Bridgy’s Top tip #2 The art of time wasting!

This isn’t classed as one of the fairest or most sportsmanlike parts of the game, but it’s exists nonetheless at all levels of the sport. It can be a vital tactic, and can be the difference between your team winning or losing the game or even getting that vital 1 point with a draw that keeps your team in the division or takes you onto the next round of the finals / Cup comp.

When the last minutes of the clock are ticking down, and the scoreboard shows that you are on the winning side now is the time to kill the clock! this can be achieved in a few ways.

1. The easiest, and most important, is by keeping your team in possession of the ball. Keep the passes slow and controlled, and really make the opposition work hard in trying to regain the ball.

2. By Getting the ball into the oppositions final third and as far away from your own goal as possible. ( Barcelona are one of the best at this ) Other teams like to play the long ball, and chase it down to feed off mistakes or to win corners or throw in’s ( Bolton Wanderers under Sam Allerdyce, or the great Wimbledon side who won the FA cup ).

3. Bringing on a substitute late in the match or after the clock says 90 minutes is another tactic used by many managers around the world. This not only runs the clock down but it can also slow the game down when your team is under a lot of pressure and change the whole momentum of the match.

4. Running the ball into the corner flag area and holding off defenders by sheilding the ball from them and the touchline. Once they approach you can also try to hit the ball off them to win another corner kick or throw in, again this keeps your team in possession of the ball and runs the clock down.

When their team is winning, how many times do you see players running with the ball in the final minutes of a match trying to score, or make a name for themselves. They get tackled, or they lose the ball by giving a bad pass, then the opposition go straight up the other end of the field and score, only to see or hear the manager scream “why the heck didn’t you just run the ball into the corner”.

I put this down to 2 things, either the player is very selfish and wants the glory of scoring another goal and is not a team player, or that the player is inexperienced, or naive and has never been in that situation before.


This was exactly the situation I found myself in while playing for Sunderland FC under Peter Reid. In hindsight, I should have ran the ball into the corner flag area, but instead, I thought I would go on a Maradona run and try to take on as many players as possible and head for goal……………….. only to be dispossessed and watch the other team go toward our goal and nearly score, thankfully the cross bar saved my skin, and the team, and we got the result we needed, but it did not stop me from getting the biggest hairdryer telling off of my career due to the fact that i was selfish, when I should of just killed the match off in the corner flag area.

As you will see by the clip below I soon learned how to master the art of time waisting.




  1. Nicholas Green says:

    That nutty was quality

  2. Nifty footwork mate, quality.

    • Michael says:

      Thank you Pauline
      My wife is an Irish dancer and she taught me everything in regards to quick footwork

Leave a Reply