1) Free Kicks
Usually the keeper lines the wall up from a corner. However he is vulnerable to the quickly taken free kick. This version completely protects him from this and is a much more efficient and fail safe way of defending from free kicks.
a) nearest man stands on the ball to prevent the quick free kick (2)
b) the player who is going to be the end man in the wall quickly swaps positions with him
c) the keeper calls for 2, 3, 4 or 5 in the wall. One less than that number assemble in ascending height order from the tallest (3) nearest the line of the post. He must then order the line out as high as possible (ideally in line with the wall) before making sure they are organised.
d) He may also choose to include a charger (6), especially if the free kick is indirect or there is a player near the ball threatening to pass it to the shooter. The charger should stand a yard top the side of the wall so the keeper can see and charge towards the ball as soon as it is passed, to block the shot.
e) the wall should aim to be about 7-8 yards away from the ball so that if the opposition want the wall walked back the correct distance, this will but us time to organise the wall defence. It also is far enough back that the opposition may not choose to move the wall back, so making the wall more effective.
f) One of the centre forwards (1) then stands about 10 yards behind the ball and directly in line with the near post and the ball. He lines up the wall by ordering the wall left or right (he calls opposite to what he sees as he is facing the opposite direction) e.g. Left one, right half, until the wall is in the correct position when he calls 'hold'. The wall is in the correct position when the tallest (3) (near post end) player is in line with the ball and the post.
g) as soon as the referee asks for the player standing on the ball (2) to retreat, he should stand to the near post side of the wall. This makes it hard for the free kick taker to bend the ball around the wall.
h) If the opposition wishes to ask the referee to walk the wall back, the tallest player (3) (in line with the near post) should turn around and walk directly towards the near post (before turning around again). This prevents the wall from moving out of line of the goal. However the striker (1) should still check to see the wall is in line and change if necessary.
i) the wall may wish to jump, but should wait until the ball is struck so they don't anticipate and the ball go under the wall. The wall should stay tight, with players not turning away from the ball and protecting their manhood to prevent injury.
2) Corners (Man to man marking)
Man to man marking is the simplest way of defending corners and easy to make it consistently tough to score from corners.
a) About 25% of corners don't clear the nearest man in the box. Therefore it is essential we have the front man (1) in the box and that the ball doesn't get through him if head height or below. Thus we should have a man about 3 yards from the near post towards the corner flag and in front of any attacker. This player's body should stay open so to track any runs to get in front of him. He should use the pace of the ball to clear 1) high, 2) long and 3) wide in that order of priority. The player should not swing on clearances as it is trying to generate unnecessary power and risks slicing the ball which causes unnecessary danger.
b) There should be a player marking each of the posts (4+5). This should be the two smallest players in the midfield or defence, so that the tallest players can challenge from the cross as prevention of the header being won is better than cure of having to block the shot. Post players (4+5) should stand to the side of the posts facing the corner taker in case the ball goes through the near post man. This allows them to clear. For this reason, the predominantly right footed player should be on the right hand post so he has the outside foot to hook the ball clear and vice versa. If the ball doesn't go to the post players, they should quickly move to inside the post and move slightly away from the post, ready to clear a shot/header. These players should not swing at the clearance but use the pace of the shot to clear the shot.
c) Be careful not to block the keeper's space by marking the keeper's marker. The keeper should be able to deal with him on his own and win aerial balls with this player as he can use his hands. Thus the player should stand in a position where he is aware of the man and can track him run but is not impeding his own keeper.
d) On a short corner, the post players (4+5) should step off the line and the line move up instantly to in line with the ball carrier. This moves the opposition as far away from the goal as possible to make scoring more difficult.
e) If the keeper calls "keepers" for the ball, players in the vicinity should protect him by blocking off surrounding players, not by just leaving him to take the ball.
f) The rest of the players should aim to be inside and behind their men with their body open so they can see the ball and their player and track their opponent's run. They should be very aware of the near post run, which if untracked can lead to an easy header/shot to goal. Balls to the far post are still important but leave us more time to judge.
g) Players should not get sucked too easily into false runs. Players often close their body to near post runs and fail to track the secondary run of their man. Be aware of this and keep your body open.
h) once you have tracked your man, you may be in the vicinity to challenge for the header. Make sure you do challenge for the header even if you think your opponent will beat you to the ball. At the very least try to put him off by making sure there is body contact as you jump to affect his balance as he jumps.
i) Finally once the ball is headed clear or drops in the box, it is very important that if the ball is anywhere near you, you instantly challenge for the ball and put in a clearance. Don't look to see who is closest or wait for someone else to clear the ball. In this situation, marking is irrelevant and anyone in the vicinity needs to take responsibility to make the clearance. If the ball is cleared, everyone should charge out to pressure the ball and to clear the opposition as far away from the goal as possible.