Deco: Find space in midfield

Struggling to break free? As Portuguese orchestrator Deco tells FFT, quick thinking is the key

“I always struggle to find any room in the middle of the park. Can you help?”
Dean Gimble, Surrey

More after the break

Deco says:

“It’s all about developing a wide view of the field, and learning how to keep your head up all the time. You have to know the right moments to run and to pause, without hesitation.

When the midfield is congested, it’s obviously easier to find space at the back by taking the ball off your defenders.

But as you go forward, it becomes harder to find space, especially in the centre. The best way to overcome this is to look to play down the sides.

If you’re marked you have to try to do something different. I stand close to the markers and wait for the right moment to dart into space. If you want to receive the ball, you have to offer options to your team-mates.

If someone is man-marking me in midfield, it’s harder for me to find space, but it can be easier for the team.

I try to move through the field, bringing the defender with me and creating room for my team-mates – it’s knowing how to play without the ball.

A good drill is training on smaller pitches, where you have less room. The quicker you think and the better you pass the ball, the easier it will be to find space.”

For more football tips see:
Mario Gotze: Be a creative spark
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Make something happen
Gareth Bale: Terrorise the defence
Andres Iniesta: How to boss the midfield

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