EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Control the game like a World Cup Winner

Lewis Cook became the first man to lift a World Cup for England since Bobby Moore lifted the old Jules Rimet trophy in 1966, after leading the Under 20s to a win over Venezuela in the final.

They won a frantic game thanks to a first-half strike from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and aided by a second-half penalty save from Freddie Woodman.

The young midfielder who signed for Bournemouth from Leeds last summer is already a master at controlling the game from midfield.

Controlling the speed the ball is moved at and choosing the timing of an attack is an important part of running a game. To control the tempo of a game a team must be able to keep the ball when they have it and speed up or slow down the game.

A team may be forced to retreat but they still have control of the ball and therefore can regain control of the tempo. The midfield engine room is important for controlling the tempo of a game.

Cook was on the cover of Soccer Coach Weekly back in 2015 when he was 18 years old. I saw Cook a lot when he was an Academy player with Leeds United. He is perfectly capable of sitting and controlling the pace and tempo of games – he already looks like a player who could be a regular in the midfield of England’s First Team.

Lewis Cook

His passing has a success rate of 77%, and he hits key passes almost every match, long or short, attacking or creating space he has an exceptional passing range. His defensive ability is also excellent averaging 1.93 interceptions every game.

Sky Sports’ Paul Merson and Leeds legend Eddie Gray are amongst those to praise his talent and promise, with Merson commenting: “Very comfortable on the ball, tries to make things happen, very impressed with him, very impressed.”Gray said: “He is a terrific player. He plays with a maturity, he’s got good ability, good pace and he works hard in games.”

Use the Control the game session to get your players finding the best passing options, as well as focusing on their off the ball movement.

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