Welcome to the next instalment
of our coaching clinic. Before we go through
your ball-striking technique, is passing something you worked on
from an early age? When I was younger I definitely
tried to hit it out wide, especially from my position, tried to hit
the left winger or the right winger, and sometimes tried to put
the ball in behind the defence. Yeah, I always worked on it, definitely. Before you receive the pass, are you
almost scanning to see “Is the pass on”? Yeah, before I receive the pass I try to look anywhere else on the pitch
where the next pass could be, because it’s not only the long balls that
should be on, it should be midfielders
I could play the ball to, or the striker could be an option, or, if everything is tight in front of you, you
play it to the full-back or the next centre-back, so I try to scan as much as possible
and find the right solution. I think the main thing, which I learned
back in the day as well, when I was younger I tried to
put so much power behind it, thinking you need to strike it
with a lot of power, but it’s more technique, if you hit it clean,
it’s a bit like golf, you don’t need to hit it too hard
to let the ball come too far. Obviously you need to get used to it,
you need to practice, but, yeah, that’s the main thing. It looks effortless when you do it, it’s more the
timing rather than the power, like you say. Yeah, it is. As you’re hitting those long passes,
it really looks like a long leg technique, so something where your standing foot
isn’t too close to the ball, it’s allowing your leg to come through
and makes it look effortless. Sometimes I decide when
I strike the ball where I want it. So sometimes when I get the ball I see the
full-back already running, for example, to Mo, and I think at the last minute it might be
an option to play the ball to Trent, so then I can hit it sort of with more of
the laces, outside of the foot, so the ball turns away from the full-back. – Cuts across it a little?
– Yeah. Our next clip is where
you’ve driven it along the floor. Obviously when you lean backwards
the ball goes higher, and when you lean forwards
the ball stays lower, so when you have the space to pass
you can pass it over the ground, and I think that’s always good. A bit less risk to keep it on the floor. It’s less risk, and I think the ball
gets there quicker as well. If you get it out there quicker,
you’re a defender yourself, as they’re shuffling across as a unit, if you get
the ball out to him a little quicker that just create a little bit more
of a chance and a little bit more space to get at his defender one v one. Yeah, definitely. For example,
the situation that would be realistic is that everyone is coming across defensively and they play the ball back to me
and we switch it quick to the other side. It means that our wingers have more chance
to go one v one or to cross it easier instead of being under pressure,
so that’s definitely the benefit. You need to have multiple options, this is one
of many options I’ll hopefully have in games and it’s a good option, because those players
on that side are pretty dangerous, so if the opportunity is there we definitely look
for that situation on the wing and behind the defence, because we
have so much speed as well.