Create a number 10

It is the most romantic position on the pitch – the number 10. Clever number 10s have excelled throughout the decades. The list is long, sparkly and overflowing with talent. From Pele through Platini, Zico, Zidane and Cruyff to Ronaldinho, some amazing players have donned the famous jersey. And how can anyone forget Diego Maradona, gliding through players, skipping over tackles and reaching God-like status?… right now its Lionel Messi, Neymar, Eden Hazard and Luka Modric.

A number 10 has to be comfortable with the ball at his feet and is able to beat his marker with a piece of individual skill. In addition to scoring himself or fashioning chances for team-mates, this kind of forward helps to keep possession of the ball by shielding it and dribbling it away from defenders.

If you want your players to take on creative flair, in the training sessions below you will learn how to improve the technique of your forwards when they have the ball at their feet. You will also be able to teach strikers the skills that can help them get past defenders, by adding an element of surprise to their game. Be it a step over or a feigned pass, there are plenty of moves that modern day strikers have in their armoury to leave defenders bamboozled.

In short, it’s all about getting your forwards to get creating in the final third.

Top tips for clever forward play

To add surprise and trickery to your striker’s forward play, they should consider…
> Shielding the ball and backing into defenders as much as possible, with the aim of turning their marker in one swift movement.
> Taking up positions in between the opposition defence and midfield, making them harder to mark and giving them more licence to play killer passes.
> Introducing tricks like step overs or drag backs, which can help wrong-foot defenders and give forwards a clear run through on goal.

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