In our 7 vs 7 league, we employ a form of zonal and man marking that is formed out of necessity; during free-kicks or corners we have a man-to-man marking that has been both successful and unsuccessful depending on the opposition. For the rest of the game each player knows their position and move around it, the most flexibility that we have is to move up and down the pitch.
We play in a 3-2-1 formation:
---- Goalie ---- RB -- CB -- LB LW -------- RW -- CF --
I am wondering:
- What zonal marking exactly means,
- Can it be implemented together with man-to-man marking,
- If we can implement zonal or this mixed marking according to our needs with my own team.
From this question on improving our formation and strategy, there were some responses to have a fluid/team attacking and defending effort, and I have to say that when we could enforce this, the team was very strong. However, for some reason we couldn't do it at all the games.
I am also generally curious about how man-to-man and zonal marking systems work and what the recent strategies are within the professional teams.
In this web-site regarding football tactics there is little bit of information regarding both defensive systems, and I especially like this part on zonal marking:
...every defender and midfielder is given a particular zone on the pitch to cover when the opposition has the ball. This is particularly important during set pieces, but does rely heavily on every player fulfilling their duties and keeping their concentration.
Ideally, the opposition will be facing two lines of four players covering the entirety of one half of the pitch.
And the image:
As I understand, man-to-man marking is more dependent on the players and the opposition but frankly, we don't have the time to analyze opposition players too much.
I am hoping to suggest this mixed marking to my team and I would like to get some opinions/references on it.