Wilfried Zaha: Race away from trouble

“I play out wide but sometimes struggle to beat a full-back one-on-one, especially in a physical battle. What should I be doing?”
Lee Mahoney, Wilmslow

Wilfried Zaha says:

“It’s not all about what you’re going to do on the ball – you must look at the defender’s moves as well. Watch for any movement he makes and try and go in the opposite direction.

Remember, what they are doing with their feet is just as important as what you’re doing with yours.

I always keep my head up when I’m running at a full-back, then do my trick and watch for their first flicker of movement and knock the ball the other way. It will take them a moment to turn and from there you have your advantage.

It’s best to run at an angle if you can, because approaching straight on, they can put their body there, stopping you and the ball. That used to happen to me quite a lot.

If they’re still being physical, I try to keep my distance. This is where being side-on helps because you can avoid getting smashed from behind and pop a one-two around them.

You don’t always have to beat a full-back yourself. Using your team-mates can be just as effective, so decision-making is key.”

For more football tips see:
Lucas Moura: Dribble the Brazilian way
Accelerate and beat your man like Messi
Angel di Maria on the art of wing play
Leave full-backs for dust
Play like Spain: Master the 1 v 1
Ashley Young: Beat your man with this plan

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Andrew Murray is a freelance journalist, who regularly contributes to both the FourFourTwo magazine and website. Formerly a senior staff writer at FFT and a fluent Spanish speaker, he has interviewed major names such as Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero and Xavi. He was also named PPA New Consumer Journalist of the Year 2015.