Ashley Young: Cut inside with deadly force

Explode infield and find the top corner, thanks to tips from one of the Premier League’s most menacing raiders

“I’m a pacy winger, but I struggle to cut inside the full-back to shoot. What advice  can you give me to improve this?”
Alex Hicks, via email

More after the break

Ashley Young says:

“Playing on the left and being a right-footed player, defenders try to show me down the line, but you need to have the intelligence to know when to come inside.

You need the confidence to cut inside or trick your way past the defender. A lot of it comes down to reading the defender and knowing how they’re trying to stop you.

Once you get inside, it’s about looking to see what’s on and reading what the other defenders and goalkeeper are going to do.

You also have to assess the runs your team-mates are making. Is a pass on? A cross? A shot? You look at the whole picture and see what the best option is. Decision-making is key.

If a shot is on I like to open up my body and try to curl it. You’ve got to get your head and body over the ball and strike it with your instep.

If you’re going to put curl on it, naturally you would aim for the far corner, out of the goalkeeper’s reach.

If you want to hit the near-post, you’re better off opting for power and hoping the ball gets through the bodies.

Alternatively, you can try and put disguise on your shot, by opening up your body as if you were about to shoot for the far corner and then bending it to the near-post.

To do this you need to wrap your foot around the ball and use your body to generate the power.

If you asked any goalkeeper I think they would say it’s horrible for them to see a player cut inside and have a shot. It’s something I’ve practised a lot in training."

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For more football tips see:
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Gareth Bale: Terrorise the defence
Lucas Moura: Dribble the Brazilian way
Accelerate and beat your man like Messi
Angel di Maria on the art of wing play
Andres Iniesta: How to boss the midfield

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