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Latibeaudiere: 5 tips to being a dominant defender

LATIBEAUDIERE: City's defender in UEFA Youth League action against FC Barcelona

LATIBEAUDIERE: City's defender in UEFA Youth League action against FC Barcelona

Manchester City U18s captain Joel Latibeaudiere is enjoying an incredible season but what are the secrets to his success?

Lee Carsley’s U18s are unbeaten and the leadership of 16-year-old Latibeaudiere has been crucial to their unstoppable form.

Here are his tips to becoming a dominant centre-back…

Going in to a tackle

When I see the ball there to be won, I’m going in aggressively but thinking clean. I don’t want to give anything away but I also want to win possession of the ball.

As I make the tackle I’m already thinking about what I can do with it and whether we want to play a quick counter attack or keep the ball to get back into shape.

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Overcoming height disadvantage

Working with the sports science team, I have learnt a number of techniques with my footwork and power in my legs to get the most out of my jump. You have to judge the ball as early as possible too so you can give yourself the best chance of winning it in the air.

Instead of clearing it, I will always be looking to find another City player.

Positioning

I’m always watching clips of Otamendi, Stones and Kompany which focuses on their position and what they are learning from Pep Guardiola.

I’ve trained with him a few times too and it’s the same as what we are doing in the academy so the more you play in a set system, the better you are going to know your game.

Composure on the ball

Understanding the role of all of your teammates means that you know when and where they are comfortable receiving the ball and how you should play in any situation.

The deepest midfielder and the full-back are the players I pass to most often because that allows to keep the opposition moving.

Leadership

It all depends on what the team need from their captain in the moment. There have been times this season when players have been in bad tackles and reacted to it so it’s my job to protect our players, calm them down and let the referee do the job he’s there to do.

Latibeaudiere and his teammates face Blackburn Rovers at the City Football Academy on 10 December and you can follow on the official Twitter account @ManCityAcademy.

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