The art of movement: Arsenal great Ian Wright on playing with Dennis Bergkamp and scaring defenders | Total Football News
A striker’s ability to escape the attention of a defender, to find space in the most fiercely guarded areas of the pitch, is often considered innate, an instinct the game’s great...

The art of movement: Arsenal great Ian Wright on playing with Dennis Bergkamp and scaring defenders

A striker’s ability to escape the attention of a defender, to find space in the most fiercely guarded areas of the pitch, is often considered innate, an instinct the game’s greatest goalscorers carry within them. But this assumption fails to appreciate the dedication, the trial and error, the science required to master movement. 

Ian Wright was one of the greatest strikers of his generation, a scorer of record-breaking regularity during a 15-year career which saw him rise from non-league football to stardom with Crystal Palace, Arsenal and England. A lethal finisher from almost any range or angle, he found simply putting the ball in the net effortless. The subtle art of decoy runs and the careful timing of bursts into the box, though, did not come as naturally.

“When I was younger and I used to watch strikers, it was never the movement I was looking at,” Wright tells The Independent. “I was looking at Cyril Regis holding it up, Laurie Cunningham doing skills, things like that. I never realised movement was important. When I played Sunday morning football, movement wasn’t something that I needed to worry about, because I was so quick. They’d just put it over the top, and I’d run over there.

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