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