N’Golo Kante has risen to prominence in the last couple of years, and for good reason. He is considered one of the best center defensive midfield players in the world, with many teams now looking for the next Kante. In this video, we are going over something that Kante does so well that allows him to be such a valuable player in the CDM position, and that is his ability to read the game so effectively. Kante is considered by many the second-coming of Makelele, and it’s hard not to see the similarities. He covers so much ground, has fantastic tackling ability, and acts as an almost impenetrable shield in front of the Chelsea back line.
But more than anything else, Kante is a smart player and reads the game better than most. Because of this, he is able to see things happening before they take place. So let’s go over how he does it. Kante is known to cover a lot of ground. However, that doesn’t mean he does it in a chaotic way. He actually has very, very good positional discipline and he needs to in order to play his position well.
This is actually why it seems like he is everywhere, because he always seems to be in the position he needs to be in to win the ball. This allows him to get good tackles in, it allows him to be available for the ball, it allows him to shield the defense and it allows him to make many of the interceptions that he makes. So if you play CDM, make sure you recognize that your positional discipline is one of your most potent weapons. Half the battle of defending is taking up positions which makes the job easier. Next time you watch Kante play, look out for what positions he takes up, especially during transition plays or when Chelsea are put on the back foot.
One thing I’ve noticed about Kante is he is so clever with his tackling. He rarely gives away fouls in dangerous positions, and there’s actually a reason for this. First way he does this is he doesn’t go to ground unless he needs to, or unless he knows he’ll win the ball. You’ll find that he actually will use his body to move an attacker off the ball and win it. He is a master at knowing when to launch into the tackle and get his body between the ball and the man. So let’s take a look at this play here to give you an example of this. So in this play you’re gonna see something that Kante does a lot to win the ball back fairly by using his body. So let’s take a look at this again, much closer. He quickly goes after the guy, makes sure he’s level with him, uses his shoulder to ease him off the ball, but look at his right foot immediately trying to get across his man.
And there it is again, getting his body in the way. So he’ll use his body to get it between the man and the ball, just eases him off the ball, he does take, run into Louis so it does look worse than it is. But this is a very fair and smart tackle by Kante, and he’ll do this all the time, all game to win the ball back fairly. Next way he wins the ball so often through his tackling is he takes players by surprise. He is so good at hiding his presence that you’ll see many times that players don’t see him coming.
He deliberately tackles players on their blind side so that he can win it clearly and cleanly, without having to foul the player. And he times this so well. So here is an example of him doing exactly this. So here’s an example of Kante defending a player on the blind side and getting a tackle in against Raheem Sterling. So we’ll take a look at this very quickly and you can see that he’s going on the side that Sterling isn’t aware of and by the time Sterling does check his blind side, it’s too late, because Kante is already moving so quickly towards him that his momentum allows him to get a good position on Sterling and win the ball and poke it away. And Kante does this all of the time.
He’ll use this technique when another player is distracted. He’ll come on their blind side and they won’t see him coming. And that’s how he’s able to win the ball so cleanly so often, without fouling a player. Finally, we do have to quickly cover Kante’s work rates. Now, I know that I said earlier that his positional discipline makes it seem like he is everywhere, and that is true. But he also does work so hard and covers a lot of ground. If a player beats him, he gets right back into position or goes after the player. He’s relentless and doesn’t seem to stop moving all game.
What I want you to take away from that is that you have to have incredible work rate in this position. When you mix work rate with positional discipline as a CDM, you have a formula for success. Alright, this is how to read the game like N’Golo Kante. Make sure you vote for the next player to be made in this series by clicking on the bar that comes across now or clicking on the I button in the top right-hand corner. Remember, this is the only place to vote. Thank you so much for watching the video. Please like and share it, and also subscribe to Simply Soccer if you haven’t already. I will put two other videos up on the screen now from this series so that you can continue learning and continue improving your game. Thanks once again, and I’ll see you in the next video.