Man-to-man marking

Sport: Soccer

A type of marking where defenders are given a specific opposition player to mark rather than defending certain areas of the pitch, as opposed to using a zone defense tactic also known as ‘zonal marking’. 

What are the advantages of Man Marking?

This marking tactic is widely used in soccer throughout the world for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is a popular defensive tactic to use as it can provide tactical simplicity. Man marking allows each player to know which offensive player they are responsible for during the match. If every player performs their role then it can be easier to prevent goal-scoring opportunities. 

Secondly, it can be used as a way to try and prevent the opponent’s key players from having an effect on the match. In soccer, most teams have certain players that have special abilities and skills that can create problems for defensive teams. If the defending team decides to man-mark these players it can reduce the amount of possession they have and also their overall impact on the match. 

What are the disadvantages of Man Marking?

Although man-to-man marking can be used as a way to simply mark individual players, it can have some negative impact on a defensive team. 

Firstly, as this defensive tactic gives each player a specific opposition player to mark throughout the game, if certain defensive players do not defend the player given this can leave lots of space for the attacking player and cause problems for their teammates.

Secondly, depending on the quality of the opposition, man-to-man marking can sometimes become ineffective as the teams with more quality players can often use skill and speed to get away from the opponent’s defenders while creating space for their attacking teammates.  

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