What is the most important thing in soccer – to entertain or to park the bus?

This is my take on what is the most important thing between theses two options in soccer. To entertain the supporters or to park the bus and look for a result at any cost.

Is there any need for a Football team to play defensively in today’s modern fast paced game, even if it means boring the fans to sleep, just to come away from the game with some sort of result.bored soccer fans

Why do teams park the bus and just sit back hoping they don’t concede a goal.

You know what I am talking about soccer teams who constantly put eleven players behind the ball without even looking to get over the half way line.

Is there still a place for defensive play or should all teams just go for it, attack and try to score at least one goal during a game.

Am I being too simple or isn’t that the point of the whole game  to score goals and to win games

The problem as far as I can see from the club’s point of view is money. Yes it’s all about the green paper stuff again I’m afraid.

For any team it’s simply become about staying in the league you are in, not being relegated.

If you as a team achieve that, it means  the same amount of money coming into the club if the team picks up enough points to get themselves over the line and stay in the league they are in, even playing defensively then that is all that matters.

note for those that don’t know what parking the bus means in footballing terms:

Parking the bus  is just a description of putting up a wall in front of the goal you are defending. To stop the opposing team from scoring against your team. It’s hard to get around, over, or through if  the bus is parked up. Blocking your opponent from getting near you goal. There is not an actual bus parked up on the field. This can also be called parking the double decker.


Do soccer clubs care what a fan thinks!

With the vast amounts supporters and fans of clubs pay to watch their team play, you would think the club would say to themselves lets give the fans something to shout about. Should fans be asking am I entitled to more attacking play?

I wish it worked that way but you know as well as I do that the fans are becoming more of and afterthought

The result is everything, so pleasing the fans is not the ultimate goal. Being able to pick up one point for the draw or three points for the win is enough in the club’s eyes to keep the fans happy, ask yourself is this enough for you ?

I think teams have an obligation to try and give the fans some entertainment by trying to score a goal. I for one would love to see these so called top managers let the shakels off and let the players go for it , they might surprise you and actually create some chances and who knows many even score a goal. They train hard so must have worked on all aspects of the game including attacking, in different training sections. If they haven’t ever worked on this then I as the owner would want to know what they have been working on in training.


Go for a more positive approach from the start !

Is it simply a case of choosing a more positive manager for your club to start with. That way you will be moving forward in a more positive way. Then that manager allowing the team to make mistakes as long as they are trying to win football matches.
I for one am not a big fan of turning up to watch a dull lifeless boring nil nil draw or my team just sitting back parking the bus and hanging on the the full ninty minutess plus injury time hoping for a nil scoreline against us . If you pay your money you should demand more than that.

The players aren’t good enough to compete with the better technical players.

I hear this all the time from pundits,coaches, and managers. We can’t complete with them they have better players than us.

Yet that team still takes the field of play every game and then pretends you can complete. If the so called lesser team thinks to themselves we train just as hard as them so we are good enough to give them a decent game. Then think about the attacking moves that are done at practice, how to the opposition team a problem by practicing attacking moves or counter attacks so why not use them in a game.

Just for one game why not try this . Why not try a direct approach and go all out attack for the first 20 mins .Shock the so called better team then sit back who knows you might even score and then you have something to defend a possible three points instead of one. Even if your team does not score it may have thrown the better team off their stride and given them something else to think about throughout that game.


soccer action

Use the counter attack at pace

This is one way a team could use a defensive style of play and still get forward  the key you have to leave one, two or three  players in forward positions. Depending on how brave the manager feels. The team that leaves all eleven players behind the ball for the whole game will run out of steam, it is exhausting to constantly chasing after the ball. Eventually the cracks will apear and a goal will be conceeded anyway.

At times you will have to be brave and say to the team, if we leave eight or nine players back, and trust those players to do their job and their defensive roles, that will be good enough. when we get the ball back we can launch it forward and have players up the field who can get on the ball and move us forward.

The key is to use your paciest players in advanced roles and give the opposing team a headache. If you decide to leave two in advanced positions let them play wide and hug the touchline, one each side of the field.

When you pass it forward it will go wide and that way the ball wont be coming straight back at you. If your player can get to the ball first and hold it up it will give your team a chance to get up in support of the player.

Make them turn around and chase towards their own goal for once. Put them under a little bit of pressure and the cracks may appear

Is one style of play better than the other?

Throughout the years teams have used these defensive tactics to try and keep the oppositon out. When the football is slow in the build up it can be very effective as your opponents will find it hard to break down. Unfortunately the game game has moved on the pace is one hundred miles an hour. Fans are paying huge amounts to watch the games.

I for one think these old tactics should only be used in specific moments and not all the time.

I want to watch free flowing games of football. So your team might loose four three by going for it, instead of the one nil and not even having a shot at goal the whole game.

Which  result do you think the fans would rather pay to see. Who knows they might not be able to score four and you might still score three. A joyful three points for your team instead of a boring one for the draw or most likely no points because that is what tends to happen when you play negatively.



What do you prefer your team to do, try to attack or play in a defensive way?

I would like to know you thoughts about this topic.

Leave me a comment below.

Matthew at Easyfootballskills.

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6 thoughts on “What is the most important thing in soccer – to entertain or to park the bus?

  1. Hi Matthew, great article. I don’t really consider myself a big soccer fan but I know what you’re talking about and I have to say that I agree with you. I think if you asked any football fan, most would agree, but pro sports have gotten so huge and ‘untouchable’, and you’re right…it’s all about the green paper stuff. 

    Die hard fans go to see their teams exhibit their awesome athletic skills and teamwork, all of which should culminate in scoring goals. That’s what creates excitement and entertainment. I agree that teams should have an obligation to their fans to at least try to provide that. After all, the fans are the ones spending their hard earned money to support the team. You mentioned choosing a better manager for your club to start with. Who chooses the managers?

    Thanks for addressing this issue.


    1. hi Sue. I am glad you enjoyed reading this article.  I would rather pay my money and see all out attacking football but there is so much at stake these days it seems everyone is scared to loose.

      The point is they end up loosing anyway when they play this way so why don’t the just go for it and try and win the three precious points on offer.

      The owners of the clubs choose the manager so I guess it just depends what they are looking for.

      Take care and good luck to you.

  2. Nice post. Football is a unique and universal game. I remember as a little child how we use to have a sleepless night just waiting to watch some championship tournaments and we jumped and screamed at every slightest goal our team scores. all am trying to say is that football brings about friendship.

    1. Hi Pat. Yes I agree football can make you do strange things when the team you support scores a goal. Isn’t that what every fans wants to cheer and get excited, not go to a game and be bored out of their mind.

      Football is definitely about making friends and all enjoying the game together.

      Best wishes to you and thanks for the comment

  3. Awesome post, Matthew. You’ve covered the less discussed topic in an elaborated way. I enjoyed reading your entire article. I used to play soccer a lot. But after leg fracture, I’ve stopped. But will continue soon with new energy and strategy. 

    Also, I’ve seen other useful article in your website, I’ll learn a lot from it. I love to play both offense and defence, it’s all about strategy once you start the game. 

    Thanks a lot for sharing this useful post. I’ll see who all will get benefit from this, among my friend, and I’ll share it with them. Keep up the good work. 


    1. Hi akshaysaxena

      Thank you for taking the time to message me with your comment. I am so pleased you enjoyed this article. If you love football then you want to see teams attack and not just sit back hoping they don’t concede a goal. 

      It costs a lot to watch a football match these days so these clubs are obliged to give the paying public some entertainment.

      Lets see where football goes form here in the future. only time will tell. Fingers crossed for more goals and more attacking play.

      good luck to you

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