MARTIN KEOWN: Carles Puyol always gets a head start

30 March 2010 12:29
Carles Puyol might only be 5ft 10in but that doesn't stop him from being a brilliant defender. With all that hair he doesn't look short and, in fact, he may be the perfect height.

Shorter defenders like Puyol or Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen have shown they can easily handle tall strikers. It is all about getting the timing of their jumps right. Last week I watched Puyol getting up really early to win headers.

If you do that and get up first, you're going to win the ball, because the attacker then has nowhere to jump except up into you.

Head start: Puyol and Vermaelen may be small defenders but they will command

Sometimes much taller players struggle to get real power on clearing headers because they sport are not jumping and arriving with the same momentum.

Another thing Puyol does very well although it can also be his downfall is aggressive defending.

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The Spaniard anticipates where the ball is going and attacks it early he doesn't wait for attackers to present him with an opening. But that high-risk strategy does mean errors creep in. I have seen him come for crosses and miss them, leaving gaping holes behind him.

Consequently, I think Nicklas Bendtner's strength and aerial ability can cause him enough problems to make him take some unnecessary risks on Wednesday night. So it should be a good battle between the pair.

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Source: Daily_Mail