Martin Petrov: Get the better of your nemesis

Don't let that familiar stopper get the better of you thanks to expert advice from former Manchester City winger, Martin Petrov

“There’s a full-back in my league that always gets the better of me. It’s like I’ve got a mental block. How can I overcome this?”
Graham Jones, via email

More after the break

Martin Petrov says:

“If you’ve already had a bad game against a certain player, of course there are moments when you’re thinking ‘OK, how am I going to make sure I beat him?’

Every player has these thoughts at some time – and that includes your opponent. He’s also thinking about facing you and what he’ll have to do when you attack him and try to get past him.

You have to think positively: if you start to think you’ll never pass him, you may as well stay in the changing room. Mix it up – try to go past him on a different side. Remember, getting past your opponent happens in a split second.

Sometimes I say something in my opponent’s ear or make a beeline for him at the start of the game, just to see how he reacts.If you pass him twice or you set up a goal then you know you’ve scared him.

That’s the best way to get into his head. If you do that then he knows that you’re a dangerous player.”

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Make something happen
Gareth Bale: Terrorise the defence
Lucas Moura: Dribble the Brazilian way
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