Ashley Young: How to skin the full-back

Want to give your marker a miserable time? Keep your head up and never show fear, says Ashley

“I’ve got bags of pace but I struggle to beat defenders because I’m not great at dribbling. Any tips for how I can come out on top in a one-on-one?”
Will Morgan, via Twitter

Ashley Young
“You have to have the belief and desire to want to beat the player you’re up against. As soon as I get the ball I’m looking to attack the defender any way I can.

More after the break

It happens in a split second: make the decision to run at the defender before the ball has come to you.

It’s a nightmare for a defender when he sees an attacker at the top of his game, who’s confident and wants to run at him every time he’s got the ball.

Then the most important thing is a having a good first touch. Once you’ve received the ball, it’s about getting your head up.

You don’t want to kill the ball dead because that gives the defender more time to set himself for your attack.

Your first touch needs to take the ball forward and away from the defender. If you can use one touch to get the ball in behind him, great. Or you can take the ball down the line and try and beat him with pace and power.

If he stands off you, use trickery to get past him. It all comes down to your decision-making – and as long as you have options in your head, defenders will be forced to defend on the back foot.

When a defender tries to get tight, keep running at them because they will end up backing off and that gives you the chance to put the ball in the box.

You’re always going to face different opponents throughout the season, so try to work out their weaknesses as soon as possible… and expose them.”

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