“As a full-back, I’m good going forward but often caught out of position when we lose the ball. Any tips on improving my positional play?”
Henry Jones, via email
Andre Santos says:
“I was like that: attacking was my strong point, but I didn’t like to defend. To be a complete full-back, especially here in Europe, you have to improve your positioning, and this will only happen if you focus on your weak points.
More after the break
There are two important lessons about positioning for full-backs. First, if you lose the ball, you have to come back at the same speed that you were going forward – or even faster.
Second, if you lose the ball when you are out of position, you have to come back and cover the space where you were coming from, and not exactly your position.
If you were running from midfield, for example, you have to run back to the midfield, as your position in defence might be covered by another defender.
Ask a skilful team-mate to try and dribble past you. Ask them to repeat it several times after you’ve just run back from high up the pitch.
You’ll improve your tackling after running back from being out of position, when your legs can be weary."