With wage packets growing by the year, it is all too common to see top quality players only able to use their strong foot.
In some cases, players are of the quality that allows them to use one foot, but in most cases, we see players inept at using their weaker foot.
Top flight footballers possess unspeakable qualities in their game. There is more to football than the common person thinks. Vision, awareness, positioning and many more attributes are needed to become a world-class player. Obviously different positions need different qualities.
Avid fans of the video game ‘Football Manager’ will be able to tell you this. Not every player has the same qualities at their disposal, but what every football player has that is essential to play football at the professional level, are feet.
However the ability to use both feet is something which is rarely found in football.
Psychologists analysed the football played at the 1998 World Cup and found that the use of a player's weaker foot was just as accurate as their stronger foot. Now I'm not sure about this as I've seen many players use their weak foot and completely embarrass themselves.
This can be summed up very well in my opinion with the idea that you wouldn’t expect a doctor to complete a surgery with one hand. This is the closest we can get to explaining the problem.
As an avid football fan, I have watched many matches in my time, and have borne witness to a troubling amount of football players who are only capable of playing with one foot. Sometimes it gets laughable.
I remember watching a Chelsea game and John Terry passed the ball back to Petr Cech under pressure. Unfortunately for Cech, the ball was passed to his weaker right foot. The sheer panic that was visible on Cech’s face was a joy to behold. The clearance from Cech was no laughing matter in the eyes of Chelsea fans.
It was from this moment that I began to question the matter of purely one-footed footballers.
Now, I am not saying that every footballer in the world should be as strong on their weak foot as their strong foot, but playing at the top of their game should come with some ability to use their weaker foot.
As I previously said, some players get away with it, for example, Gareth Bale. One of the best players in the world at the moment but would avoid using his right-foot if it kills him purely for his golden left boot. Other players don’t have the ability of Gareth Bale so the inability to use their weaker foot is more of a hindrance.
Let’s stick to the Welsh theme and go for another young prodigy. Aaron Ramsey was a midfield wonder-kid, but he has one of the worst ‘weak foot avoidance's’ I’ve ever witnessed.
I have borne witness to an outstandingly high number of attacks break down due to Aaron Ramsey’s unwillingness to use his left foot. Instead, he would rather turn and pass it back to where it first came from.
This brings me to question what coaches are doing about this. Should the introduction of weak foot training be introduced into football?
It is obvious that the players will not be as accomplished on their weak foot as on their strong foot, but at least there is knowledge that the player will be much more comfortable when receiving, passing or shooting with their weak foot. Maybe this is something for coaches to think about.
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