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Yaya Toure: Switching positions during a game

Rehearse it!

Practise the tactical switches until they become second nature
“In training we practise playing in different positions all the time to get used to different roles, so in a match situation I only have to switch my mentality. You need to concentrate, but the key is to be prepared for these kinds of situations through our training sessions. Everybody in the Manchester City team has to play a specific tactical role given by the coach, so it helps if everyone knows their job inside-out and sticks to it. That way we can make sure we all play to the best of our ability.”

Spread the word

Make sure every player on the pitch knows what is required
“Communication on the pitch is always essential, but especially during a switch in formation, positions or tactics. It’s important to be aware of which space you are responsible for and where your team-mates are positioned so that you do not lose the ball unnecessarily. If you do concede possession make sure the team maintains their shape and discipline quickly so that you can defend and win it back. No matter what position you play you have to track back. Every player has to mark a space or a player when you don’t have the ball.”

Understand your responsibilities

Identify what the manager requires
“Generally, I start a game in a deeper position, using the ball to play it into the feet of our strikers or playing it wide. As the game develops, I’m sometimes asked to play further up the pitch, carrying the ball into more advanced areas so I can link directly with the strikers and try to pull the opposing defence out of shape so we can exploit gaps. When Roberto Mancini asks me to play in an advanced position, which he often did at the end of the last season, it was important to stay close to the strikers. So that’s what I did.”

It’s in Yaya’s nature to be the King – go to for more information

Also see:
Yaya Toure: Dominate the middle of the park