This week we feature Pablo Sánchez in our match day programme, ADLUNITE. To read the full piece, make sure you get a copy at #ADLvWEL!
Timing is everything in football, but especially for forwards. Of course there are a number of other attributes that are key, but when you consider the nature of the sport and how drastically matches can change in such short spaces of time, it’s undoubtedly pivotal.
Forwards are target-men, bred to get on the end of crosses, or defence-splitting through balls. In a way, it could be argued that the best forwards not only determine the nature of their own performances, but also that of their wingers, for what is a good, curled ball into the box without someone to get on the end of it?
Forwards need the presence of mind and instincts to meet crosses and through-balls, and must do so by understanding their surroundings. They need to comprehend which spaces are threatening enough to their opposition that they should be exploited and if there aren’t spaces, they’re the ones largely responsible for creating them.
From the outside, it all seems so easy, though. Sitting in the stands, it looks like there’s ample space for the 22 men on the park and spotting room for runs is simple. But it’s not until you play the game and experience the ferocity of football that you realise those spaces are only vacant for split seconds. It doesn’t matter if you hesitate or are overeager because either way you’ll destroy great movements.
But then again, for some it’s natural and for the most part, Pablo Sánchez can be held in this regard.
He’s that type of forward that just knows where to be when the ball is played into the box and although his height might suggest otherwise, it doesn’t matter if the ball is in the air or at his feet.
Yet the start of his season, like the team’s, wasn’t without its troubles, with injury halting his progress early on before he was able to start making his mark on the squad.
“The beginning of the A-League season was difficult for the team, but now we’re definitely improving,” Pablo Sánchez explained.
“Unfortunately during pre-season I picked up an injury which set me back a little bit. So all the work I had done leading into the season was almost for nothing.
“But right now I feel 100 per cent and I’m feeling very good. I’m enjoying my football with our team and I am doing everything to help us."
The full version of this feature is available exclusively in the ADLUNITE match day programme available at the game between Adelaide United FC and Wellington Phoenix.
Adelaide United will face Wellington Phoenix in Round 12 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season at Coopers Stadium on Saturday, 26 December. Kick-off is at 4.45 pm.