Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen explains psychology of free-kicks
Christian Eriksen says free-kicks are a mind game between him and the goalkeeper
Christian Eriksen has revealed how the art of taking free-kicks is a mind game between him and the goalkeeper.
The Dane was one of the few glimmers of hope from a disappointing 2013/14 campaign, but the midfielder has stepped up another notch this season.
His free-kicks have often rescued Tottenham late in games, and the Spurs star believes that the art of taking them is as psychological as it is technical.
“Sometimes football is a bit mental as well and hopefully you can make the goalkeeper think where you will go before you know it yourself,” Eriksen told Tottenham’s website.
“Sometimes you want to put the ball where you think the goalkeeper thinks you will put it, sometimes you put it where you know the goalkeeper isn’t going.”
The 23-year-old has scored three free-kicks this side of Christmas, with the most famous one, at Sheffield United, sealing his side’s passage to League Cup final at Wembley.
In that semi-final tie, Spurs were looking ahead to extra-time before Eriksen, once again, saved them in the 88th minute.
Eriksen continued: “At Sheffield United, I was looking at Coco (Erik Lamela), he wanted to take it as well and it was probably a better position for a left-footed player but I said ‘I want to have this one’.
“I fancied where to put it so my first thought was to get the ball over the wall but then I saw the goalkeeper take a little step when Coco ran over the ball and then I changed my mind and went for the far corner.”
While Eriksen does recognize the importance of the intuition and guess-work that goes on in the situation, he knows that practice is just as important.
“I’ve been practising for a really long time and now it almost feels like people want me to score every time and I see the opportunity to score every time,” he said.
“I have the feeling and the confidence to do it so it’s all about getting the ball over the wall and into the net.”
His next opportunity to do so will be on Thursday, when Spurs welcome Fiorentina to White Hart Lane in the Europa League’s round of 32.