If you are a fan of the Premier League or Manchester United, there is a good chance you can thank ex-Red Devil Eric Cantona for that admiration. Cantona is the footballer who turned the Premier League into a worldwide phenomenon. The attacking midfielder could do it all on the pitch and had the drive to improve every time he went to training. Eric Cantona can be put into the same category as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as players that worked hard day in, day out to get better.
One of the training drills that Cantona used to improve was one of the simplest available. It is also a drill that young players often do at home and a perfect training tool while social distancing. The drill is simply called The Wall and Cantona used it to practice his skills prior to training sessions at Manchester United.
How does The Wall drill work?
Cantona’s use of a wall at The Cliff training ground to practice his skills before sessions caught on like wildfire and the rest of the Manchester United squad joined in. Eric Cantona would pass the ball against a wall and practice his control, passing, touch, headers, and other receiving techniques. If you ever wondered how Cantona got so good in tight areas with the ball, then working with a wall was one reason.
The great thing about The Wall drill is that for many young players, a wall to pass the ball against is often readily available. You can pass the ball and receive it for hours all the time improving and developing skills such as receiving and passing.
The Wall drill updated
In March 2018, it was reported that Pep Guardiola had begun using a version of The Wall drill at Manchester City. The drill was updated to train the entire squad.
— Jayne Johnston 🧩 (@Jaynejon) March 1, 2018
Guardiola split his players into teams and players had to keep the ball moving to complete a set number of passes in a specified time. If a team loses the ball, the group have to run a sprint together. After the teams play with the ball on the ground, they move to headers and so forth.
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of The Wall drill is that professional footballers are using something as simple as a wall to practice their skills. Considering that Manchester City are one of the richest clubs in the world, they use something as easily available as a wall to improve and develop is amazing.