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Defending against speed

Is there a player in your league who’s a cross between Usain Bolt and Carl Lewis? A player who not only catches pigeons, but leaves them trailing in his wake?

Fear not, FFT is here to help. We may not be able to make you and your team-mates into Olympic sprinters, but Gus Poyet points out that there are other ways to stop a pacy player tearing up your defence.

The best solution is to deny him the ball. If the opposition have a speedster on the wing, try to force them to constantly play the ball to the opposite flank.

If the human whippet does get possession, don’t allow him to simply run at one defender for fun. Make sure your midfield and your centre halves are always on hand to provide support and cover. Don’t leave your full back with the marking job from hell.

Gus Poyet is one of a number of guest coaches who deliver sessions for students at the FootballCV Academy in Stamford. For more information visit

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