Stand up to the opposition

Stall a winger’s charge by staying on your feet, insists QPR full-back Danny Simpson

“I play at right-back for my team, but I’m really struggling this season. I keep diving into challenges and getting beaten. What can I do to stop this?”
Robin Delph, via email

Danny Simpson says:
“The worst thing a defender can do is dive in, because it puts you out of the game and your team-mates at risk. You might as well not be there.

More after the break

Don’t give your opponent too much room or space; you want to be as close as possible. If you stand square-on, the winger can go either way, leaving you with no chance.

It’s important to be side-on and stay low, making sure you’re moving your feet quickly. In this situation I’d be planting my right foot back and jockeying backwards.

If you feint to tackle, it can cause your opponent to miscontrol it. You should be focusing on the ball and not the player’s feet.

If you are holding him up and not diving in, it gives a team-mate a chance to come and double up on him, making it a 2-v-1 situation. You’re looking for him to pass it backwards or for your team to win the ball back.

Go to him and try to usher him out as wide and as far away from goal as possible. If you keep them out wide you’ll either end up with a throw-in or win the ball back.”

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