Phil Foden needs to keep taking risks
August 21, 2023
August 21, 2023 — Phil Foden of Manchester City has had a habit of playing it safe, always looking for the simple back-pass, but he is slowly beginning to break out of his shell and take more risks.
Manchester City likes to play in small spaces with a short distance between midfielders, but against Newcastle, that spacing was even smaller. More compact.
That compactness is made for Phil Foden. Quick technical one-twos to draw the opponent in and then switch to a wing, with Kyle Walker pushed forward on the right-wing. Overload the midfield to isolate the wing.
Phil Foden is a runner tasked with attacking space. Once they switch to Kyle Walker, the right half-space is free.
When Foden receives the ball, he has to channel Kevin De Bruyne. Kevin would attack that space with his first touch.
First touch into space, long stride, dangerous cross across goal. That movement has to be automatic.
They need more risk, more threat. He has the ability to beat his marker to the line and cross, but he chooses the safe route backward.
Foden is an expert with this specific turn. If you allow him to execute this turn, he will attack the space behind him, without any hesitation.
Attack the space, play the most threatening pass. If Erling Haaland runs near post, this is a goal.
Attack the half-space, play the threatening pass. Even this pass is backward, but it’s the correct pass to make.
Then later in the game, Foden uses his agility to toy with his marker. The tall gangly Dan Burn is no match for Foden’s low center of gravity and quick agile turns.
Attack the space and play the most dangerous pass.
If Phil Foden continues to do this, he will rack up assists. Turn, attack the space, play the most dangerous pass. He looks like he could be the most efficient midfielder in the world; he just has to keep taking as many risks as he can.