I have a problem

Discuss your training routine and techniques you are practicing
klc123
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Recently I've started playing with this adults team on five a side regularly.

I can dribble past all but one player, and it is really starting to piss me off. He is the best defender I have come up against in my opinion. He isn't fast, he isn't unbelievably strong. However he positions himself very well, but most importantly, I can NEVER get him to commit.

Normally I dribble in an aggressive style like Maradona/Messi, in which I dribble with the ball as fast as possible straight at the defender without losing control and that normally forces the defender to commit.

However, this defender, regardless of how quickly I run at him, will never stop backing off. Even when it is at the point in which I am running straight at him for yards at a time, I usually just pass the ball and give up trying to get past him. It really frustrates me not being able to toast him though...

Am I doing something wrong? Am I not being patient enough? The problem is that 99% of the time when I am dribbling straight at him a better passing option comes up, so I don't get a chance to beat him.

Or am I been over analytical, and not seeing the bigger picture that If I keep dribbling at him, eventually he will allow me to get close enough to goal to score. I personally think I am not patient enough, and I sort of panic in a situation like that because I don't know what is the best thing to do.


Edit:

I would like to add, that I can kill him for pace, but on a small five a side pitch there isn't a hell of a lot of space to utilize it, and often when I hit the ball past him he gets in front of my and holds me off the ball and sort of prevents me from getting back to the ball. I don't know if this is a foul or not because he goes straight into my way when he does that and gets in between me and the ball.

2brown347
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Mix up your game so he doesn't know what to expect. It sounds to me like he just has you figured out which happens to everyone. Use get and goes, fire some shots from range, try some moves you wouldn't usually try, try running through him, etc. Make it so he doesn't know what to expect. Good defenders won't dive in often so you have to find other methods.

Rome_Leader
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2brown347 wrote:Mix up your game so he doesn't know what to expect. It sounds to me like he just has you figured out which happens to everyone. Use get and goes, fire some shots from range, try some moves you wouldn't usually try, try running through him, etc. Make it so he doesn't know what to expect. Good defenders won't dive in often so you have to find other methods.
Exactly. He's a good defender and he knows just how to play you. So, you'll have to try something drastically different. If he won't commit, the best idea is to pass early, instead of expending energy trying to beat him when you won't. Then, you can try to beat him with your speed, and reposition yourself better than him. Sounds to me like you'll have to beat him without the ball rather than with it.

klc123
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I often score by running straight at him and just rifling it along the floor when he keeps backing off, so maybe I could look at it as him already beating himself by letting me get a shot off?

I'm just concerned as to why I can't beat him when I actually go out to beat him outright dribbling.

Next game I'm just gonna dribble straight at him, as fast as I possibly can whilst keeping the ball close and under control, and go at him waiting for him to stop backing off and commit. If he doesn't ever commit then I'll just wait till I am close enough to shoot and then bury it. I suppose I could look at it from the perspective that, he is letting me score easy goals.

And you're right I know you good defenders never dive in, but normally even the best defenders in the world commit when a player like Messi dribbles straight at them, purely because it would be better for that player to get beaten than for him to keep backing off and let him get into the box, I distinctly remember a game this season in which Messi ran at a player who kept backing off, and instead Messi just cut inside with it and smashed it into the goal.

EDIT:

That's the other thing, when I go for a fake shot, no matter how much effort I put into it, he still doesn't even try to get in front of it, never mind block it...

Rome_Leader
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The sooner you figure out a way to beat him, the sooner you'll figure out why your old method didn't work. Some people just don't play that way.

Clearly, then, he knows it's a fake. Or he's just not up to blocking shots, and would rather let the keeper see it. Basically, he's daring you to shoot. I would take a few, and make them good. Then, eventually, he'll peg you as a shooter, and THEN your fakes will work again. I have a feeling he's too used to your fakes, so he doesn't get them credit anymore.

klc123
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Its not really the fakes that are the problem I don't think though, because when I do have him committed such as when I have beaten him to a 50 50 ball I absolutely toast him, getting him committed so that my fakes work on him is the main problem.

Perhaps you're right, he doesn't really tend to block shots, on a hand full of occasions I've actually shot and he still hasn't attempted to block it and its hit the target/gone in. That may be viewed as worse defending, because he hasn't prevented me from scoring, regardless of whether I had to go past him or not to do so.

And yeah you probably are right about him pegging me as a dribbler, because I have been playing with him for so long, and come to think of it at first I did often go around him.

If that is the case though, how do players like Messi, who are known by all teams to be fantastic dribblers, prevent themselves from been pegged down? Is it best to just always mix it up and shoot/pass when you cannot get the defender to commit?

p793
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Messi etc, probably do not dribble like they do in 11 a side games as they do in 5 a side..

Messi dribbles in key areas of the pitch so defenders have to commit to him or he play a key role in a goal ( Shot/Cross )
remember the Nigeria vs Argentina game?

I would do some tricks, get him off balance, if he still doesnt fall for it, then find another way to beat him, whilst he is backing off, if you have more pace, you could easily cut inside and pass or cut inside and then whilst he chases you go back outside if you really want to beat him. If you hold the ball up for long enough and make him think he has a chance he will eventually commit.

Just think of all the ways you could beat him ( rolling the ball forward towards him whilst stopped and then when he commits pull it back and on the second bite megs him. Just thinks like this ) and then attempt it in the game. However remember the main focus of the game is not to beat him over and over, if it leads to nothing. It is a team game where the point is winning, so give that killer pass or cut inside and shoot but mix things up.

klc123
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I know, thanks for the really useful replies guys.

I think that might be key, instead of panicking, I should wait for him to make his move first, regardless of whether or not that takes a long time to do, and if I get an opportunity to do so, make a pass or shoot, because he is not going in for the tackle.

What might work is if I try and dribble around him, if I start to go around the outside of him and get into his side, like you said, then he will almost have to commit himself to me to prevent me walking past him, and then when he does commit, I can feint and properly take him out of the game.

TommyGun
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Is he the type that defends by jockeying position with one foot forward, almost directing you to go one side or another? I'm a defender sometimes and that's what I'll use to not get beat. If he just jockeys position and holds you from really going either direction, I'd fake by making his turn position and it's very hard to recover from that on a defensive view. Say the ball is on your right foot....I'd slow it down some, do a drag-over from the right to left and then cut the ball back to the right with the outside of your right foot. Your pace should take you around him at that point, if you still have field on the 5v5. A lot of times he'll have his dominant foot back for directional support so you want him to switch it to the front. That should do it.
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ImpossibleIsNothing6
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Ahh this has really turned into a bit of a test hasn't it?

Well there isn't much I can say that hasn't been said here, I'm only 14 but renowned for my dribbling, and really there isn't much more you can do. Just make sure you sell those feints, and explode away i guess, and ofcause, if you have pace, use it. If he is giving you the space for the shot, then great, your major objective is to score, you don't HAVE to take him on to do this.

klc123
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At college today playing football I tried a more aggressive dribble in which I was dribbling at the defender even faster than previously, whilst still touching the ball with every stride.

Besides from looking like a Messi double with the way I run with the ball when I am doing this, I find it makes defenders much more easier to commit, even if they try to jockey at first.

I would consider myself to be a strong dribbler, so I can dribble with the ball at good speed now, at what I would say is about two thirds of my top sprinting speed without the ball. I find that if a defender tries to jockey while I run at them at this pace, they cannot jockey back quick enough and it completely throws them off balance and when I get closer to them, they have to commit, and due to them being off balance from trying to jockey, it actually works against them making it extremely easy to glide past them effortlessly.

It really does make you appreciate how skilled Messi is though. He can move with the ball at ridiculous pace and still manage to touch the ball with every stride.

The only thing about dribbling that is difficult for me now, is that at this speed when the defender does commit, you have less time to react because you are moving towards them at a much faster rate. This means that you have to be watching them so you can see the very instant they have committed and stopped backing off, so that you can do your fake and beat them.

Does anyone know if it is possible to improve reaction times by doing certain exercises? Would be interesting to see.

RoryBen
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klc - the point of football is for your team to score more goals then their team. Nowhere does it say you have to dribble past every player you come up against - if there's a simple pass on then pass the ball! The best players are the ones that understand that the beautiful game is sometimes the simplest game, just done properly.

Once your team start knocking them in left right and centre, he'll get frustrated and start to bite, don't worry. Alternatively, just drag him out of the action with a dummy run, something like that. Don't get bogged down in trying to be the next Messi.

klc123
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I'm not the next Messi. I just play how I want to play.

Don't be under the impression that I only dribble, I always pass the ball when the best option available is to pass, like wise when the best option is to dribble, I dribble.

But it's nice having a reassurance, that you know you can beat a player, if the situation calls for it, regardless of whether or not that situation will come.

After all, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. If I can't deal with a situation in which I have to dribble against him, or a defender like him, and that situation comes up, I'm in a very nasty spot. If I can dribble past players like him, then if the time comes when I must, I can do so, regardless of whether or not that time will come.

Thanks for all the help guys.

MUFC1994
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KLC, the good news is if you can beat good defenders on a small pitch, with your speed it should be easy on a regualr sized pitch.

Also, stay positive, not even messi can beat someone every time.
"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

klc123
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Thanks a lot for the advice and support guys.

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