Learn from the Pros

VAR is for most part a brilliant addition to the game. It’s forcing players to adhere to the laws of the Game and at pro levels that a marker. No more “Maradona hand goals” and other gross play that evaded the sport.

In fact VAR might be the best educator for defenders to discipline their talents to learn to become smart intelligent defenders. At the moment too many still drape themselves over the dribbler which might look like defending but with a clever dribbler like Hazard is the prelude to fake and away he goes. The defender is left with negative options – fouling the dribbler.

These are some of the golden rules to intelligent defending.

(1) Get within a yard of the attacker. Two priorities

a. Get his/her vision down

b. Slow him/her down.  Attackers want momentum & speed so the defenders job is to deny him those pluses.

(2) Get in a crouched position and be able to see the ball. Being in this position you are ready to sprint to change direction fast. If the attacker is screening the ball get low & get sight of the ball & don’t buy into their body fakes.

(3) Wait for his big move. It’s up to him to make the play. Again this helps slow their attack down.

(4) On his “big move” you react to fight for possession of the ball.

Defending is a great art like any other skill. Italians normally set a high bar with Paolo Maldini (U-TUBE) leading the way.