When I teach youth soccer coaching courses, one of the topics is the wall pass. Many soccer coaches treat the wall pass as something that is simple, and after about 1 minute they may have completed one pass and feel they have finished.
The wall pass is NOT simple as it requires correct positioning, two soccer players thinking the same thing, a correctly weighted first pass at the correct angle and then a correctly weighted return pass again at the correct angle. The timing of the runs, acceleration, passes etc due to the confined space for the play needs to be performed with precision. Now this is not my main point?
The point is thinking! The first question in the mind of the player with the soccer ball is; there is a space available so that if "I" make a wall pass and receive the ball back again, then "I" can make another pass or take a shot or what ever.
So the youth soccer player with the soccer ball is making a decision that is 2 steps in front of the present situation. He sees an opportunity, decides in a fraction of a second that he can make a pass, receiver the return, collect the ball with one foot and shoot may be with the next step with the other foot (using the same foot to collect and shoot takes an extra step unless it is a first time shot). It is that kind of thinking that is needed for the better players. Now will the play always work; no. It may fail due to poor execution or smart defending.
Now, lets take the situation when the player who IS THE WALL decides that he/she wants to do something different? The player who was making the pass runs into a position that takes him out of the play and in front of the ball. The player with the ball in all probability will control the ball and turn. At best the player is only one move ahead. What the player with the ball does for this article is unimportant. We can all surmise that the player makes a brilliant play.
The probability is the game slows down and there is a good chance that the player may lose the ball. Additionally the rest of the team is anticipating what is going to happen with the wall pass.
So what if the wall pass fails!. Well the player that was expecting the ball is out of position to defend, the player who has lost the ball is not in a defensive position to defend, and the rest of the team have no idea what the player with the ball was going to do. What is the consequence? The whole team is in trouble.
Now what if the wall pass fails? The probability is that the player that made a bad wall pass can immediately defend and the rest of the team can adjust more quickly. This appears to be that the game of soccer is made up of rules. The answer is yes.
Situations demand a certain amount of unselfish discipline to enable a team to function well. A simpler way of saying that is "how can anyone coordinate something if everyone wants to do their own thing"? The bottom line is there are fairly strict rules for most situations on a soccer field and if someone wants to do something different then it needs to be successful. This does not stop dribbling, long passes, short passes, improvisation or booting the ball out of play. It means that every situation has a preferential choice.
The most enlightening statement that I can remember was by Karl Heintz Hettergott (not Karl Dewazien; who came from Lithuania) but the famous German coach "THE GAME DEMANDS ". So what drives me up the WALL; not the wall pass, but poor thinking and poor technique. There is nothing more frustrating as a player than to make a good wall pass and not get the ball back.