Get your game up to speed

Accelerate your thought process and you’ll slow things down, says Zenit St Petersburg’s Spanish midfielder
“I’ve started playing at a higher level and I’m struggling to adapt to the pace of the game. Any tips on how I can acclimatise quickly?”
Jerome Chambers, via email


Javi Garcia says:

“Football in England is very different to what I experienced in Spain and Portugal.

The game is much more intense and faster – you can go from attacking to defending in a matter of seconds.

When you’re working alongside your team-mates you quickly realise what you need to improve on.

I’ve come from Benfica to a different team with a different system and different style of play and everyone needs time to adapt.

David Silva told me not to panic, because he also needed time when he arrived. It’s easy to feel anxious because you’re desperate to do well and you want to impress everyone.

If I were to give one piece of advice – and it’s something that’s helped me – I’d say that the biggest change you have to make is speed of thought.

You have to know what you want to do with the ball straight away, and always be aware of where everyone is on the pitch. If a player can do that, they can play anywhere.

Speed of thought is vital. You have to know at all times where you have to be and where your team-mates are. That requires intelligence and quick thinking."

Also see:
Play like Spain: Master the 1 v 1
Play like Spain: Fast combinations: Part one
Play like Spain: Fast combinations: Part two
Play like Spain: Pass under pressure
Play like Spain: Make the killer pass
Play like Spain: Fast finishing

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