Iheanacho: Raising Your Game

Kelechi Iheanacho is hoping Pep Guardiola will help him to fulfil his potential

With a goal every 94 minutes, Kelechi Iheanacho has the best goals to minutes ratio in the Premier League during the 2015/16 season.

At only 19 years-old, that’s a pretty big statement to make. Now, under the guidance of Manchester City’s new Head Coach – Pep Guardiola – Iheanacho is tasks with bettering his breakthrough season and becoming a household name in world soccer.

“In my country, where I started playing. I was a No 10,” says Iheanacho. “I can play in any position.”

In just one year at Manchester City, Iheanacho has shown his exceptional ability to finish. Yet, it may come as a surprise to learn that he started his game as a provider. It was in this position that he learned from his colleagues who to make effective runs and position himself in the right areas of the box to give himself an opportunity to score.

mage of pep guardiola taking soccer practice

Pep Guardiola takes a training session – Solo Soccer Training

Now under the watchful eyes of Pep Guardiola, Iheanacho is hoping to further improve his capabilities.

“He’s bringing fresh thoughts and his own style. Everything is different and everyone is adapting to what he’s teaching us. We need to understand what he’s telling us and what he wants to bring to the team.”

In training, Iheanacho is doing everything with the ball at his feet. Guardiola does not believe in endless sprints or fitness drills to improve his game. The important part is for Iheanacho to be putting the ball in the back of the net, as often as possible. All sprints end with a shot on goal, changes in direction are made in and around the box and explosives jumps are for headers to get onto the end of crosses.

 

 

As an individual training exercise, to emulate Iheanacho’s development you will need to take the ball with you. Practice running at pace towards goal and picking your target early. If you can learn to anticipate the position of the goal based on your location on the pitch, then finishing will become instinctive as opposed to complex.

“everyone finishes the way that they finish, it just feels natural for me” – Kelechi Iheanacho

“Last season was great for me and there were some good highlights. Scoring my goal against Crystal Palace and playing against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, those were good feelings.

But that was last season and it’s history.

Now it’s a new season and we need to focus.”

Kelechi Iheanacho

Centre Forward, Manchester City

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