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Diego Forlan: Dropping deep as a striker

“I’m a striker and I’ve been told my game would benefit from coming deep a bit more often. When and how should I do this though?”
Steve Harris, via email

Diego Forlan says:

“Only drop deep when your defence is playing deep, otherwise you won’t get the ball. You drop more in Spain than England because Spanish sides automatically retreat and get everyone behind the ball when they don’t have it.

There’s more passing and fewer long balls so you are likely to get the ball by dropping back. Don’t do it at the start of a game though as everyone is condensed and there isn’t space.

Defenders hate it when you drop into the hole because you take them away from their natural position.

If they go with you they leave the other forward one-on-one with the other defender. If they don’t, you might get the ball and be able to turn and run at them or thread a ball around them.

How the game is going affects whether to go deep. If you’re 3-0 up, don’t drop deep and try to influence the game.

But if you’re losing and in danger of conceding more then you may need to become the first line of defence.

Or the game might be 0-0 and you need a win: maybe try to come back to help start an attack.”

For more football tips see:
Ruud van Nistelrooy: Time your run to perfection
Radamel Falcao: How to be a penalty-box predator
Darren Bent: How to be a maestro of movement
Sergio Aguero: Shake off your marker