The perfect V24 goal
Updated: Dec 19, 2021
The V24 coaching team often discuss the general fear that Premier League footballers have of using their non-preferred foot. For us, it seems crazy that any professional would willingly only use half of their tools. After all, football is a trade so why not try and master all of your craft?
This isn’t to say that all footballers are like this. In the past, we have often highlighted players that are just as good with their left foot as they are their right, or vice-versa. But every now and then something happens in a game that we feel we have to highlight and talk about with our players.
This leads us nicely to what we saw at the Emirates Stadium this past week.
West Ham fans won’t appreciate this, but on Wednesday night they conceded a goal against Arsenal that we would consider the perfect V24 goal.
This goal was scored by Arsenal’s young Brazilian superstar, Gabriel Martinelli — and it was a beauty. What we loved about this goal was that he demonstrated a skill we have been working with our 10–14-year-olds to master this season: receiving the ball on the back foot.
Having been played through on goal inside of the right-back by Alexandre Lacazette, Martinelli knew that how we received the ball and set himself for the shot would be crucial.
He could have been forgiven for trying to control the ball in-stride with the outside of his right foot — but this is a very hard skill to perfect — especially at speed. Instead, he opted to let the ball roll across his right foot and receive the pass on his back foot — in this case being the inside of his left foot.
What this did was allow Martinelli to side-foot pass the ball into a spot that enabled him to maintain speed and set himself for the easy right-footed curler into the far corner. This fluid motion was the difference between a goal and a save, as West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski had very little time to set himself before attempting the save.
Parents will often hear our coaches shouting "good set" to our players or stopping sessions to talk about the importance of a good set. Goals like Martinelli’s are proof as to why choosing the correct foot to receive the ball is just as important as the execution.
A left foot set to a right-foot finish into the bottom corner — The V24 Way.