is listed above. 

 Dribbling Homework

At our last Wednesday practice, Miles demonstrated his 10 cone drill. 

Set out 10 cones. Dribble between the cones using the inside, outside and soles of your feet for 15 minutes.

Each player will demonstrate next week at practice. 

ten cone drill

Week 5 (leading to a game on 4 MAY)

We have done well beginning to understand and apply building the triangles and switching fields. This week we are going to focus on the next aspect of tiki-taka we need to understand and apply and that is give-and-goes. This is a powerful tactical task that is great during the build up phase and especially into the scoring phase. It is a great way to penetrate defensive lines and create scoring opportunities. 

The "Give and Go"

The creator of this video does a very good job of highlighting and showing important parts of this video. It is only 41 seconds long so I want you to watch it at least 4 times. 

First time, just watch and see how it flows. 

Second time, focus on how players move to create space for the attacking player to run into. Watch how players away from the ball move to cause the opponents to move so that space is created. 

Third time, watch how the player making the return pass moves in such a way to break contact with the player defending him. This can be done by moving towards the first runner/passer or by moving away from the defender into free space among other ways of doing this. This creation of passing space for the "waller passer" (player acting as a wall in the give and go) is vital for making it work. 

Fourth time, watch how the initial attacking players runs with pace into the free space to receive the ball back. His explosive run is vital for breaking away from the defense. 

How To Execute The Give-And-Go (1-2) | Where Beginners Go Wrong

He does a very good job of breaking down and describing the elements of a give and go.  Pay attention to how many "little" things must be done right to create a truly effective give and go. 

MASTERMIND ALONSO: From 17th to 6th Leverkusen's Rise | Tactical Analysis

As part of our continued effort to understand different successful styles that are played Emil identified this video that analyzes Bayern Leverkusen. This is a good look at how the team plays as well as individual players perform. 

 Dribbling Homework

At our last Wednesday practice, Miles demonstrated his 6 cone slalom drill. 

Set out 6cones. Slalom back and forth through the cones using the outside of your foot. 

Each player will demonstrate next week at practice. 

6 cone slalom

Week 6 (Leading to game on 9 May and 11 MAY)

With a short week of practice ahead because we have a game on Thursday and Saturday and our poor performance scoring goals our homework focus and practice focus this week will be on scoring goals. As such watch this video and absorb all the top goals  in April in the Premier League. 

Top 25 Premier League goals of April 2024 | NBC Sports

Dribble Homework

Luca demonstrated last week setting out 6 cones in a line and then using one foot and pulling the ball backwards and slaloming through the cones. Once you get to the other end use your other foot and pull the ball backwards and slalom back. 

Week 7 (leading to a game on 18 MAY)

This week I would like you to watch the first half of some of the best players in the world at your age. When you dream of playing for the US national team or in the Premier League these will be some of the players you play against. When you watch the first half focus on what is different about our individual and team play and their individual and team play. Here are a few things that stood out to me:

  • How quickly they spread out
  • Their effective running off the ball (making supporting runs)
  • Their composure and skill with the ball