Famous Formations: The Press
The Press is a series of variant offensive formations where at least half of the teams players are situated on the launch line at the start of the match. However, The Press can also be combined with other formations, depending upon the match up in question to provide some defense, and then becomes more a “tactic” than purely a formation. Either way, it tends to be utilized by more aggressive teams, or simply by teams that are Home. It would also be possible to use the five across variant as a sort of Forward Screen for a Visiting team looking to mix it up, but that takes careful consideration of positioning and matchup to keep from getting exploited by your opponent.
There are many viable variations of The Press, but there Advantages are fairly similar across the board. Firstly, it allows a Bashy team to get as many bodies as possible close to the action to start laying down the hurt. Secondly, it positions slower teams to have greater “reach” with their actions, being positioned to get into the opponents half of the pitch on their first move. It can also be psychologically beneficial when setting up as the Home team, as it often can force your opponent into a more defensive formation to try and counter your slamming game….thereby minimizing their own first rush opportunities.
One of the main draw backs is usually defensive orientation. Committing so many players to attack tends to leave your own end of the pitch open to counter strikes. However, if you start to win the war of attrition, this can be increasingly less of an issue. Also, it kind of tips your hand as to what your going to do and can allow the opponent to minimize the damage you intend to cause them with their own setup. This would, in turn, be a good time to counter with a Sucker Draw and slow ball them with an attrition game if you have a decided advantage in slamming. The main key is to not get so caught up in slamming that you win the battle, but lose the war…..pay attention to that scoreboard!
The Press doesn’t have to be all the players, all the time. You could combine a Press with a Three Pillars for instance, the only difference really being intent of how you plan to utilize it. As mentioned, while typically a Home formation, it can be used defensively as a Screen, or even to exploit Run Interference trickery.
You’ve got a lot of options Coach, make ‘em count!