Often people ask the question how can i score more goals. To find the answer to this question its important to study the best. So in this post i will be covering the positioning aspect of goal scoring. When it comes to scoring goals it is abseloutly critical that you can put yourself in the best position to score. So the person i chose as the best example is Ruud Van Nistelrooy. I chose him becouse he does not have speed, strenght or incredible dribbling skills, this means that Ruud is totally relying on his ability to get into the correct poistion in the box. Below is an excellent video of some of his goals.
This is what Ruud van Nisterooy says about positoning: Positioning is crucial. The three good positions to take up are in between the two centre-halves, between the right-back and the right centre-half or the left-back and the left centre-half. You then move from there.
Playing of the back of the defender is one of the most important concepts in regards to positioning.If you hang back behind the defender, he has to look over his shoulder to see you. When he’s watching the ball he doesn’t know where you are. Goal number 5 at 0:42 in the Ruud van Nistelrooy video is a great example of this. The defender watches the ball and spots a run coming into the box. Ruud positions himself behind the defender so he does not get marked. The right-back tries to catch up to Ruud, but his postioning is spot on so he puts the ball in the net. Notice that Nistelrooys positining enabled him to become totaly unmarked in the box.
Goal Number 11 is also very intresting. This goal shows Nistelrooys ability to read the game. Notice how Nistelrooy positions himself, he is between the two centre-halves, but he appears to be offside right before the cross comes in. One of the centre backs spots nistelrooy, but decides to play the offside trap on Ruud and does not mark him. Bad decicion, the left back defender who just wants to block the cross does not think about the offside trap. So as he sprints to block the cross, Nistelrooy becomes onside and scores the goal. Goal number 19 and 20 are similar.
Ball watching ties in to the concept of playing behind the back of the defender. The idea is to recognize when the defenders get stuck watching the ball and forgets about marking. When you regognize that the defender has made this mistake quickly find space and exploit the space. Goal number 25 and 43 is a perfect example of ball watching and as you see goals does not come much easier then that.
Sometimes defender get pulled out of position and this makes the back line uneven. You have to recognize this and exploit the space thats left behind. Look at goal number 12. This is an excellent example of a defender getting pulled out of the back line and Nistelrooy exploiting the space in behind. If you are going to do these type of runs pace is an huge advantage, but by staying bearly onside you can often get on a 1v1 with the goalkeeper even if you are slow.
Common positoning mistakes:
- Not playing of the back of the defender. If the defender can see you and the ball, you just made his job a whole lot easier.
- Not recognizing when the defenders are ball watching and exploiting the new space.
- Not moving, if you are marked. Make zig-zag runs.
- Not recognizing when defenders are pulled out of position and making a run in behind.
Hope this helps