(to) Defend too deep
This week in the Champions League matches, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri denied that he had asked his side to defend deeply after going two goals up against Totenham. It appeared that the home side sat back and waited to hit Spurs on the counter attak but he suggested that Spurs had pushed his side back with their possession and attacking football. This idea of defending deeply (sometimes you will hear managers and players using the adjective form ‘ deep‘ instead of ‘deeply’) means that a team positions most of its players closer to its own goal rather than the opposition’s goal. Some teams use this tactic to frustrate attacking (or quick) sides but it can also backfire if the team positions its players too close to the goal as it then allows the attacking side to have more of the ball and put pressure on the defence – this would be defending too deeply.
- Example: ‘We started to defend too deep allowing them to have the ball easily in midfield’ Mattia De Sciglio, Juventus defender (UEFA.com, Feb 15th 2018)
- Example: ‘People think it is easy to organise a defence, but it’s not and what Greece did was to make sure they did not defend too deeply.’ (Alan Hansen, BBC.co.uk, 4th July 2004)
If you have any ideas for a football phrase, let us know by leaving a comment below.