Graham Taylor: playing the long ball

There's a knack to playing directly, says former England boss Graham Taylor, but not many get it right

“People talk about a direct approach, what I say is there are only two ways you can pass a ball – for someone in to space, or to someone in to their body. 

If you pass it in to space all of the time you will lose possession of the ball, if you pass it to someone all of the time you will not turn the opposition, so you’ve got to get the balance right if you are going to have a direct approach. 

More after the break

It may be that you have a situation where you are playing the longer ball and you have forwards who are going to run in to the channels behind the full backs, but you catch these players offside. 

So you’ve got to get the delivery right, what also is important is playing the ball forward that little bit earlier. 

Direct play isn’t about playing every ball forward, it’s about using the space more than you would by passing in to feet, a direct approach is passing more in to space than to feet but I’ve used the word pass you don’t kick it and rush it, you pass it in.”

Also see:
Defending corners: The essentials
Last 5 mins and you need a goal
How to defend when you’ve got the ball
Graham Taylor: coping with criticism

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