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Small sides, big success

Think ahead

“Small-sided football’s greatest virtue is increasing your capacity to make decisions. Xavi and Andres Iniesta both started their careers in this way – they always choose the right option because they’ve already taken a photo of their options before they receive the ball.”

Exploit counter-attacks

“It’s a question of numbers and creating superiorities as you play. Wherever the ball is, you should have an overlap, but the same is true when the opposition counter-attack. If you leave a forward on the halfway line, you always have that chance. Pass, move and you destabilise the defence by playing in triangles around two defenders. That’s fundamental to success and can be taken onto bigger pitches.”

Embrace the toe-poke

“Defenders are much closer to you, so you don’t have time to take a long backswing as you would in an 11-a-side game. Whenever you’re surrounded, take your foot back a bit and ‘pum!’ The toe-poke is the most efficient way of scoring because long-distance shots don’t exist.”

For more 5-a-side tips:
Wenger: How to improve your 5-a-side
Wenger: 5 skills for 5-a-side