The second individual fundamental that we want to highlight for a good ball circulation is providing the right kind of support that the play demands. At Ekkono, we differentiate between three types of support: emergency, continuity and progression.
To achieve good ball circulation it is important that players recognize when a teammate is under pressure and quickly move to offer emergency support. This helps to keep the ball possession, and therefore, to continue the attack. Not less important it is to apply well the continuity support, where the player is needed to move the ball to another area of the pitch. Lastly, there’s progression support, when the ball possessor is not pressed and is facing the opposite goal. In that moment, teammates must offer a passing line that will break one or several lines of the opposite block, or at a depth that will allow to surpass an opponent with the first touch.
And, as we can see in the examples below, Xabi Alonso has managed to develop these concepts perfectly at Bayer Leverkusen and his players move or position themselves based on which type of support the ball holder needs at every moment. This, not only allows them to secure ball possession but helps them progress to advantageous spaces and create many chances in attack.