Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Strikers | The Art of Goalscoring | Documentary

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You're the hero if you score the goals, you're the main man! That's a good thing.

It's a team game, but I think at the end of it for a striker it's all about goals.

When you do it the first time, you think, 'I want to do this again'.

Goals! Goals! Goals! Goals! And how to win a game, that's the most important thing.

Course every time I go on the pitch I think I'm going to score a goal.

Sometimes it takes you somewhere and you just want to stay there for the longest time.

It's nice, it's a good feeling.

Oh it's a brilliant feeling, especially when you were playing at home and you know what you've just done has made 95% of the

stadium that you're playing in just erupt and go mental for a few seconds.

You lose sense of where you are sometimes and you're not even aware of the the crowd's reaction

quite often, but it is a feeling of ecstasy and then in the five minutes following it

you're really jogging about but you're still thinking about that goal.

Listen when you score a goal and you get that surge of adrenaline, that depending on how big the goal is, depends

on how big that surge is. It's an addictive feeling alright.

I remember the first time I scored a goal, that was it for me. Just fell in love, you know, just wanted that feeling

over and over again. It's just the best feeling. I think it started from like the school playground.

Obviously growing up, I had a footballing family, my uncles used to play, my dad played.

I think it was in me from an early age because within my family everybody was a striker.

I would be going to watch Coventry play at Highfield Road and watching the likes of Noel

Whelan and Darren Huckerby and Dion Dublin and people like that to then watching the

likes of Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and just seeing what they do and how they do it and

just being fascinated by it and trying to replicate that on the Sunday.

We used to play across from where I live. There were some shops and there was a square we used to call

it and there was two lamp posts at the end of each square and we used to play games.

Occasionally then we would turn it around and put a goal up against a hedging, there

was a hedge and we would kind of put things up to make it look like a goal and we would

do crossing and I would get the smaller lads, they were tricky wingers, they were to cross it

and I was the big centre forward coming in and that's how I started learning how to head

the ball. Then we would have a prize for the best celebration and stuff like that. We were

all a bit daft I suppose.

I think natural goalscorers are born, I think they've got an instinct in them, which I think comes very naturally to them.

Very difficult I think some of the skills of the art of goalscoring, very difficult to try and teach and pass on

to somebody who doesn't get it.

From the time I could walk really, I always had a ball in the house because my nan used to go mad because I used to smash everything in the house. But

what I used to do is, you know the chairs, so what I used to do is put the chairs together

and you know the two legs, I used to throw the ball against the wall and volley it in

between. I remember doing that, I remember doing that for like hours, but no one told

me to do it, I don't know, I just did it.

I would say born. I would say born, I think you get natural, natural gifted centre forwards who can score goals, like Ian Wright

Robbie Fowler, Alan Shearer, Henry. People like that, they are natural, they naturally score goals,

that's what they do. You see other players, you've seen it last season with Vardy, who'll

score goals, but he never scored goals the year before that, he never scored the goals

the year before that, and he's not scoring goals this year so that's not a natural goalscorer.

Them players I just rounded off they are natural, you are born with that. You can teach people

where to go positional wise, but you can't teach someone to score a goal in my opinion

because as I said the top ones always have that extra second of composure.

I went through periods where I couldn't wait for the ball to come across, then you hit bad patches as

well and I think that's kind of proof again that you're not really bred to do it, it's

about having a trade, a craft, developing that craft as best you can and when that craft

starts to play tricks on you and make you work even harder to get it back, but that

said your lads like Michael Owen came along and Robbie Fowler back in the day and they

just made it look so ridiculously easy that maybe they were just bred, it was never going

to be anything different, but people like me we had to work hard.

They're confidence players, they need goals and I think after training I love to see them out there spending

15-20 minutes finishing. I remember having a spell with Yakubu at Portsmouth. I bought

Luther Blissett in to work with him and Luther was great for him. I would let him go and

spend most of the morning with Yakubu, take a couple of strikers, but Yakubu, if he wanted

a couple of defenders, whatever he wanted and he'd spend an hour with Yak that morning

just finishing, finishing, getting in positions, scoring and Yak scored 27-28 goals that year

for us and Luther was a big part of what he achieved.

It's just constantly practice. As a centre forward you want to see the ball hit the back of the net.

Doesn't matter position you are, what range of shooting you're doing, when you've got confidence, confidence you've

worked on things then introduce a goalkeeper and then put it into practice.

Strikers are very unique. They have a completely different mindset to any other player in the rest of

the team. Strikers have to be three things - they have to be clinical first and foremost,

they have to be composed and they have to be confident under pressure in the moment

when it matters. We know that when a striker is confident a different part of the brain

is activated. The presence of anxiety changes the way that the brain behaves because of

that the striker has to learn to cope and deal with anxious moments like taking a penalty

for example, to equalise in the final minute of the game.

In the kids I teach you definitely can see natural goalscorers in them and a lot of the time you see it is when do things

wrong they get frustrated with themselves because they know they can do better and that's

a good trait to have as a centre forward and you'll see that even in the professional game.

A striker will miss a chance and for a few seconds he'll be disappointed in himself,

but he'll be switched back on to the next chance and that's something in the young lads

that I'm teaching that I really look for.

It's interesting, you look the strikers and they tend to be, I'm not saying selfish people, but they tend to be the people, not self-centred

either, but they know what they want. They tend to be the ones that quite enjoy the limelight.

Someone like Ian Wright was an incredible player, great personality and it kind of went

with him and they're all the same - the Gary Linekers, the Shearers, I now work with these

guys. I like to think that the defenders were the more reliable people. I've said it before

we never really lost our front door key, whereas some of the midfielders players would turn

up with half their gear each day or turn up late.

If we played on the weekend and say we've won 10-0 and you haven't scored as a striker, but the team has got three points

you are not happy. You're happy for the club because you've got three points, but you can't

be totally happy. You go home and you think, 'Pfff', because you just want to score. There's

a selfishness about a centre forward I think, which you're not proud to admit, but it's

a fact. Nice people and I mean that in best sense of the word, nice people can't make

centre forwards on the pitch. You have to be a horrible, little selfish thing that's arrogant

and whatever and as soon as you cross the white line and be as nice as you want off it.

I think strikers have to have a different mindset, you have to be concentrated on yourself

but also you're putting in a big part for the team. You're arguably playing the

furthest away from the rest of your teammates so there's often a bigger distance between

you and your teammates than there is for other positions and there's pressure to score goals

and it's how you react to scoring goals and missing chances and mentally it's arguably as important

as the technique side of finishing.

The very best strikers are able to perform in what I call present moment focus. They're undistracted by previous mistakes so this ability to snap

back, to concentrate, to maintain this present moment focus, that's part of a striker's

mentality, that's part of the greatest strikers' ability to stay focused and be confident,

ready for the next opportunity.

Goals! Goals! Goals! Goals! And how to win a game. That's the most important thing, like for me as go on to the pitch I want know how can I score. I have

to believe that I can score every single game and how will I score and how will I help my

teammates win the game. You also have to create your signature move, your signature move and

that's something what my agent told me. He told me, 'Rom you have to have your signature

move' and in the way that if you have any trouble in the game you know when you get

the ball, you know you're going to do your signature move and that's it.

I would probably say Jermain was the most obsessed and that's the reason why he's 34 and still scoring goals

now because you know he more than any player that I played with loved scoring goals. You

would be walking past him in the gym and he'll try and slot one past you. He would just see

a goal, he'd make a goal out of anything. You didn't even know you were in goal, but

he saw that you were in goal for some reason and just put it past you.

I watch a lot of goals, I watch my own personal ones, I know of other forwards that do the same thing.

Some people listen to music, certain types of music.

If you've worn a certain pair of boots and scored like a hat-trick then obviously you're going to want to wear those boots again

the next game.

There are strange quirky little things like I have to put my left boot on and left shinpad on and my left sock on every time, I don't know why.

Sometimes if you have a week, say like on a Thursday you do a finishing session and you go into the weekend and then

you're on fire, you score a couple of goals, the next Thursday you think, 'I've got to

do the same thing, I've got to do the same thing I did last week'.

I've heard of people changing their boots or going and getting a haircut, for instance. They're having a

few bad games so they go and get a haircut and they suddenly feel better.

If I'm doing a finishing session after training. Even if the manager says, 'Ok last shot each', if

I don't score I say, 'Nah, give me another one.' Always like to put the ball in the net

and then I'll go in.

What's the hardest skill in football? And I would say, 'Scoring goals'.

You get me a goalscorer because they come in all shapes and sizes, they've got a variety

of different attributes. Obviously pace is a great advantage in that, but if you've got

calm head and look at some of the finishes that when you wait for the goalkeeper to go down

early? Or do you wait for him to stand up? Or do you try and lob it over him? Or do you go

round him? The strikers that are the best strikers are the ones that make the right decisions.

The best goalscorer I've ever seen was Jimmy Greaves. Jimmy was a genius. Genius.

The whole world stood still, everything stopped when Jimmy got the ball in the box. The ball

would come to Jim and a defender would come sliding in to block it and Jim would make

out he was going to shoot and just move the ball and then another defender would come

in and throw himself in the way and Jimmy would move the ball and then he would just

roll it into the corner of the goal, side foot it.

I remember Wrighty (Ian Wright) always saying to me, 'Be attracted to the goalkeeper', I said, 'What do you mean?'

Midfielder has got the ball outside the box. If you make your run you can't get it, if he's going to

shoot be attracted to the goalkeeper like a magnet so you're almost like - he shoots,

you're running toward the goalkeeper, save it, bang, rebound. I always think for a goalkeeper,

if they're, obviously they're like this and as soon as they jump it's impossible for a

goalkeeper to jump and then set themselves and get down from there. If you hit the target

and you direct it, for a goalkeeper to get from there to there - it's impossible. And

that's when you've obviously got to stay relaxed and really concentrate on the strike and if

you can, if you can have that slight little look at the goalkeeper and see when they jump

and then you, bang, it's impossible - they can't react.

You can switch off as centre forwards, switch off and as much as the defender is thinking you're switching off secretly

you're not. You're there, 'Right I'm not interested', look non-interested, BANG! And then you're

away. You're playing cat and mouse with the defender really and that's really how I work.

The trouble with being a defender and the opposite of being a striker is you can have

a great game and mess up in the 90th minute. For that reason, defensively you have to really

be concentrated throughout the 90 minutes and it's best not to say too much until the

game is finished, just because you can always get caught out or slip up.

Defenders as well are becoming athletic you know. You have lots of defenders who are fast as well and strong

and you know they can do everything the same as strikers except scoring goals. I think

it's really important to maintain the sharpness in your body, the explosiveness and the strength

and the power.

I've never in all the time I've been in football, I've never not been looking for a striker so I think that says it all.

They're very, very, few and far between and certainly at Premier League level they are, they've very scarce and very difficult

and also come with big price tags and also they come with a big transfer fee.

It's a pressure that I've always enjoyed because I think, 'Well if you're going to put that

sort of pressure on me and I deliver', then again you can feel good about yourself, you know the love that you get

from the football club and the fans, it just helps you. It helps you want to work even harder.

I remember Jermain Defoe's mum when I took him to Portsmouth. I didn't get involved in contract discussions

but she was in the room with the agent and with Milan Mandaric the chairman and Peter

Storrie, the chief executive and they came out and Peter Storrie said, 'Look Harry I think you better

come in, we're getting anywhere here, we're struggling." I said, "What's the problem?"

We went back in and Jermain's mum was a lovely lady, but she said, "We want a goal bonus",

and I said, "What do you think we're paying him £50,000 a week for, to miss them?"

I still message him now. I love him, he's funny. "Just score goals." That's when he used to

phone me, "JD", "Yes Harry", "I just want you to come here and score goals", "Ok", "Forget

the medical, you don't need to do a medical, just come, just sign and score goals."

Well the game moved along and changed and I think the influx of foreign coaches into our leagues

probably saw a different type of approach in attacking as you know now and Leicester

were proving it last year, you don't have to have the ball to win things. In our day

we thought you did and so that change of philosophy has meant that the idea that a targetman is

needed to get you into the game - that's been dispensed with a little bit.

When I was growing up it was always two centre forwards and it's how you could work together, how you

could link together as a big man and little man and I think the introduction, in my eyes anyway,

of Didier Drogba at Chelsea when Jose Mourinho brought him and just played him upfront on

his own and then that got a lot of people thinking, 'We can get one big man to do a

bit of everything'.

I think it's changed significantly, I think the goalscoring burden is shared around maybe

four attackers if you're playing a 4-2-3-1 the wide players getting into the box and score

and I think that's why there's been a shift towards a striker who either is good at holding the ball up,

he's good at dropping deep and linking play, you need, to be unpredictable, you need to have multiple sources of attack and it's been a massive

shift over the last, five or six years, towards players like Aguero, Sanchez, Roberto Firmino,

not necessarily out and out number nines, they do score goals, but maybe their main

feature is they're good at linking play, good at getting their teammates into goalscoring

positions themselves.

I mean the essence of a striker's job is still the same, he's expected to get into good positions in the box - no point being out the box if there ball is going

in there and getting himself on the end of it, you know that's never going to change.

Goals win games, obviously not just the forwards can score, anyone can score, but the strikers

are the ones that are meant to score. Like I mentioned about people expecting you to

score and it is an art because it's something you rehearse every day, you practice, you

get different scenarios around the box, you practice it day-in, day-out in training.

Great defenders, goalkeepers, they can play a major part in the football industry, but the true

excitement of celebration is when you score a goal and that's why, whether they like it

or not, strikers are the most valuable.

I was a striker so I'm going to say strikers are the most important part of the team.

You can't win games unless you score goals.

To be honest with you, favourite way of scoring a goal - they all count don't they, that's how I see it.

You just feel so powerful, your teammates jumping on you, I don't know you might have won the game for your

team, your family, the fans, the club.

Scoring goals is the most important thing on the pitch and every good striker is selfish we don't need to deny that.

It's definitely the best feeling in the world. Definitely the best feeling in the world and you have to embrace

every moment because I know when I finish football, I'll definitely miss it.

The Description of Strikers | The Art of Goalscoring | Documentary