Kai Havertz Finds Space
December 06, 2023
Kai Havertz is sought after by every coach he plays for because of the rare instinct that allows him to read a play and arrive in an open space at the correct time.
He immediately makes the run forward as Bukayo Saka kicks the ball high into the air.
This moment when he pauses his run is a gift that few have. Get that timing wrong, go too soon, and the defender, Gabriel Osho, will mark him tighter.
Right here, Osho is in no-man’s land. He has to stay back in case Gabriel Jesus gets past his marker, and he also has to defend the space in front of Havertz. He can’t jump towards Havertz because then he risks allowing too much space behind him for Havertz to run into.
Osho reacted a bit too slowly to the play. By now, he should be committing to tightly marking Havertz, but he leaves too much space behind.
They can look past the end product if the player possesses an instinctual talent few have because, chances are, with confidence, the end product will eventually be there.