Switching wings: The essentials

Struggling to switch between wings and beat your man? The element of surprise is the key to versatility, says Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington
“As a right-winger, do you have any tips on how to be as effective playing on the left?”
Jamal Daniels, via email

Anthony Pilkington says:
“Always practise with your left foot if it’s weaker – I always have – because then you can mix it up: you can go down the line and cross, come inside to shoot or play one-twos with the strikers.

More after the break

The first couple of times you get the ball, test the full-back to see what he’s got. If he shows you down the line, you can feint to go that way and he might fall for it – then you can come inside.

Or do the opposite: feint to come inside and go down the line as he’ll be off-balance at that point.

But don’t always do the same thing because the defender will end up second-guessing you and you’ll become predictable.

It’s all about making the right decisions at the right times. It always helps to have people running off the ball, though – your full-back or whoever.

Look at Barcelona and Arsenal, who are probably the two best teams in the world at creating space at the moment.

There’s so much movement off the ball that they always seem to be able to make space for the man on the ball.”

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