“I’m a pacy winger, but I struggle to cut inside the full-back to shoot. What advice can you give me to improve this?”
Alex Hicks, via email
Ashley Young says:
“Playing on the left and being a right-footed player, defenders try to show me down the line, but you need to have the intelligence to know when to come inside.
More after the break
You need the confidence to cut inside or trick your way past the defender. A lot of it comes down to reading the defender and knowing how they’re trying to stop you.
Once you get inside, it’s about looking to see what’s on and reading what the other defenders and goalkeeper are going to do.
You also have to assess the runs your team-mates are making. Is a pass on? A cross? A shot? You look at the whole picture and see what the best option is. Decision-making is key.
If a shot is on I like to open up my body and try to curl it. You’ve got to get your head and body over the ball and strike it with your instep.
If you’re going to put curl on it, naturally you would aim for the far corner, out of the goalkeeper’s reach.
If you want to hit the near-post, you’re better off opting for power and hoping the ball gets through the bodies.
Alternatively, you can try and put disguise on your shot, by opening up your body as if you were about to shoot for the far corner and then bending it to the near-post.
To do this you need to wrap your foot around the ball and use your body to generate the power.
If you asked any goalkeeper I think they would say it’s horrible for them to see a player cut inside and have a shot. It’s something I’ve practised a lot in training."
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