Ever wondered has to what does goalside mean?
Maybe you were playing local football.
Or just so happened to be spectating when you heard the term mentioned.
Well in this post I will go over everything you need to know about the term.
Now put quite simply Goalside is a strategic positioning tactic used mostly in soccer.
The whole purpose of doing this tactic is simply to get an edge over your opponent.
When I first started playing I had no clue what it meant.
My coach would shout at me saying to me get goalside.
I would be so confused.
Thinking to myself ‘Goalside, what is that?’.
Well, it’s all about placing yourself between them and the goal.
So that you’re essentially the goalside of your opponent.
It helps ready you for any move that the player you are against makes.
Enabling you to react quicker and hopefully keep any risk they pose to a minimum.
This simple act of moving you from one side of a player to another.
This can in sometimes be the case, between conceding a goal or not.
Because if you are not goalside, you could easily be shrugged off.
With your opponent potentially having a clear opportunity to score or create a chance.
So unless you want to get a telling of from your coaches or teammates.
It’s always best to automatically put yourself in a goalside position when defending, to avoid getting blamed.
Now with that said, lets take a further dive into the term goalside and go into where its come from and why its so important in the game of soccer.
Table of Contents
Definition of “goalside”
So as we have established Goalside is all about being between your man and the goal.
Essentially by doing this your protecting your goal.
Instead of being the other side of the player, and protecting there goal.
Which has you would understand makes no sense.
Its about giving yourself that defensive upperhand.
So that if your opponent tries to spin you, they aren’t running straight into open space.
If the ball comes into there feet, you have a better chance of getting a block on a shot or pass they try to make.
You also get a much better view of the situation and the game from a goalside position.
So as you can see this move is so important, because it can limit your opponent from pulling off so many moves, by limiting them.
Whether your trying to become a pro or amateur, or even if your engaging in a local game of six a side.
Knowing this term is only going to have a positive impact on your footballing experience.
Origins and usage of the term
You may have heard the goalside term through maybe your coach yelling it at you.
Or watching some game, and some keeper shouting it at the top of thier lungs.
However where did it come from, for people to start saying it.
To delve further I have put a mini table, with his definition and application:
|Soccer||The positioning of a player on the side of the field nearest their own goal or the opponent’s goal.||Defenders stay goalside of attackers. Attackers strive to be goalside of defenders to receive passes or make shots.|
|Rugby||The position adopted by a player in relation to their team’s try line or that of their opponents.||Defensively, remain goalside to obstruct scoring. Offensively, advance forward towards an opponent’s try line for potential scoring opportunities.|
These details show how ‘goalside’ is used in different sports. It’s important for defenders and attackers in soccer, defenders near their team’s goal crease in hockey, and offensive players near the try line in rugby.
It’s essential to understand the significance of being goalside. Failing to do so can lead to missed opportunities and compromised defensive positions. Therefore, we must embrace this concept and use it to our advantage. So, let us not underestimate the power of ‘goalside’. Let us use it to elevate our sporting endeavors. Why stay on the same side as the goal when you can be the side that actually scores?
Examples Of Being “Goalside”
As I was alluding to earlier, goalside is key.
Because if not used in attacking and defensive scenarios.
Well, it gives such an advantage to the opposing player.
To give you an example, let’s start from a defensive point of view.
Example 1: Defending A Corner
So lets say your defending a corner, and the player you are marking is closer to the goal than you.
What this means is if this ball is swung in, you will almost have no control of the situation.
If that player goes to leap to head that ball in the net, since you are the other side of them you won’t be able to contest and make a challenge for the ball.
The player unless engaged by other members of your team, will get a free header and potentially a free opportunity to score.
Now if you change this and integrate Goalside into it.
Where you are now placed between them and the goal, well when they jump up to head the ball.
You will be able to engage with them and evenly contest them in a duo.
Instead of just watching them leap up helplessly.
This is one of the biggest reasons why goals are conceded in a situation like this.
Example 2: Taking The Ball In Your Stride
Now let’s have a look at another example, where now you are playing the offensive position.
Let’s say you playing center attacking midfielder, which is one of my favorites in the game.
If you placed yourself between yourself and the goal, close to their defensive midfielder in the final third.
Just to give you an example.
Then if any ball comes into your feet, you can easily block the defender from getting to it.
While also easily opening out your feet, so you can get the ball out, to run at their defensive line.
Now the only exception to this is if you are up against a long-legged midfielder such as Sergio Busquets or N’Golo Kante, who seem to always be able to get a tackle in no matter the position therein.
But if you’re not then 9 times out of 10 you will win in this dual.
Switch this scenario, where the defender is goalside.
And you may find yourself getting past them less than 50 percent.
Now they are random figures.
But you get the idea and how important Goalside is in the game.
You can get away with it at the youth level.
Im talking about early teens.
When up against players that are smarter and stronger, it however becomes a necessity.
Conclusion and summary of the main points discussed.
Being able to understand goalside can help you improve your own game.
Helping to limit goals at your side, while potentially creating more goals in the opposing team’s half.
This can also have a positive influence on the team’s performance too.
So whether your are just a soccer fan or a player like myself, you can learn a lot by understanding this strategy and how it impacts the game.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does “goalside” mean in soccer?
Answer: The term ‘Goalside’ is all about referring to the defensive and positioning strategy where a player will put themselves between them and the goal.
Being goalside is there for being on the side of the player who is closest to the goal, which has a result that will aid them in keeping a better defensive position and limiting the opponent’s chances of scoring.
2. How does being goalside benefit a defender?
Answer: Goalside benefits the defender by placing them in a position of control, which will make it easier to nullify any of the opponent’s movements. Whether that be a fast movement to the near post or trying to pull off a player, a defender will be able to anticipate this better and react accordingly. As a result, it will help decrease the number of dangerous attacks towards the goal.
3. Is it necessary for all defenders to be goalside?
Answer: A defender doesn’t always need to be goalside, however in many scenarios, it is necessary, for instance, if a defender is trying to keep a line or mark an attacker at a corner. However, defensive strategies can vary based on the specific game situation and tactics employed by the team.
4. Can attacking players also be goalside?
Answer: Yes, attacking players can also position themselves goalside in certain situations. Playing in an attacking positions in my career, I have used it in order to roll a defender by getting on the wrong side of them. You can also create scoring opportunities and block passing lanes. This tactic is often used during set pieces, counter-attacks, or when trying to block goal kicks or clearances.
5. How can players improve their goalside positioning?
Answer: Players can enhance their goalside positioning through practice and understanding of the game. It involves reading the play, anticipating opponents’ moves, and maintaining a proper distance from both the goal and the opponent. Regular training, studying game scenarios, and receiving guidance from coaches can improve a player’s ability to adopt an effective goalside positioning.
6. Are there any risks or challenges in adopting a goalside strategy?
Answer: While goalside positioning is generally beneficial, there are certain risks and challenges involved. Defenders may get drawn toward opponents, leaving gaps for other attackers to exploit. It requires good communication and coordination among defensive teammates to ensure proper coverage. Additionally, effective goalside positioning also demands quick decision-making and agility to react to changing situations on the field.