Why Soccer Players Lay Down Behind the Wall
Have you ever seen a soccer player lay down behind the wall? Looks pretty weird, doesn’t it? Why would they put themselves in a position where they could get hit with the ball or jumped on? Let me explain…
By laying down behind the wall, players are able to prevent the opposing team from scoring a goal by sneaking the ball underneath the wall.
In today’s professional games, we are seeing more of it. One of the first examples came in 2013 when Figueirense defender Ricardinho dropped low behind his team’s wall.
Here’s Messi doing it recently for PSG.
In this article, I’ll explain some more details about the purpose of a wall and some common misconceptions.
The Purpose of the Wall
When defending a free kick, one of the most common tactics used by soccer teams is to form a wall.
This wall is a group of players who stand in front of the goal, blocking the path of the ball. The players will typically stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a horizontal line.
The purpose of the wall is to prevent the ball from going directly into the goal.
Defending Free Kicks
The wall is usually positioned between the ball and the goal. The players in the wall are tasked with preventing the ball from going over or under them and into the goal.
By laying down behind the wall, a player can prevent the ball from going under the wall and into the goal.
This technique is especially useful when the free-kick is taken from a close range, as it makes it harder for the kicker to aim for the corners of the goal.
The Role of the Player Behind the Wall
When it comes to free kicks, every soccer team must consider having a wall in place to block the path of the ball. This is especially important when the ball can reach the goal in the air.
There’s really no need to have a wall if the ball isn’t over half-field.
However, what’s the role of the player behind the wall? Here are some reasons why that player is crucial to the team’s defense:
Preventing Low Shots
One of the primary roles of the player behind the wall is to prevent low shots. This player is positioned to block any shots that may go under the wall.
By lying down behind the wall, the player can prevent the ball from going under the wall, making it more difficult for the opposing team to score.
Essentially, you eliminate one option that the kicking team can consider.
Blocking Gaps in the Wall
Another role of the player behind the wall is to block any gaps in the wall. If there are any gaps in the wall, the opposing team can take advantage of them and score a goal.
By lying down behind the wall, the player can help block any gaps and make it more difficult for the opposing team to score.
Providing Cover for the Goalkeeper
The player behind the wall can also provide cover for the goalkeeper. If the ball goes over the wall, the goalkeeper may not be able to reach it. However, the player behind the wall can jump up and try to head or kick the ball away from the goal.
Tactics and Strategy
When it comes to defending free kicks, soccer teams have a variety of tactics and strategies at their disposal.
One of the most common tactics is to form a wall of players in front of the goal, which can help to block the shot or force the shooter to aim for a different part of the goal.
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key elements of this strategy.
The Number of Players in the Wall
The number of players in the wall can vary depending on the situation.
Generally, the more players in the wall, the more difficult it will be for the opposing team to score.
However, having too many players in the wall can also leave other parts of the goal vulnerable.
As a general rule, the wall should have at least three players, but no more than six.
The Positioning of the Wall
The wall should be positioned in a way that covers as much of the goal as possible, while still leaving enough space for the goalkeeper to see the ball and react to the shot.
The wall should also be positioned to cover any gaps in the goalkeeper’s coverage of the goal.
It is the job of the goalie to instruct his or her players on where to form the wall. As the wall is being assembled, the goalie can inspect and make adjustments before the offensive team gets the kick off.
The Timing of the Wall
The wall should be formed quickly, before the opposing team has a chance to take the free kick.
The offensive team can take the kick as soon as the referee blows their whistle. This can happen in a flash.
Ensure you have a few players stacked across the line and make necessary adjustments afterwards.
The Wall is Not Foolproof
One of the most common misconceptions about laying down behind the wall in soccer is that it is a foolproof way to block a free kick.
While it is true that laying down behind the wall can be an effective strategy, it is not always successful.
The wall can be beaten by a well-placed free kick that goes over the wall or around it.
In addition, if the free kick is taken with enough power, it can simply blast through the wall, making the player lying down useless.
The Wall is Not Always Necessary
Another common misconception is that a wall is always necessary to defend against a free kick.
While it is true that a wall can be effective in blocking a free kick, it is not always necessary. Depending on the distance from the goal, the angle of the free kick, and the skill of the free kick taker, a wall may not be needed. In some cases, it may be more effective to have players mark the opposing team’s players instead of laying down behind a wall.
In fact, some teams choose to forego the wall altogether and instead rely on their goalkeeper to make the save. This can be a risky strategy, but it can also be effective if the goalkeeper is skilled enough to make the save.
I hope that clears up the question, “why soccer players lay down behind the wall”.
To summarize, players are able to prevent the opposing team from scoring a goal by sneaking the ball underneath the wall.
It’s that simple.
Depending on your team’s strategy, this topic may not have an effect on you. But, if you’ve seen it in a Premier League game or on the youth soccer field, now you understand why.