Using the Target Man - Video
But they’re no longer just big lumps to hoof the ball up to, they also have to be mobile, technically adept, athletic and tactically astute. Didier Drogba encompasses the 21st century man-tank.
The Chelsea striker is equally adroit at throwing his weight about in an aerial battle, as he is at receiving a pass into feet and linking the midfield and attack.
Practise playing through your target man with short, sharp, incisive passing and your lone striker will play like more like the Drog than Emile Heskey, says West Ham United’s academy director, Tony Carr.
Working with players from the Nike Academy, Carr took FFT through a drill built to improve playing off the target man.
“In most teams you’re going to have a player that plays predominately in a central position who is the fulcrum of the attack,” said Carr.
“The striker who plays this role has to be able to play with his back to goal, have good shielding skills, a good first touch and the ability to knock that ball off with one touch.
“What we tried to do in this situation is condition the practise so that every movement had to come off the striker.”
To see the drill in full flow watch this video.