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Top Tips for Creating a Killer 5-a-Side Football Team

Whether you’re just not as young as you used to be, or you just prefer it to traditional 11-a-side, small sided football is as popular as it ever has been. If you play, you know how important it is to have a well balanced team, otherwise you end up on the wrong side of a 23-0 thrashing. We’ve accumulated some of the very best tips to creating an absolute force of a team on the 5-a-side court.

Find the right goalkeeper

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This is essential in order to create or become a successful small sided team. As the pitches are smaller, the play is tighter and the goals are closer to each other, having the right man between the sticks is important. A good team and player will find spaces behind or between your defensive line on a smaller space, and your goalie is your last line of defence, and last hope to keep the ball out of the net. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because the nets are smaller, that the best goalie is the biggest guy with gloves on, this is not always the case and in fact smaller keepers are usually the most effective at protecting the goal from low, drilled shots into the bottom corners.

Don’t go for the ‘draw straws’ or ‘take it in turns’ approach, get yourself a good goalie.

Play the right formation

In small sided football, you don’t have the freedom to play a number of players on the pitch in elaborate formations like you would in 11-a-side. Some of the best formations are the 1-2-1 formation and 2-1-1.

Those that are lucky enough to have a very good defender may be confident to play the 1-2-1 formation, using the two midfield players as box to box and contributing massively to both defensive and attacking plays. With this formation, with your midfield players dropping back into defence when necessary, you can be strong in both defence and attack. A very good defender here can often dictate the play of the game.

If you like to feel a little safer at the back, 2-1-1 is also a decent option. Giving you a more protected back line, it can allow you to minimise goals conceded however, unless you have a class striker up front, can often leave you lacking a real threat up front. With his formation, don’t be scared to allow one of your back line to push forward when attacking and be an option. Some of the best teams in this formation often play a wing back style player next to a main strong defender, in order to get that balance between attack and defence with the defender that is assigned to push forward.

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Get the right players!
This seems common sense but so often are teams seen to forget that small sided teams also need tactics and people that are willing, as well as able to play in their designated roles.

THE POWERHOUSE

This guy is the powerhouse in your team. Strong, brave and powerful this guy will dominate the area he plays in, tackling and shrugging off other players with ease. Usually deployed in the defensive line, this guy will tackle, block and defend his back side off in order to stop them scoring against you, distributing the ball to the forward players quickly upon retrieving possession.

THE ‘HE’S EVERYWHERE’ ENGINE

These guys are who you definitely need in your midfield roles. These guys will run, run, run, and run some more until they are nothing but jelly. These guys will be there to help out and tuck in defence when you need them, but a few seconds later are up alongside the striker in order to offer an option. Fitness is essential for this role.

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THE ‘JUST BLOODIE TACKLE HIM’ THREAT

This player will find an inch of space where they looked to be not any space at all. These players can contribute massively in terms of goals, managing to weave their way into dangerous areas, or get themselves that little bit of extra space in order to get off a shot or play a pass. With small sided pitches being much smaller than large sided, it is important to try and find space to cause problems for the opposition. Do not mistake this role for the guy that knows the most tricks, or the greedy one who calls himself ‘Jonny Neymar Skillster Smith’ on Facebook, this breed we want are smart players and more importantly are also ‘team players’. Finding space doesn’t need to be about step overs roulettes, and the best players can often get that space with a little drop of the shoulder, or a quick foot taking the ball away from the defender at the last moment.

THE RELIABLE GOALSCORER

Small sided games are very different to large sided, and so your reliable goal-scorers may be completely different players to who you would choose to lead your line on an 11-a-side pitch. These are not just the fastest players on the pitch, or the tallest target man.
What we want here is a powerful, and more importantly, ‘hungry’ player up top. We want someone who has the desire to score, and the hunger to see that ball in the back of the net.  However, we also want someone that is reliable, these players have a great foot and a great shot, who will hit the target more often than not, and consistently cause problems for the defence and keeper. Get the guy that can hold off a defender and find space to get a shot off, but also someone who is hungry to have the ball, and hungry to move and find dangerous spaces near their goalmouth.

BE SMART!

Small sided football is as much about tactics and intelligence as 11-a-side. Marking is essential, and marking players well can be the difference between winning and losing. Keep your eyes on your player you are marking and stay switched on at all times. Every player on that pitch is a threat at all times and with smaller pitches, it can take two passes to get behind you and they’ve scored before you even know that your man has eluded you. Always communicate, and make sure you are heard on the pitch, keep your team mates on their toes and help them in picking up their men. Train and develop yourselves in marking and watching what is going on around you at all times, on a large pitch you can often go idle for periods of time if the ball is not near you or there is no immediate threat, this is something you will not experience in 5-a-side.

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DON’T OVER FOCUS ON POSSESSION

Counter-attack in small-sided football is and can be just as effective as possession play. You’ll find that most goals scored are quick bursts up field. By letting teams pass it around aimlessly in non-dangerous areas you will frustrate them and make them start to lose their shape in attempts to draw you out of your own. Eventually a loose pass or touch will allow you to burst quickly and can leave them in your dust, scoring on a quick counter attacking play. This will frustrate them even more, especially as they will have originally h that fake confidence in that they are dominating the game. On pitches such as the ones you will be playing on, 1 or 2 passes before shooting can be all it takes to create that opportunity for you.

However, play what suits your team and your abilities, if you are a team that is able to dominate possession and the game, tiring out opposition players and drawing them out of position with intelligent passing play, then do it! You may never know what style suits you best until you have experimented and seen what works for you.

 

Five Games that Need to be Re-Mastered on Next-Gen

As technology advances, we are blessed with the progression of gaming graphics and gameplay. Every pixel is more defined, every story is more immersive and every goal you concede on FIFA is even more annoying. Here we have five games we ABSOLUTELY NEED to be remastered for next-gen consoles.

Burnout: Revenge

burnout-revenge-01.jpgAvailable on most consoles, the Burnout franchise were a gaming favourite as you crashed and smashed your way through the city. The franchise went quiet after their 2008 addition Burnout: Paradise was not as popular as hoped.

With many different game modes, including my personal favourite ‘Crash’, Players would take part in a number of objectives, during rush-hour traffic in a busy city. Brutal Take-downs and total annihilation of your enemies vehicles would never have looked as beautiful as they would now in modern-day graphics. This franchise absolutely needs a reboot on next-gen gaming consoles, bring it back!

Fable 2

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The Fable franchise are role-playing games set in the immersive magical world of Albion. You play the main hero as you are thrown into a gruelling adventure of self discovery, pitted against a number of different enemies, human and creature.

The first Fable instalment was remastered for XBOX 360 under Fable: Anniversary. Fable 2 would be a good addition to the remastered collection on next-gen featuring modern day graphics and game engine. The second game featured a slightly less forced storyline with smoother gameplay and story progression, with a number of new options and capabilities. In a game where every decision you make matters, your experience of the game changes every time you play it, as creatures and humans alike react differently to your presence depending on how you behave. Fable 2 also introduced your adorable and helpful companion, your dog, which of course you can interact with on a number of levels.

Need For Speed: Most Wanted 

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This one gets a spot, despite the semi-recent and frankly disappointing reimagining of the game that was released in 2012. We’re talking a full-scale remaster of the thrilling 2005 creation, that understandably was the highest selling game in the Need for Speed franchise.

Working your way up the ‘Blacklist’, your aim was to cause as much mayhem as possible in order to get enough reputation to take on your next rival on the leaderboard, eventually working your way to the final boss, Razor. You’ll probably remember his trademark Mustang with flame vinyls from the beginning of the game, well he takes your striped M3 GTR as the main player is incarcerated, and proceeds to use this against you in the final boss races of the game… don’t worry, you can get it back though. We need Need For Speed to return to it’s original hot blooded street racing lineage, come on EA!

GTA: San Andreas

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There’s no argument that the GTA franchise has always pleased us with new additions, and the current next-gen games are nothing less than pleasing. However, there’s just something that, no matter how good new instalments are, always takes us back to this one. GTA: San Andreas was an absolute highlight of the franchise, released in 2004 / 2005.  Set in the fictional U.S. state of San Andreas, you play the role of our loveable main hero/ murderer/ criminal Carl “CJ” Johnson, and is often considered one of the best video games ever made.

Imagine CJ causing havoc, eliminating rival gangs and clashing with the military forces in next-gen graphics. Rockstar, we beg you.

Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

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Released in 2006, yet another trademark creation in a very popular gaming franchise. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion took the gaming scene by storm. Set in the magical world of Cyrodiil, you play the role of the main hero, with a large variety of character customisation options including race and classes.

Cyrodiil is packed full of wonderful beasts and creatures, all for you to fight against or alongside. It is also home to a number of races including humans, orcs, argonians and more, as well as factions including the warriors and thieves guilds… and yes you can join and take part in them all! Escaping from prison, you find yourself entwined in a magical journey as you become the Hero of Kvatch, and attempt to save the world from the Dremora, a demonic race that are frequently appearing alongside the opening of portals to their universe, known as Oblivion Gates.

The game also featured hundreds of side-quests and tasks, as well as a very fun Arena in which you are pitted against other highly skilled warriors in a gladiator-style fight to the death, for sport.

XBOX ONE saw the release of The Elder Scrolls Online, but we’d all love to be thrown back into this game see the Oblivion Gates in all their next-gen glory.

Top Tips for Conquering Call of Duty: WW2 Nazi Zombies

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Call Of Duty is again attempting to conquer that ‘Shooter’ top spot in 2017 as it releases its highly anticipated instalment Call of Duty: WW2. With an newly refined campaign dynamics and new multiplayer game modes, gamers were chomping at the bit to get hold of the game. However, what really sets apart Call of Duty from other new shooting games, is the fan-favourite Nazi Zombies game mode, and this version is sure to cause some seriously sweaty palms.

Here are our top tips and tricks to dominating Nazi Zombies, and getting to those higher stages…

Tailor Your Loadout!

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We will start with the most important thing to do before you even start the match of zombies, and that’s choosing and modifying your load out. It’s essential to choose your load outs and abilities to complement not only your own playing style, but the team you’re playing with. Don’t be surprised to discover it was a bad idea for you all to pick Shellshock, for example. You want to ensure you have a healthy balance of roles within the team, as each of them are highly beneficial in a number of situations.

The special abilities are as follows:

Freefire: Gives the user unlimited ammo for a short period of time, even if the clip is empty.

ShellShock: The user creates a powerful burst in that location, knocking back nearby zombies and stunning them for a short period of time.

Camouflage: The user becomes invisible to zombies for a short period of time.

Frontline: The user taunts the zombies, attracting them to that particular player for a short period of time. The user also gains double damage to enemies for the duration of the ability.

Use The Shovel in Earlier Rounds!

Like melee attacks with your knife in previous Call of Duty instalments. It is beneficial for ammo to use your melee attack in earlier rounds where the zombies are easy to kill. Not only this but you gain more jolts (in-game currency) for a melee kill and so it allows you to build up a healthy amount of points in the earlier stages.

The enemies in wave 1 can be killed with one melee attack. The enemies in wave 2, take two melee attacks… and so forth.

Take Out Pests Quickly!

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There are a number of different types of zombie you will come across in the game, with varying traits and methods to take down. One of these are the ‘Pests’.

These fast-moving zombies are armless, but definitely not harmless, and hunt in packs. They will charge at you in large numbers and can cause a lot of problems if they aren’t taken down quickly. Not only this but they can damage you even when you’re sprinting away from them. Get rid of them quick!

Ignore the brutes!

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Another new form of enemy is the Brute. This enemy is a large, bulky creature that roams the map in search of your demise. However, you DON’T have to take these down in order to progress the wave. The brutes move very slowly and so can be easily avoided most of the time. Make the mistake of firing at one though, and it will charge at you quickly causing huge amounts of damage if it lands it’s attack. They also have large amounts of health and so will consume tonnes of valuable time and ammo in order to get rid of, so best just to ignore these and let them roam without putting your team in danger.

Get the Best Weapons!

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This one seems pretty obvious. The more you progress through the waves, the more sturdy and harder to defeat the zombies will become, and quickly! By Wave 5 your pistol is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, so you’ll need something with a bit more kick. Here are some of our personal favourites:

BAR – Good damage output with quick rate of fire, reloads pretty quickly too.

M1 Garand – Useful if you’re an accurate shooter. Low rate of fire but lethal for headshots or picking off the slower zombies.

MG42 – Although this LMG is slow to reload, its high damage output makes it worth it.

MP40 – High rate of fire with good damage output, perfect all-round weapon.

Upgrade Them!

Eventually, even the best weapons will lose their effectiveness against higher level, sturdier zombies. In order to survive, you’ll have to upgrade them. To do this you’ll be required to spend 5000 Jolts on Pack-a-Punch’ing them. Upgrades can include higher rate of fire and higher damage output in order to keep ahead of the game against the higher stages.

Of course, it’s not that easy, you’ll have to activate and unlock the Pack-a-Punch machine first!

‘Kite’ Zombies!

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You may or may not have heard of the term ‘kiting’ before. To “kite’ an enemy means to attract and keep the attention of an enemy on a player, in order for others to go about their business or attend to an assignment. This is done much easier with a slower, less lethal enemy as one player keeps it attention, whilst others either upgrade weapons, explore the stage, unlock new areas or attempt to complete an objective.

On this game however, you can no longer blow a zombie in half and lead their scrambling upper body around the map. So just keep one of the slower ones limping after you.

Share Your Points!

One thing that is so commonly ignored, is the fact that you’re a team! You’ll quickly learn that working as a team, progressing together, and equally becoming stronger is key to success. Share your points with team-mates and upgrade guns and buy perks together. If only a couple of the players are upgraded and strong, all you will find is that you’re constantly having to then risk yourself to revive the players who are struggling. Work together to become strong together, and you’ll find it much easier to progress, as well as keep everyone alive and effective.

Don’t be that guy with the huge stockpile of points you’re not using.

Use Your Notebook!

By pressing the Back button, you can view current assignments and objectives on the stage. These help you to figure out what you need to do next in order to progress through the ‘story’. It’s also very important to do so on your first few attempts of the game mode, so you can learn the necessary steps for future play-throughs.

 

Combine these methods and we have no doubt that you will become an undead Nazi slaying beast in no time. Let us know in the comments how far you get!