Time your run into the box

If every cross passes you by, get to know your widemen, advises a master of the midfield charge

“I don’t score many from midfield. I’ve got a decent shot but never seem to time my runs well. Can you learn to be ‘in the right place at the right time’?”
Ajay Amin, via email

Gus Poyet says:
“Some people are born with good timing, but if you’re not so lucky you can be taught to improve by practising in training.

More after the break

Timing was probably my greatest asset as a player. I couldn’t mark and I couldn’t run, but I could time a run and be in the right place at the right time.

Maybe that’s what scouts spotted in me when I was young, because if you consistently time runs well it’s a huge advantage to the team.

One of the key things is to know which player is delivering the ball. Is it David Beckham, who is going to supply a forward cross from a deeper position? Or Aaron Lennon, who will go past a defender before crossing back on himself?

There’s only one way to understand how a player will deliver the ball and that’s by training with them regularly and playing with them in games.

You need to talk to them, watch and understand how they play in different situations, how they hit the ball and where they deliver it.”

Also see:
Gus Poyet: Mental preparation
Gus Poyet: Score from midfield
Countering a team that defends deep

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