An Approach to Space

By Jairam Gopal

Goals are the ultimate aim in football. It is played to score goals and defend them. But the path to goal is not an easy one because regardless of how determined you are to score a goal, the opposition will have the same determination to protect it, thus making it a very difficult task. And because scoring is a complex process there are certain sub objectives that can help you achieve this ultimate goal. These sub objectives will very much depend on the style of football that suits your team.

This article will be discussing an approach to achieve a sub objective that most teams can use regardless of the style of play. And that is SPACE.


Space and time are two things but I don’t like to differentiate between them because on a football pitch, the more space you have, the more time you have to make a decision. Of course, time will depend on the velocity of the opponent approaching to press you and the ability of your brain to make decisions quicker. But considering the velocity and the ability of the brain to be constants, more space will give you more time. So regardless of your style of play, an important thing you need to do is to get a hold of the opponent’s territory.


Football has always been compared to chess. But unlike chess where a single consciousness moves its pieces, football has 22 different minds dictating the environment from 22 different points of perceptions resulting in 22 different realities. All these players react to their own realities. The location of the opponents, teammates, ball, instructions given to them by the coaching staff, their affordances or abilities along with a lot of other factors shape their reality.

But there are certain occasions when you can make the majority of the opposition react in a similar manner. I call it GRAVITY. It is a force that manipulates the opponent into a certain flow. It is the creation of a reality that is relevant to an opponent or majority of the opposition that they all react in a similar manner.

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