Don’t play the game the night before
“The evening before a game I’ll go to the cinema. I try not to play the game the night before. I just try to relax and keep my mind off the game because I’ve got time to focus on that on game day…Also I always have pasta the night before the game.”
More after the break
Pre-game breakfast fuel
“I used to always have toast a few hours before the game but recently I’ve been trying to eat lighter. Nowadays I’ll have cereal with a chopped banana for breakfast and I’ll be constantly drinking water throughout the day.”
Play like Iniesta
“As a midfield player you’re always trying to see where everyone else is on the pitch before the ball even comes to you. When it does come you’ve got a rough idea of where players are around you.
“It’s important that you’re not too square, you need to be ready to go when you receive the ball. That’s a difference with the top players, they are always in motion, they always know where the next pass is going to be when it comes, that’s why guys like Iniesta are the best in the world.”
Attack the first five yards
“You try to get on the half turn when you receive the ball try to get forward as quickly as possible. I’ve always beentold to attack the first five yards in front of you, to try and get the defender on the back foot. If you can unbalance them then you jink past them orplay someone in.”
Drop the shoulder
“I’ve got a few tricks which I’ll try but one of the best is a simple drop of the shoulder. It comes naturally when you’re running at an opponent at high pace, you feign to go one way and then you go the other. It’s old school stuff but it’s quite successful.
“It’s about trying to give them a feign that you’re going to go one way and then try and go down the line or come inside. The more times you try it, the better you get at it.”