Soccer Center Midfielder Guide – A Soccer Player’s Complete Guide To The Game
The center midfielder is every team’s main passer of the ball.
The center midfielder must by skilled, but can get away with less speed than other positions.
A good center midfielder has good awareness. He knows where he’s located on the field, where his teammates are located, and where the other team’s center midfielders are located.
A great center midfielder can make a huge difference in games. He can help the team retain possession and set up wingers and forwards with great passes.
This article will cover the top traits of a good center midfielder and provide some tips to help you succeed at the position.
5 Traits of a Good Center Midfielder
These are the top 5 traits that good center midfielders possess possess (in order of importance):
1. Passing Ability
The center midfielder must make short passes on the ground, long passes over the heads of the forwards, and passes to the corner flag for wingers to run onto.
Passing ability is vital to a center midfielder’s success. They should have good technique and good vision. In other words, center midfielders should be able to see a good pass quickly and pass the ball accurately.
Read our article, How to Pass a Soccer Ball for more information.
2. Ball Control
The center of the pitch is a crowded, chaotic place. Make a bad touch and the ball will get stolen before you can blink.
Good center midfielders can receive the ball well. They can keep the ball close to their body, away from defenders.
Read our article, How to Receive a Soccer Ball to learn more.
Good center midfielders can dribble into open space, turn well, and beat players.
A center midfielder with good dribbling and passing abilities is devastating. Defenders will give you space (since they know you will beat them if they apply intense pressure) giving you more time to look up and pass.
Read our article, How to Dribble a Soccer Ball and How to Do Soccer Moves and Tricks to learn more.
4. Shooting Ability
Good center midfielders can finish.
When you can shoot well you can pass the ball to a teammate, run towards goal, receive a return pass from your teammate, then blast the ball past the keeper.
Center midfielders should focus on shooting from outside the box. They should be able to score from medium and long distances.
Read our articles How to Kick a Soccer Ball and How to Shoot a Soccer Ball for more information.
5. Shielding Ability
Center midfielders are constantly under pressure.
A good center midfielder can shield the ball when dribbling. He can turn, shield, then pass to a defender.
Good center midfielders use there body to protect the ball. Shielding gives them more time to find an open teammate.
Read our article, How to Shield a Soccer Ball to learn this valuable skill.
6 Soccer Center Midfielder Tips
1. Keep Moving
This tip is important for all positions, but it’s especially important for center midfielders. If you don’t move around constantly you will an easy mark. If your team passes the you ball, you will be under pressure immediately.
Run to the ball. You should always be an option. In other words, every position should be able to pass you the ball.
Make a run after you pass the ball. Use the one-two pass.
2. Play quickly under pressure
A good opposing center midfielder will mark you tightly. You may only have the chance to play a quick one touch pass – even after making a good run.
Learn to make quick, good decisions. The better competition you play against, the less time you will have.
You need good awareness to play quickly. When you are off the ball look around constantly to get a general idea of player’s locations.
Get in the habit of looking up quickly after receiving the ball. Ideally, your intention before you receive the pass.
3. Find Space
The middle of a soccer field is crowded.
Find space so you have more time to make decisions and dribble.
Finding space isn’t difficult. Run to open space whenever you can. Put yourself in a good position and you will be more effective.
4. Shoot when near the box
Sometimes you have the ball and the opposing center midfielders are behind you. The defenders are focused on the forwards. You have space to dribble before reaching the defenders.
Many center midfielders waste this scenario. They don’t dribble forward (since they will run into defenders) and don’t have a good passing option.
They hesitate and the opposing center midfielder comes in from behind and steals the ball.
Take a touch and shoot the ball when you are near the box in this scenario.
5. Develop Vision
Vision is how well you see potential passes. For instance, a great center midfielder can quickly determine the best pass to use.
For instance, lets say the other center midfielder and forward are open. A center midfielder with average vision would make the easy pass to feet. A center midfielder with vision would recognize that most of the defense is on the left side and play a through ball to the right winger.
Try to improve your vision every game and practice.
Think about all the options available, lift up your head, and scan the field quickly. You will develop vision overtime.
6. Play the simple pass
Center midfielders often become obsessed with playing “the big pass.”
“The big pass” is a through ball played through the air to a forward running at the goal or a winger who cuts towards goal. This pass leads to a breakaway. It’s brilliant.
But the other team expects this pass, especially if you try to force it over and over. This pass is also difficult to pull off as you need to time it correctly (to avoid an offsides call), put the perfect amount of pace (so the pass doesn’t get kicked away or picked up by the goalie), and your teammates need to make great runs.
Using advanced passes is great, but playing the simple pass is often the better choice.
Passing the ball around the field will make defenders irritated and fatigued. Gaps in the defense will emerge. Then, you can do a brilliant pass.
Have patience. Play the ball to the open man. Do one-twos. Play the ball back to the defense.
7. Switch the field
“Switching the ball” means playing it towards the opposite side of the pitch.
If you can receive a pass from one winger, take a touch, then switch the ball to the other side of the field you will be effective as a center midfielder.
Look for the switch. The defense is often focused on one side of the field (even when you’re playing against good teams).
How to Play Defensive Midfield in Soccer — Online Soccer Academy
Know what is going on around you. Coaches always say, “know what to do with the ball before you get it.” But how do you know?
You know by checking your shoulders regularly. When you look behind you, you are taking a mental picture of the field. You are looking for defenders, teammates, space, runs, etc. The best DCM’s are the smartest. Work on your speed of play regularly by watching these OSA videos.
DO NOT try to play the perfect pass every time. Your job is to be the connect person of the defense and attack by making passes. Mainly, simple on the ground passes. Yes, sometimes you need to chip a ball, switch the field or hit a long ball over the top, that is fine.
My point is, when you see a pass make it. Don’t try to always look for that perfect pass and doubt your first option.
Keep your shape. Try to stay in the central part of the field when in your defensive, middle and attacking thirds.
In the attacking third you usually don’t need to go much farther then the top of the 18. Yes, there will be times you make a late run in the box. But for the most part you need to keep your shape in case there is a turn over.
If the ball goes wide to your winger don’t run all the way wide to support them. Stay more central.
Stand with your body open to the field. What I mean is if your right winger has the ball, don’t stand like this.
Why not? Because now you can’t see what’s behind you and your body is positioned to take a touch back in the direction the ball came.
Instead stand like this, with your body open to the field going forward. This way you can see the ball, what’s up the field and also your body is positioned to take a positive touch.
If you have a defender on you, then your body is in position to be a shield between the ball and the defender. This gives you better balance, strength and you are less likely to get knocked off the ball. Versus standing with your back to the field and your stance will make you off balance if you get knocked from behind by a defender.
You need to be good at defending. Watch our OSA defending videos here. Specifically watch the video about how to defend an attacker when they are running at you.
Be a leader. Communicate on the field by saying man on and turn. Lead by example by setting the tone in midfield that you will work hard the full game. Encourage your teammates when they do a good job and let them know it’s okay if they make a mistake.
Make the players around you better by being positive and you will be a better player.
Attack when it’s on. It won’t be on every play, but when it’s on get involved in the attack. Make that late run into the box, take that shot from 20 yards out, play the killer pass over the top, get an assist, score a goal… be the hero!
Don’t attack every play because remember your job is to connect your teammates by passing but on occasion make something special happen when it feels right.
The Role of the Center Midfielder
Unlike defenders and strikers, the central midfield position requires a special type of player. This is because he does not have a defined role and needs to be skilled on both sides of the pitch. Additionally, this role changes from time to time and requires the player to play the whole length of the match.
Though this may sound like a simple concept, many people especially young soccer players do not understand the outright role of the center midfielder.
This article will simply explain to you a center midfielder’s role in soccer given the different scenarios where you are required to either play offensively or defensively.
Central Midfielder’s Territory
As most of the play will come through the midfield, the central midfielder’s main role is to support all the players on the pitch with exception to the goalkeeper.
When playing a flat 4-4-2 formation, there are two central midfield players needed and they are usually the ‘8s’.
Depending on the type of player, the central midfielder tends towards the 6 or 10 but is often a hybrid of the two positions.
Playing just behind the strikers, central midfielders probably run the most during the match, maybe with the exception of the Wingbacks.
They can switch roles depending on the game situation, that is, pick up the slack when the strikers are not attacking or drop further back to get the ball from the defenders.
Additionally, the central midfielder is required to maintain possession of the ball while playing long and short ball to the outside midfielders and strikers.
In case your team plays without a defensive midfielder, the central midfielders can step in and play both positions.
This however requires effective communication and the player be in a great physical state to play this position effectively.
The center midfielder is often assigned to the playmaker. Their main job is to assist the forwards when the team is making a play as well as get on the defensive when the opposing team has the ball.
To make a great center midfield, you must be a good team player and have the confidence to remain calm so you can make prudent decisions wherever necessary.
Every center midfield would need the following skills to ensure they improve their game and make it happen:
This position may not seem like a lot of work compared to a defensive player or forward but in some aspects it is. The center midfielder has access to just about all the players and therefore has to make snap decisions in no time to distribute the ball intelligently.
This player should be confident to receive the ball and make simple passes under pressure and also has to shield the ball away from the opposing team without making panicked decisions.
To be an excellent center midfielder you should be able to play offensively and defensively depending on what is required of you during the game.
The center midfield is one of the most versatile positions to play in football. This is because they are not attached to other players for anything and can easily switch between a 6 or a 10 as required of the game play.
Ideally, a center midfielder can dribble excellently, shoot goals and make great long and short passes to support either the forwards or defenders.
Center midfielders are often fouled by the
opponent’s defenders in an effort to stop them from distributing the ball. This
makes this position not only physically demanding, but also gets most of the
physical abuse compared to other players.
3. Ball Control, Turning and Passing
Seeing as the center midfield’s main role is to make passes, their ball control and possession skills have to be on point.
A good central midfielder should be able to get the ball away from their feet and manage to look up, which makes for a great first touch on the ball.
The center midfielder makes short and simple passes as well as vital interceptions when playing defensively.
To improve your game play, ensure to get as many touches on the ball as possible while working on your ball control movements.
4. Physical Fitness
As mentioned earlier, center midfielders make a lot of runs on the field and have to be both offensive and defensive minded.
This requires the player to be in good physical form so as to have the stamina needed to play this position.
The center midfielders shoulder a lot of responsibility as the main link between defenders and forwards while targeting the opponent’s center midfield and gaining possession of the 50/50 balls.
These simple duties take a lot to master and below are a few tips to help you as you get your skills refined and get you fit for any scenario on the soccer pitch:
Ball Control and Touch
The center midfielder is always marked by the opponent’s defenders, which means that when you get the ball you will likely be swarmed be defenders quickly. Therefore, you need to be able to dribble, pass or shoot the ball on first touch so you do not give your opponents a chance to get hold of the ball.
You can easily master how to control the
ball out of feet by practicing with a partner or against a wall. Make passes to
your partner or the wall by hitting the ball back with the inside and instep of
your foot from a distance of about 5 yards.
You can practice on juggle type passes
that will keep the ball rolling rather than slow it down and bring it to the
ground. For example, you can control the ball with your thigh and play back the
ball with the inside of your foot. This will obviously depend on your game play
but is a great way to control the ball without slowing down the rest of your
2. Weight your Ball
To be a successful, center midfielder, it is crucial that you set the ball for your teammate just right, usually in the space they are running on to.
You should also try to disguise your pass from opposing defenders as much as possible and always be confident on the target you have chosen to send the ball to.
Wall passing is a great way to improve on your passes. Standing 10 to 15 yards from the ball, play it against the wall while hitting with the inside of your foot, ten times on each side.
Ensure to keep the ball out in front of you at a few feet while making simple, precise passes with the same foot.
3. Creative Ball Movement
The goal of a center midfielder is to get
as many touches as possible on the ball. This position is always marked by
defenders and your team relies on your creativity to create opportunities for
yourself. Good center midfielders will find a way to disguise a pass rather
than run straight for the ball.
This skill takes a lot to master but is worth it when you have it under your belt.
To improve on your turning, hit a ball extra hard and then turn with it using both your feet. While turning, control the ball with the inside of your foot, use the outside of the foot to control it and then half turn as you send back the ball at an angle with your body already turned.
Additionally, practice three sixty degree passing with your teammates to improve quick one touch passes and work on your juggling, turns and dribble work to ensure you master all ball movements.
To be a great central midfielder, you have
to make decisions based on the best play for the team rather than the best
pass. You should be able to shoot when the chance arises and you can do this
simple drill to enhance your shooting when your opponents think you will pick
out a pass.
To make a powerful shot, take shots with
both feet and land on the foot you aim the goal with. The longer the distance
you shoot from, the harder the kick, and always ensure your knee stays over the
ball while keeping it low.
Emulating a great player is one of the
easiest ways to learn how to play your position well. Look up a player that
favors your style of play and master two or three skills you learn from them to
ensure you constantly improve your play.
Steven Gerrard who plays for Liverpool FC executes the central midfielder position to perfection. He is a flexible player with great defensive ability and is able to make crucial decisions for his team.
He is great at making passes and can score goals for his team while shooting the ball from outside the box.
Other players who have made the central midfield position fundamental to the success of their teams include: Paul Pogba, Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara, Isco, Tony Kroos, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, and many more.
Over the years, roles of players in soccer have slowly changed meaning and a given skill set does not suffice to make you a great player since most roles overlap.
It is important to remember your given role as a center midfielder but also stay focused and disciplined so you are ready for whatever game situation you are in. Your goal as a central midfielder should be to create and act as a main link between the forwards and defenders.
The surest way to ensure you are a great player is by practicing and learning the game during play.
This way, you will understand what is required of you in different case scenarios and how to take advantage of opportunities for the good of your team.
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My guide to playing center midfield : bootroom
Recently I’ve seen a surge in the number of CM-related posts on here. Center midfield is by far the most difficult position IMO (excluding goalkeeper) because you’re always involved with play and you always have to be ready to receive the ball. That is not true for any other position on the field.
I’ve played center midfield for six years. I currently play for a club in one of the highest and most competitive leagues in the USA, in addition to playing for my school team. By no means do I know everything about the position, but I would say I’ve accumulated quite a lot of knowledge on it over the past several years. So here are my top tips:
Know your situation before you receive the ball. I can’t stress this enough. If you wait until the ball is at your feet to decide what to do, you’re toast. Always know where your teammates are and where opponents are. This means everyone – strikers, center backs, wingers, even your keeper (because it might be helpful to know where your keeper is if you’re going to pass back to him, otherwise this could happen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh-NIwfdAgI).
Always look to get the ball. This should go without saying, but when you don’t have the ball you always need to be moving into positions where you can get it. Into windows between the opposition midfielders. Into the gap between the midfield and defensive lines. Dropping back to give your teammate a square ball option. Moving up to support the strikers. Even making curled runs towards the corner flags. The best midfielders in the world all work tirelessly to get the ball at their feet.
Work on opening up your body and turning 180 degrees with your first touch. This one is more mental than technical. When most players are about get the ball, they want to receive and control it as soon as possible. This usually leads to pointless first touches that leave the player under heavy pressure right away. Open up your body so that you can take that first touch with your back (farther away) foot, and attack the open space. 99 times out of 100 the space on the opposite side from which you received the ball will be less congested than the side the ball came from.
Don’t be afraid to play backwards. I personally am sometimes a culprit of the opposite – I play conservatively too often – but most people don’t do it enough.
Don’t focus too much on dribbling. All the time we see crazy highlights of the best players dribbling and feinting through four defenders at once, but for every one of those, there’s two hundred times when that player just passed the ball without doing anything eye-popping. There’s a good reason why nobody likes an excessive dribbler: dribbling doesn’t win games. Teamwork does. That might sound corny and cliche, but it’s true.
Shoot the ball! Shooting is by far the most fun part of soccer, yet so many midfielders forget to do it. If you’re anywhere within 20-25 yards (depending on your shooting skill), your first instinct should be to create a shooting opportunity. Also, if you’re a center mid you should be practicing longer shots during training rather than 1v1s, headers, or tap-ins. In six years of playing the position I can remember maybe two proper 1v1s and only a handful of clear-cut chances to score from less than 10-12 yards or so for me. Excluding penalty kicks, my last five or six goals have been from outside the penalty area. So the point is, hit shots. A good coach will never be mad at you for a good attempt, even if there was a better option available in hindsight (though he/she might not be happy if you put it over the bar by 20 feet – been there, done that).
Instead of being highly aggressive on defense, aim to just contain and stifle the opposition’s attack. So many goals materialize because a center mid got lazy and just stuck his/her leg out at the ball and hoped. That usually doesn’t turn out well. It’s not your job to steal the ball every time you are defending. Just contain them and wait for them to make a mistake. If you force them to play backwards or sideways, that’s a win for you.
Learn to put your body between the ball and the opponent. If you don’t do this, you will lose the ball way too many times. There’s no shame in shielding the ball for a second or two and letting your teammates adjust before finding a pass.
Those are my best pieces of advice. Keep in mind I’m still growing and getting better as a player as well. I don’t know everything.
Attributes of Quality Midfielders in Soccer
In soccer, when you think of a midfielder you think of someone who can pass the ball and keep possession, someone who plays like Xavi and Iniesta of Barcelona. And you also think of someone who can make that killer pass that leads to a goal scoring opportunity. These are the qualities that also make a great soccer player overall.
But the greatest quality of good midfielders might just be their ability to hold the ball and keep it when they are closed down and under pressure. At Barcelona, Iniesta is a master at shielding the soccer ball while under pressure and turning defenders inside and out.
In other words, great midfielders are able to receive the ball when they’re surrounded by defenders and make the pass that opens the game up once again. They’re able to spin away from pressure and switch the field of play. The perfect example of a soccer player like this is Italy’s Andrea Pirlo. Here’s a midfielder who rarely if ever loses possession of the ball and can make that long diagonal pass to open up the game for his team.
Here’s a list of attributes all soccer midfielders should possess:
- Scores goals from distance.
- Comfortable on the ball when under pressure.
- Creates goal scoring chances.
- Plays long cross field balls – switching the attack.
- High work rate.
- Strong on the ball – shielding the ball under pressure.
- Good vision – sees the whole soccer field.
- Hits sharp crosses and long balls from anywhere on the field.
- Tight control (excellent first touch on the ball).
- Strong on the ball (shielding).
- Plays crisp passes with both feet.
- Ability to bend the ball and play angled passes.
- Good fitness level – can chase back and defend and get into the goal box on an attack.
Another key quality all midfielders should possess, and really all soccer players, is the desire for the ball at your feet. It’s always asking for and wanting the soccer ball. In soccer, everyone, and especially midfielders, should always ask for the ball and be in position to support their teammates.
That’s probably the key aspect, knowing how to offer support and get open so you can be an outlet to your teammate who is under pressure. This means moving off the ball and breaking free from the person who is marking you.
Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez – When Football Becomes Art.
How to become a better midfielder – in today’s video, we speak to Ilkay Gündogan who will teach you how to improve as a midfielder so you can learn a few ways of thinking when you’re playing in the centre of the park. JayMike went to Manchester to speak to the Turkish magician in the heart of midfield for Manchester City, where the two talked about how to improve as a midfielder and which tools young players need to learn in order to become better in the midfield positions.
Gündogan is known for running with the ball and his amazing passes which are some of the things that are good to learn how to master if you want to become a better midfielder – and hearing how Gündogan always had a ball at his feet, you understand why he was has become so good that he can now teach YOU how to improve your midfield game.
Watch Videos of Great Midfielders:
NEW: Check out these soccer training sessions by position:
The 17 Qualities you find in Every Great Defensive Midfielder – Your Soccer Home
If you want to improve your game and be the best defensive midfielder you can be then this is the post for you. Or if you are just interested to know what it takes to be a great defensive midfielder keep reading and you’ll soon know.
Firstly, let’s cover a few basics.
What is the role of a defensive midfielder? In soccer, a defensive midfielder’s role is to break up the flow of play when the opposition has possession of the ball. Their role also involves supporting the defense and being a link between defense and attack when needed.
Why is a defensive midfielder important? A defensive midfielder is so important in a game of soccer because they can dictate the flow of the game. From this position, a top defensive midfielder can completely control the game and is the link between defense and attack.
Now we’ve established what a defensive midfielder does and why their role is so important to a team lets look at those qualities, characteristics and attributes that every defensive midfielder needs.
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Qualities of a defensive midfielder
1. Defensive Skills
It almost goes without saying and is written in the job description that a defensive midfielder should have great defensive skills. This is probably the most important factor to play this role. If you can do everything else on this list well, but you can’t defend, then you’re unlikely to even get a look in for this role on the team.
A defensive midfielder plays at the base of midfield and carries the responsibility of being the link between the defenders and midfielders. Their job is to protect the defenders by preventing the ball and opposition players from passing them.
Being good in defense means a few things. One is knowing how to tackle well consistently. You need to be able to stick your foot in to stop the ball at just the right moment that you don’t foul the other player. And be able to get your head on the ball before the opposition when the ball is coming in the air.
If you want to know how to head the ball well without it hurting then click here to read the article I wrote all about it recently.
You also need to be able to shield the ball when you have it to stop any other players from getting it off you. Losing the ball near your own goal is the last thing you want to happen.
Having a 360-degree awareness of everything that is going on in the field is a vital part of the role of a defensive midfielder. In fact, I listed it as one of my 4 reasons why soccer is harder than football.
Now, this may seem impossible, and sure, no one is ever going to know exactly where everyone is and what is going on everywhere around them. But when you observe a great defensive midfielder, it almost seems as though they do have this ability.
A huge part of their role is to be able to open up the play as soon as possible whenever they have the ball. The quicker they can work out where they should play the ball, the faster they can turn a defensive position into an attacking one for their team.
A defensive midfielder needs to always be observing what is going on around him or her.
If you’re looking to improve your game in this area, then spend the next few games you play intentionally observing everything that’s going on around you. Make it your mission to see as much as you can on the field. The more you do this, the more natural it will become.
Playing in the role of defensive midfielder requires an exceptionally high level of fitness and stamina. It has been worked out that some of the highest performing midfielders can run over 7 miles(11km) in one 90 minute period. And research has shown that this includes “up to 1,300 changes in exercise intensity during a 90-minute game”. This is no small feat!
They need to be able to cover the width of the field at all times and always be ready to be where the ball is and stop any attacking players.
To maintain this level of performance throughout a whole season the player needs to follow a strict conditioning regime. This will include –
- Regular exercise to maintain and increase a high level of stamina.
- Rest to properly recover from the punishing routine they consistently put their body through.
- Proper daily nutrition to give their body the fuel they need to operate at its peak
- & Hydration to replace all the lost fluid. All these things will contribute to achieving their peak physical fitness that allows them to be the best they can be.
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Discipline and positioning
When it comes to playing this role for a soccer team having discipline is key. The team will be relying on you.
This applies to the whole team, not just a defensive midfielder, but for a defensive midfielder, this is especially important. Some teams are set up around this midfielder.
All their plays are designed to go through this player. And as with anything in life, if the key part is missing then the whole machine can fall apart.
If this player does not have a high level of discipline when it comes to keeping their position then they won’t be in the right place when they are needed. They need to be able to resist the temptation of running out of position when it’s not necessary. They need to be there for their team when needed.
To understand more about positions in soccer have a look at this guide I wrote explaining everything you need to know about soccer positions.
passing ability and vision
The defensive midfielder is often playing the role of a playmaker for the team as well.
They are responsible for controlling the flow of the game. Moving the ball from side to side, or from front to back as needed.
To move the ball around effectively and efficiently they need to have the ability to pass the ball exactly where they want to pass it. Just kicking the ball in one direction and hoping for the best is not enough!
To know where the ball needs to go they have to have expert vision as well. They have to be able to see where the ball needs to go.
If a defensive midfielder can look up, see where one of their attacking players is going to be before they get there, and then pass the ball to that exact spot, they can be the difference between their team winning or losing a soccer game.
Ability to read the game
The ability to read the game means the player has an incredible ability to see and understand what is happening in the game sometimes even before it even happens.
They seem to be able to predict where a player will pass the ball before they even pass it or be able to see where an opposition player will be on the field before they get there.
The better a defensive midfielder is at reading the game, the better they will be at playing their role in the game, and the better their team will be because of it.
We mentioned this in passing above but this is worth highlighting on its own as well. The ability to tackle well can be the difference between the opposition getting through to the goal or not.
When tackling another player timing is everything. Go in too soon and the other player will see you coming and potentially change the direction they’re going and run straight past you. Go in too late and you could end up taking out the other player and giving away a free-kick in a dangerous position.
Being able to tackle well takes time and practice. Learning how to time a tackle well and actually doing it can be what sets apart the good from the great defensive midfielders.
The type of tackle that looks most impressive but also needs to be timed to perfection is the slide tackle. If a player can successfully complete a slide tackle they can get their team out of trouble and also look good doing it!
If you are going to tackle confidently you need to know you can trust your shin guards to protect you effectively. I recommend checking out these shin guards on Amazon. They are designed to offer both comfort and protection at the same time.
Effective communication on the field of play during a game will allow each player to play much better as part of the team.
Any good team needs to know how to communicate well among themselves. I even listed this as one of my top 21 tips for every soccer player.
They need to understand what they are all thinking, where they are heading, what they are planning to do. Without this, each player could be in their own little world trying to do something that no other player on the field realizes they are trying to do.
And this can only lead to confusion which is never going to end in good teamwork only a mess and an ineffective team.
The defensive midfielder has the advantage in the area of communication in that they are playing right at the center of the team. They are within shouting distance of any other player on the field.
If anyone is going to be able to communicate with the rest of the team it is them. Because of this position and role any good defensive midfielder will spend time outside of games learning how to communicate most effectively with the rest of their team.
When the ball is coming your way and you have to make a split-second decision on what to do a defensive midfielder needs to be able to stay calm.
Panicking at this moment or struggling to think straight is going to cause you to make all sorts of mistakes. The player needs to be able to objectively observe the situation and sometimes instinctively decide what he or she is going to do.
Now, remember, being calm isn’t the same as being relaxed. If the midfielder is just relaxed then they won’t be ready to act when needed. They may not be aware of what’s going on, and the game and the opposition players could fly by them before they’ve even realized.
But the skill of being able to stay calm in any highly pressured environment is going to allow the player to operate at their best without being negatively influenced by everything that is going on around them.
Maintain a high level of concentration
Having the mental strength and stamina to stay concentrated on the game you are playing for 90 minutes, or sometimes more can be a struggle unless you have prepared well for it.
In a game of soccer, the game can change suddenly and the players need to be ready to respond straight away.
If a player allows their mind to wander at those times where they are not directly involved in the play then they will be unprepared for the ball suddenly coming their way and they will be behind the rest of the players in working out what they are going to do.
Because of the role the defensive midfielder plays they need to always be concentrating on what is going on in the game around them. Even if the ball is in a different part of the field, they need to be observing and taking in what is happening.
Concentrating at all times will greatly increase the player’s speed of decision making when they are needed to step in.
11. Ability to b
reak up play
The ability to effectively break up the play during a game is another basic, but so important, part of the role of a defensive midfielder.
When the other team is running towards your goal and looking like they could be about to start an attack on your goal the ability to be able to step in and intercept the ball, or somehow disrupt the flow of the other team, can be a game-changing moment. A great defensive midfielder will be able to do this time and time again.
It can frustrate the opposition if they constantly feel that every time they get forward with the ball their attack breaks down because of a high-quality defensive midfielder. And this can lead to the other team making even more mistakes.
Having a player that is highly skilled at breaking up the play can give his or her team an ever-increasing level of optimism as well. And this will give the team not only a greater level of confidence in their abilities as a team but a greater chance of winning the game.
A defensive midfielder needs to be tactically aware throughout the game of soccer.
Because they have the ball regularly and are often involved in moving the ball around the field and starting attacks they need to know what the expectations are of the team when it comes to the tactics.
Being aware of the formation your team is playing and the positions of the other players on your team is paramount.
Before a game, the coach will often spend time with the defensive midfielder explaining in detail what they want to see the team do in this game. The defensive midfielder will then make sure that the decisions they are making during the game reflect the wishes of the coach and coaching staff.
They also need to be aware of what is happening during the game so that they can adapt well to the ever-changing flow of the game. The defensive midfielder will often dictate how well the tactics for the game play out.
Effectively shield the defenders
Part of the role of the defensive midfielder that we haven’t yet talked about is their role in being a shield for the defense.
The defensive midfielder will often stand a little bit further back than the rest of their team so they are closer to the defense. They become the first line of defense. The role is to get to the ball and stop it from even getting as far as the defenders on your team.
You will see defensive midfielders doing this by roaming the width of the field. Making sure they are where they are needed as the ball comes down the field towards them. They will do everything they can to get to the ball first before it reaches any of the defenders behind them.
The defenders still have an essential role to play in any game, and if you are interested, you can check out the 21 qualities of a great defender in this article I wrote here.
Confidence in abilities
A defensive midfielder also needs to be confident in their abilities.
They need to have put in all the hours they can give to practicing and training and preparing themselves to be the best they can be when they go out to play the game. This preparation beforehand is what will give them the confidence to know they are performing the best they can at that moment.
The reason that being confident is so important to the role of a defensive midfielder is that it gives them the belief that they can do what they need to do.
If you’ve ever spent time around someone who is struggling to be confident you will have probably observed that they are not very good at making their presence known. A great defensive midfielder needs to let everyone around them know they are there.
They need to dominate the field of play and assert themselves throughout the entire game.
Consider learning from an online soccer course such as the Play Like A Pro Soccer Player (Click link) course on Udemy.com. This course provides hours of valuable training for a really affordable price.
Being a fast player is a significant advantage.
- You will be able to get around the field quicker.
- You’ll be able to run with the ball faster.
- And you’ll be able to recover from any mistakes quicker.
When training for a game of soccer it is worth spending as much time as you can working on improving your speed.
For a defensive midfielder, this is no different from any other position. The faster a defensive midfielder is, the greater their ability to be more effective in their role.
It does have to be said, however, that some of the best defensive midfielders were not actually that fast. They performed their role so well due to their uncanny ability to read the game well and be in the right place at the right time.
But I’m sure all of them would agree that if they could have combined their abilities with even greater speed they would have been able to be even more effective for the team.
This Speed & Agility Training Set on Amazon could be exactly what you need to increase your speed and effectiveness in a soccer game.
And for a list of great tips for defending at speed, check out my article – How To Defend Fast Players in Soccer.
16. Effective l
Being a great leader during a soccer game can inspire your team to achieve great things.
This is also one of the reasons I choose defensive midfielder as the best position in soccer.
Because of the role a defensive midfielder plays in orchestrating so much of the way the team plays the other players naturally look to the defensive midfielder to lead them.
If the midfielder is not ready to bear the weight of this kind of responsibility or doesn’t perform this role well it can affect the whole team.
When we talk about leadership we’re not just talking about telling the other players what they should be doing (although this can be an important part of leading). We are also talking about leading by example.
As we just mentioned, the other players will naturally look to the defensive midfielder for leadership. If they can see that player giving their all to the game, putting in the hard yards, keeping going at their absolute best even when things are looking hopeless, then that will inspire the other players to do the same.
17. Willing to s
Being prepared to sacrifice what may make you look better for the sake of what makes the team work better is an important part of this role.
No one wants to see a selfish player. It looks bad and just frustrates everyone. The role of a defensive midfielder often doesn’t get the attention or glory that some of the other positions in soccer receive.
If a defensive midfielder decides he or she no longer likes this and goes looking for more attention and glory they will probably find they are out of position at the very moment their team needs them to be in their position.
This can lead to poor team unity and potentially the player getting kicked out of the team because they were not willing to do what was required of them.
Although it can seem hard to make the sacrifice at times, the defensive midfielder needs to remember that they are playing as part of a team and if the whole team does well then they will also do well.
If you’re looking to improve your performance and skills click here to check out my post on my Top 10 Soccer Drills
*Check out the next blog post – Everything you need to know about a Corner Kick in Soccer*
Or find out everything there is to know about the number 6 in a soccer team here.
Become A Better Midfielder With Just A Few m-station Drills
The midfield is what connects the offense and the defense. As a midfielder, you have to be able to attack, defend, and do everything in between. However, there are many different midfield roles, each with certain responsibilities depending on your team’s tactical setup. As a defensive midfielder, your main job is to prevent goals from being scored against your team, and as an attacking midfielder, your main job is to make sure that your team scores enough goals to eventually win the game. As a central midfielder, you have to do both of the above while staying focused for the entire 90 minutes of the game.
Here we present 5 drills that will help you improve your game using the m-station soccer rebounder. If you feel like taking your skills to the next level the NEXT11 training program teaches you how to become a better midfielder regardless of whether your job is to defend, attack, or do both. Sign up here to receive new drills every week to become a better midfielder.
1. Short Passes — Interception and Passing on the First Touch
As a defensive midfielder, your job is to maintain balance when your team is dispossessed. Fall back, position yourself correctly, and identify passing opportunities. Tackling, marking, and a great understanding of the game are essential to a strong defensive midfielder. As a midfielder, you will also be in control of the ball after intercepting it or receiving a short pass. Unless you are the Busquets/Xabi Alonso kind of defensive midfielder, you should execute a short, simple pass once you gain possession of the ball, thereby providing a stable environment in which the more creative players can thrive. N’Golo Kanté was a major factor on the Leicester team that brought home the 2015/2016 Premier League title. Many of his timely interceptions led to quick goals on the other end of the field.
With this drill, you have to look up to see where your teammates and opponents are, lock your angle on the player you want to pass to, and kick the ball with the inside of your foot.
2. First Touch — The Xavi Edition
Xavi is indisputably one of the greatest midfielders of all time. He is not a classic defensive midfielder like Daniele De Rossi or Sami Khedira,, but he takes a relatively defensive stance on the field. In most cases, he is the first person to receive the ball from the defensive line. However, even in this deep position, some technical skills on the ball are required. The way Xavi controls the ball is unique, and to pay tribute to what he offers on the pitch, this drill is named after him.
When playing the ball off the m-station rebounder, make sure to dribble with the outside of your foot to keep your body between your opponent and the ball. Make your turn away from your opponent, and use your arm to protect your personal space and maintain balance to protect the ball from your opponent.
3. First Touch — The Fabregas Edition
Being able to make a good first touch on the ball is extremely important for a central or slightly attacking midfielder. There are different ways of controlling the ball, and we already introduced the Xavi edition. We now discuss a maneuver from another product of La Masia: Cesc Fabregas. At the age of 21, the Spanish midfielder became the captain of a promising Arsenal side, and he participated in both Arsenal’s incredible 2003-04 season and the 2006 Champions League final against Barcelona. Fabregas has always been renowned for having an exquisite and stylish first touch, which is why this drill is dedicated to him and his technical ability.
To execute a proper Fabregas Turn, stretch out your foot to meet the ball, and use your foot to guide the ball past you and in the new direction. Make sure to keep contact between the ball and your foot throughout the turn. The fewer touches you make, the better control you achieve.
4. Long Passes — Diagonal Pass
There are, as mentioned earlier, different types of midfielders, but even those specific types of midfielders have subcategories, like the central holding midfielder. There is the Daniele De Rossi type of central holding midfielder, and there is the Xabi Alonso type. As the Xabi Alonso type of holding midfielder, you are partly a playmaker. Your job is to set up your teammates by delivering accurate long balls as well as short passes. Xabi Alonso is particularly well known for his extremely precise diagonal passes, which tear up defenses in an unparalleled fashion and contribute to his status as one of the most decorated players of all time.
When executing a long diagonal pass, you will usually be positioned on your own side of the pitch. The longer the pass, the more movement you force out of the opposing team. Before you hit the ball, approach it at a 45-degree angle. Lean your body a bit away from the ball to create a straight line from your foot up through your hip and shoulder. Place your standing foot 10-20 cm away from the ball (depending on your height) and point it in the direction of the pass.
5. Basic Soccer skills — Fast feet
Having fast feet and quick reactions is important for any type of soccer player, but being able to think quickly and react accordingly with the ball is especially crucial for wingers and attacking midfielders. Technical ability is one thing, but if you do not have strong reaction time, technical skills will not help you much. Beating your marker is easy without a ball if you are simply faster than your opponent, but beating him with the ball at your feet is a greater challenge. It requires pace, agility, balance, technical ability, and determination, and this set of skills can be enhanced with a specific drill focusing on your reflexes and rapid turns with the ball.
To improve your foot speed and develop stronger reflexes, stand on stand on the balls of your feet. Bend your knees, keep your arms in a natural running position, and pull your right arm forward when you tap the ball with your left foot.
If you have any questions about the m-station soccer rebounder or these drills, please do not hesitate to get directly in touch with our coaches at [email protected].
What should be a defensive midfielder (breakwater, defensive player)?
The position of the holding midfielder is considered one of the most important in modern football, despite the fact that it is customary to pay little attention to the players of this role. What are the defensive midfielders? What characteristics should a supporting midfielder have in order to grow professionally and achieve high individual results?
In modern football, player versatility seems to have reached its climax.As a result, a player’s position on the pitch is a much more important factor in achieving success (both as a team and as an individual) than a player’s role. Already now we can say that the central midfielders, focused on destruction, can be of several types.
Classic Defensive Midfielders
The most familiar and, one might say, old-school type of central midfielder, which many clubs are in a hurry to abandon due to their inability to play differently in different game situations.Players of this kind are characterized by intransigence, they are strong in martial arts, physically strong. Due to the constant play in tackling, it is these players who often take first place in the team in terms of the total number of cards received and the number of violations committed. These players hardly support the attack, preferring to stay in the center circle or in their own half of the field. The classic defensive midfielder brings a minimum of benefit in attack, but it perfectly cleans up the flaws of partners and insures its defenders.
Relatively recently, a style of play has appeared in football without a pronounced destroyer.In this situation, both players located in the central zone work approximately equally for attack and defense. In most cases, these two midfielders will alternate forward depending on the playing situation and the needs of the team. At the same time, one defensive midfielder still remains behind, insuring the team-mate. A significant drawback of such a scheme is that a pair of central midfielders must have the highest level of interaction and work extremely well. But if the coach manages to find the right players and build the game in the central zone around them, then his team will be doomed to success.
Creative Defensive Midfielders
Also, relatively recently, the role of “creative defensive player” has appeared. Coaches gradually began to realize that a thinking footballer with a great vision of the pitch and the ability to deliver great passes can come in handy even in front of his own line of defense. Even though midfielders of this kind are not so strong in martial arts, often miss opportunities to pick up the ball and do not roll in tackles, the importance of a creative player in the holding area cannot be underestimated.Today in football it is impossible to overestimate the quality of the first pass to develop an attack, so only a cool player with all the necessary skills should give a pass from depth of field. And it is not so important that he is considered a pivotal midfielder.
Basic requirements for players in the position of a holding midfielder
Be that as it may, the defensive midfielders perform approximately the same functions on the field. This means that these players must have certain characteristics that can be called the same for all representatives of the role.
1. Game of Defense
Regardless of the level of creativity and charge for the attack, the defensive midfielder must be able to competently act in his half of the field. The ability to read the game, move to intercept, block off zones are the most important skills of holding midfielders.
2. Ability to see the field
A really cool defensive midfielder must have excellent field vision. Even the most defensive defensive player of the classic plan sometimes starts attacks of his team, which is impossible to do well without a good vision of the field.
3. Tactical Skill
Working in the center of the field, where the level of responsibility is very high, the defensive midfielder must be able to make quick decisions, quickly handle the ball and skillfully choose a position. A separate point is a safety net. The outcome of the entire match may depend on how successfully the defensive player cleans up the flaws of teammates.
The defensive midfielders at the end of the match are traditionally among the leaders in terms of the “run-in” kilometers.The supporting midfielders may not perform frequent accelerations and jerks, but they are in constant motion, playing a lot without the ball. Defensive midfielders can only think about respite during protracted attacks, so good physical readiness is another mandatory attribute of a great holding haw.
Defensive midfielder in football: basic functions and qualities
By Roman Novikov Read 7 min Views 16.6k. Published
When watching football matches, we enjoy attacking play, we enjoy spectacular rallies and shots on goal.The work of the players doing the rough work goes unnoticed. We decided to fix it. In this article, we will talk about what role a defensive midfielder plays in football and what qualities he should have.
Who is a defensive midfielder in football?
The defensive midfielder is a defensive central midfielder who is the link between defense and attack. He takes a position in the middle of the field between the lines of defense and midfield (Diagram 1). A football team without a good defensive player often has problems in defense and attack.
Fig. 1. Position of the defensive midfielder
Recommended reading: The role of players in football
Types of defensive midfielders in football
Depending on the functions performed, the defensive midfielders are divided into three types:
The main task of such a midfielder is to destroy the opponent’s attack and win the ball back for his team. These players are often referred to as “breakwaters”.
Examples of breakwaters in football: Casemiro from Real Madrid, Wanyama from Tottenham, Ngolo Kante during the game for Leicester (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Ngolo Kante with Leicester
Defensive supporters win a lot of important single combats in the center of the field, preventing their opponents from getting too close to the goal.
The disadvantage of destroyers is that they have poorly developed attacking skills. They don’t have a good first pass, great vision. The game of the defensive player-destroyer is reduced to taking the ball from the opponent and giving it to the playmaker.
Read also: The playmaker in football: basic functions and qualities
Constructor is the opposite of a destroyer. Supporting constructors are primarily geared towards creating attacks. They compensate for the shortcomings in the fight with the ability to give a good pass and come up with something extraordinary.
Examples of supporting constructors: Andrea Pirlo (Fig. 3), Jorginho from Chelsea, Toni Kroos from Real Madrid.
Fig. 3. Andrea Pirlo with Juventus
As you might have guessed, the universal defensive midfielder combines a destroyer and a constructor.There are very few such masters in the football world. An example is Sergio Busquets from Barcelona.
Sergio is a unique player. To be convinced of this, I suggest you watch the analysis of Busquets’ game.
Functions of the defensive midfielder in football
Let’s take a closer look at the functions of the defensive midfielder:
- Breaking the opponent’s attacks
Most dangerous shots on goal are from the center of the field.The defensive player’s task is to cover these shots. In addition, many teams have learned well how to use the space between the lines of defense and attack. The defensive midfielder is needed just to fill the space between the lines and limit the freedom of attacking players.
- Defense partners insurance
A defensive player can, under certain circumstances, take the position of a center back. For example, in the situation in Figure 4.
Fig. 4. How the defensive midfielder insures the defenders
The full-back was beaten, the central defender went to insure his partner.The defensive midfielder then fills in the “hole” in the center of the defense (Diagram 5).
Fig. 5. The defensive midfielder fills the space in the center of the defense
- Leaving the defense and developing attacks
The defensive midfielder must be in a comfortable position to receive the ball and then continue the attack. His job is to make a good forward pass by cutting off several opposing players (Diagram 6).
Fig. 6. Forward pass from the defensive midfielder
It happens that the defensive midfielder, when in possession of the ball, drops to the center-back position to play the ball.This happens when the opponent has two attackers. The defensive support is lowered into the line of defense, thereby providing a numerical advantage (Fig. 7).
Fig. 7. The defensive midfielder goes down to the center of defense to play the ball
The qualities of the defensive midfielder
In order to successfully perform the above functions, the defensive midfielder must have the following qualities:
- High level of endurance
The position of the defensive midfielder involves a lot of struggle which takes a lot of energy.To play successfully in the holding area for 90 minutes, you need to have good functional training.
- Good tactical training
The defensive midfielder must be able to correctly position himself on the field, anticipate the opponent’s actions and react accordingly.
- Confident heading
The defensive player often has to head close to his own penalty area. Ideally, a midfielder should win all martial arts near the penalty area.
It happens that the center-backs are not able to make a good opening pass. Then this responsibility is transferred to the defensive midfielder. Getting the ball from defense to attack is one of the most important elements in football.
- Tough shot from afar
It’s great when you have a player in your team who can hit you well from afar. These kicks often catch goalkeepers off guard.
Look at the blow struck by midfielder of the Swiss national team and London Arsenal Granit Jaka.
🔙 | #AFC
Throwback to Granit Xhaka’s long-range goal vs Nottingham Forest 🚀 pic.twitter.com/ENb1AUAyJt
– afcSource ™ (@afcSource) August 28, 2019
The best defensive midfielders in modern football
9000 TOP 5 best midfielders in modern football.
- Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
The old-timer of Barcelona and the Spanish national team has long proved to everyone that he is one of the best defensive midfielders of our time.Above, I have already left a video about Sergio. If you haven’t watched it yet, be sure to correct this oversight.
Fig. 8. Barcelona defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets
- Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Pass master Toni Kroos has also earned a place in our TOP 5 defensive midfielders.
Here’s what the German midfielder says about his role on the pitch:
I’m a waiter on the pitch, although I don’t like serving dinner.
Fig. 9. Toni Kroos for Germany
- Ngolo Kante (Chelsea London)
The French midfielder impressed everyone with his intransigence in the holding area in 2016.After the end of the season at Leicester, Ngolo earned an invitation to Chelsea London, where he still successfully plays. Kante managed to become the champion of England and the world champion in the French national team.
French team partners dedicated a song to Ngolo.
- Casemiro (Real Madrid)
The midfielder of Real Madrid and the Brazilian national team also deserves a place in our TOP. Casemiro is the player who does the important rough work at Real Madrid.Be sure to watch him play in one of the matches of the royal club.
Fig. 10. Casemiro with Real Madrid
- Rodrigo (Manchester City)
Closes our TOP midfielder Manchester City Rodrigo. The Spanish midfielder was bought by City from Atletico Madrid for 70 million euros. The money is huge, but Rodrigo started showing confident play from the very first matches. They say that Josep Guardiola will make Rodrigo a second Busquets.
Fig. eleven.Manchester City defensive midfielder Rodrigo
Who do you think is the best defensive midfielder in modern football? Write in the comments!
In this article, we talked about the functions of a defensive midfielder in football. Now you understand how important the role of midfielders is in modern football. If you have any questions or you just have something to add, then write comments.
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I wish you success!
Memo for the support hava – football.ua
Unlucky because few can match them in terms of the amount of work done, but at the same time they are loved least of all.
Today we will focus on the defensive midfielders. In our opinion, the players of this role are very underestimated by the fans. We all often admire those who create on the football field. The one who is forced to destroy is doomed to our disfavor.
In order to correct this injustice and stir up interest in the players of this role, you are invited to a translation of an article that was published on the pages of the football magazine “Tactics of Top Pro Teams & Players”, which is published under the editorship of the site worldclasscoaching.com. Practicing coach Justin Kresser in his work tried to reveal all the subtleties of the defensive midfielder’s play.
“In modern football, having a player in the center of midfield who is equally good at attacking and defensive skills can already be considered a definite tactical advantage.But such players are not so common. More often than not, teams operate with two central midfielders, one of which is more attack-oriented and the other more defensive. True, there are teams that play with two defensive midfielders. It all depends on the chosen formation and the particular style of play. For example, a team that is more defensively oriented and playing in a 4-5-1 formation will operate in the center with two defensive midfielders. At the same time, another team with a similar formation, but adhering to an attacking style of play, will act with only one player of this type.(Schemes A and B).
Coaches who select a player for a given position primarily pay attention to such statistics as interceptions, martial arts won, passing accuracy and the percentage of riding duels won. However, a large number of won power martial arts does not yet characterize you as a strong holding midfielder. It is necessary to clearly know when to fight or intercept.The right moment for action is essential, as is the ability to read the game well. Football is not limited to 1v1 confrontations, you need to have a variety of technical and tactical skills to successfully act as a holding midfielder. Let’s consider what responsibilities in modern football are assigned to the players of this role.
When defending his goal, the defensive midfielder must first of all:
1) constantly monitor the movements of the opponent’s players in the attack;
2) take a position that would allow blocking possible penetrating passes to the forwards of the attacking team;
3) be able, upon the coach’s request, to play personally with one of the opponent’s players.
True, now personal care is not as popular as, for example, in the 80s and 90s. The classic is the confrontation between Lothar Matthäus and Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup final. But, despite the dominance of the zonal defense method, in our time you can see matches in which personal care is partially used. For example, in one of the matches of El Classico, Jose Mourinho put Lassa Diarra and Pepe the task of neutralizing Lionel Messi (if, of course, it is possible at all).
During the attack of his team, the following tasks are assigned to the defensive central midfielder:
1) when the team is in possession of the ball, be behind the forwards and flanking midfielders, always ready to receive the pass;
2) to close the space left by defenders who advance into the attack, most often such insurance turns out to be the extreme defenders, who often actively go forward.
Often such work in the Brazilian national team at the 2010 World Cup was performed by Gilberto Silva. He closed the zones of Lucio and Maicon, who took an active part in the attacks of their team.
Of course, these are not all the tasks that are set for the defensive midfielders. The play style and the chosen formation also largely determine the functions of the defensive midfielder. For example, before the same Gilberto Silva in the Brazilian national team and Claude Makelele in Chelsea, there was no clear task of making penetrating passes into the attack line.If we look at a player like Xabi Alonso, then sharp and aggravating passes are almost his main duty in Real Madrid. At the same time, teams that rely on strict zone play on the defensive cannot do without fighters like Nigel de Jong. For players of this type, the main task is to defend the playing space.
Improvement of technical and tactical skills of supporting midfielders
Bringing up a high-profile defensive midfielder can be challenging.At first glance, the apparent simplicity of the actions of players of this role is very deceiving. As mentioned above, it is not enough for a holding midfielder to conduct a power struggle well and constantly monitor the movement of enemy players in the attack. For example, a player like Claude Makelele has a certain set of tactical and technical skills that have made him one of the best defensive midfielders in the history of football. Below I have compiled and summarized the tactical and technical skills that I believe a modern defensive midfielder should have.
Blocking penetrating passes on forwards from the enemy midfield
Players like Xavi execute sharpening passes to the forwards with amazing precision, which open up into the open playing field. The occurrence of 1-on-1 situations of an opponent’s forward against one of the players in the defense line is unacceptable, and it is the direct responsibility of the defensive midfielders to neutralize this kind of danger.This is achieved through well-thought-out lateral movements across the field. The defensive midfielder should try to position himself on the line of possible pass, which runs from the player in possession of the ball to the forward who is behind the defensive midfielder. Thus, a possible penetrating transmission is blocked. But it is very difficult to keep track of the actions of the forward, who is located behind his back, and at the same time it is very difficult to control the ball. To do this, defenders must always tell their holding midfielder where the opponent’s forward is going.Usually simple and short prompts are given “to the left” or “to the right”, depending on the vector of the attacker’s movement (Diagram 1).
Even in these words of Justin Kresser, one can see the extreme importance of the ability of forwards to move without the ball in order to confuse the enemy’s defense. The static forward becomes an easy target for a well-organized defense of .
Control of open zones when attacking your team
Center-backs such as David Luis or Lucio often go forward when attacking their team, thereby leaving their zone in the defensive line.Also, extreme defenders in modern football are simply obliged to take an active part in attacking actions. Dani Alves in Barcelona makes a lot of jerks on his right flank, constantly building up pressure on the opponent’s defense. A high-profile defensive midfielder should quickly read the game and try to cover the areas that his teammates leave behind when going on the attack (Diagram 2). The ability to conduct a power struggle here is already a technical skill that allows you to reliably defend yourself, choosing the necessary position on the field.
Ability to conduct defense in situations with a numerical minority
Counterattacking is a very formidable weapon in modern football, and in teams like Real Madrid, this attacking component is brought almost to perfection. The chances of hitting the ball with a quick attack, while having a numerical majority, are significantly increased, so that the defensive midfielder must clearly know what he must do in a given situation.First of all, in such cases, he should postpone the entry into forceful combat, as he risks being won back, while he should try to occupy a position that would allow him to block a possible transfer to one of the opponent’s forwards. In fact, there are so many situations, so there simply cannot be clear rules. What is really important is the ability to quickly think and analyze the events taking place on the field and, depending on the circumstances, make this or that decision.Various training exercises 3 in 2, 4 in 3, etc. will help improve the skill to play in situations of a numerical minority, but be that as it may, it is best to improve this skill directly during the match.
Knowing when to contain an attack and when to actively press
You can often see how the forwards are actively pressing the opponent’s defenders in the immediate vicinity of the goal.Also, teams that lose the ball on the outskirts of someone else’s penalty area try to quickly return the ball back, actively pressing the opponents. Often, the attackers, by the will of their senses, simply rush to the opponent’s defenders in order to take the ball away from them.
For example, like Cristiano Ronaldo in this video (Polygraph’s comment.)
In such situations, the defensive midfielders need to close the gap between the forwards and to do this they need to move forward in order to maintain a compact defensive formation.Having a player in the center who can read the game well will help the defending team maintain density between the lanes while neutralizing the opponent’s attack. This skill is developed in various 11v11 or fewer practice games where different pressing options are simulated. During these sessions, the coach must always emphasize the importance of communication and relationship between the defensive midfielders and the attacking and defensive players in order to prevent gaps between the playing lines.
Control and neutralization of attacking enemy players who operate in the space between the line of defense and midfield
The ability of the attacker to play in the space between the lines of defense and midfield of the defending team is a very important tactical element for a quality attacking formation. Usually these players have excellent ball control and are capable of delivering a sharp pass. An example is Wayne Rooney’s actions at Manchester United.The ability of forwards to open up in this space in a timely manner can be a big problem for defenders, since if they follow the attacker, they open up a zone behind their back, which the enemy can use to enter a striking position. In such situations, the open area is usually closed by another defender, but failures in communication and in synchronization of actions can lead to serious consequences.
Maintaining an organized and well-defined defense line is a priority
Center-backs can give a hint to their holding midfielder when and where a player like Wayne Rooney moves to receive the ball.In this case, the midfielder must already take control of the attacker, which allows the defense line to maintain its clarity of formation (Diagram 3). High endurance and good spatial understanding are essential requirements for a player acting as a holding midfielder, but he cannot do without timely prompting from defenders in such cases.
Fast and Safe Transfers
During the game, the ball hits the defensive midfielder very often: won single combats, successfully completed interceptions, or simply teammates gave the ball back due to the lack of options to continue the attack – in such cases, the defensive midfielder must clearly know how to manage the ball.Therefore, it is very important that players of this type have a high passing culture. They must be able to quickly launch a counterattack or, if necessary, maintain possession of the ball during the formation of attacking actions. In all situations, the defensive midfielder must choose the safest option to pass. It is the responsibility of the player acting in this position, first of all, to maintain reliability in defense, therefore, the risk of losing the ball must be minimized. Of course, having a player like Xabi Alonso in the lineup, for whom it is not a problem to execute a sharpening long pass, allows you to gain some advantage, but, as mentioned above, such players are exceptions to the rule.First of all, the defensive midfielder must choose the safest option to continue the attack.
The tactical and technical skills of your players will greatly affect the way your team plays football. In any case, the formation and style of play will depend on a well-organized midfield line and in order to achieve this, it is imperative to have a holding midfielder with good positional flair and the necessary technical skill. “
In conclusion, we suggest you watch a few master classes from Sergio Busquets and Michael Carrick, who are some of the strongest defensive midfielders of our time. Almost all of the above skills can be seen in the video below.
Translation and adaptation of Polygraph, specially for Football .ua
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90,000 4 of the most popular tactical formations in football 8×8
In the process of its own development, or rather the development of the teams playing in it, it is increasingly moving away from its direct ancestor – the classic 11×11 format, and is more approaching for tactical reasons to mini-football.If you try to express this in one thesis, then it is worth saying the following: the active play area becomes more compact.
If you mentally divide the 8×8 site into 4 small sectors, then the task of a competent team is to build a quantitative and qualitative advantage in each of such small sectors when the ball hits there, and not “spread” over the entire width and length of the field, as taught in childhood …
If you orient your conditional winger to tie to your sideline, then be prepared that 70% of the playing time your player will not only be without the ball, but completely disconnected from the game.
If a forward acting as a pillar is chained to the line of attack and is not used to playing along the entire front of the attack, constantly dashing into the zone of potential ball entry, then one can only hope that his skills will be enough to push through the central defender. Otherwise, it is a perfectly played piece.
So, over the years of observing tournaments in this format, we have identified several main types of tactics. It is obvious that the teams do not always adhere to the same formation even during one match, but the typical movement of players across the field can be outlined with some of the following diagrams.
The most common scheme, according to which the vast majority of teams in amateur football played and are playing. Obviously, the progenitor of this system is the standard 11×11 big football scheme, namely 4-4-2. From there, the basic principles of the formation of lines were taken: personal guardianship in defense, playing on the pole in attack, crosses from the full-backs.
The “3-3-1” scheme can hardly be called flexible, often it is a format for teams that are not well played or are not very well prepared physically.Nevertheless, it is quite simple to execute, since it is quite easily explained to the players.
- the easiest way to explain the tasks to the players of your team (especially if the team is not played or there are no great performers)
- The scheme does not require lengthy installations, in the standard version it does not require intricate movements on the field
- when playing with an opponent with a similar scheme the presence of one individually strong striker immediately increases the chances of winning, often he will be alone with the central defender of the opponent
- in the game with strong teams with the presence of bright individually strong players, problems immediately arise with rearrangements in defensive orders
- any 1-in-1 outplay puts the entire defensive line of the team in a difficult position
- a huge load falls on the central midfielder, it is difficult to simultaneously maintain the attack (and it is very easy to get lost on this, especially in the realities of the excitement of amateur football) and keep up on time me to return to the defense, all the more time to meet the attack with my face as a “breakwater”
- the role of extreme midfielders is reduced, moreover, if the players performing this role play passively, do not move and do not ask for the ball, they can even stand the whole match without business
Our team has been around for several years.And when we started to form our line-up, we had to rely on the experience of the guys in other teams where they had played in the choice of the game scheme. The “3-3-1” scheme was the most popular among amateur teams in the 8×8 format. And the analogue of this scheme in big football “4-4-2” until the last “Barcelona” years was considered the standard. Therefore, from the first matches of our team, we tried to implement exactly this model of play, it seemed to us optimal. In addition, a couple of months after the formation of the team, a great striker joined us.He perfectly fit into the team and the game scheme, which allowed him from the second season to become one of the top scorers for several years in the PFPL, and our team won three championships in a row (second, first and major league). With such an attacker, another scheme is not needed.
– Denis Markin, NeReal team
3-1-2-1 (with a drawn forward)
By and large, this is a slightly modified 3-3-1 scheme described above. But there are still differences.
The main difference is playing on the defensive, here, when the ball is lost, the central midfielder actually turns into a front defender, is slightly higher than the central one.He plays personally with the central half of the opponent, while riding balls he also insures the central one. The attacker, on the other hand, drops to the place of the central midfielder and meets the opponent’s attack with his face, and in this case, in order to get rid of possible gaps between the lines, it is necessary to meet the opponent in his own half.
It makes sense for extreme midfielders in defense to play as much as possible to the central axis and advance on their counterparts only after receiving the ball on the sidelines. The density of the playing area is saturated, and there are much more opportunities for mutual safety net, respectively, there are less chances to fail when outplaying their players 1-to-1.
The obvious difficulty with such a formation is the need to quickly and rapidly unclench when tackling the ball (the usual primitive removal of the ball – and the opponent will get it). You need a good physical readiness of the striker and a pair of midfielders for counterattacks.
- the ability to saturate the center of the field during defense
- mutual safety net
- reduced space for the opponent’s maneuvers
- meeting all face attacks
- the need for a good, competent and physically strong attacker
- difficult exit from defense to attack
This density in defense caused a lot of problems for our opponents.Even when beating a couple of our players, a safety net usually helped. In this tactic, a lot depends on the attacker, he has a huge amount of work, since you need to take the ball and pause while other players connect. And when defending his goal, he must include pressure, meet the opponent first. We have people available who can cope with this task, so we took a chance to play that way. The disadvantage is the difficulty to win back the conceded goals. If the opponent tries to dry up the game and play defensively, you have to come up with something new.
– Mikhail Slesarenko, team “19 district”
3-4-0 (no attackers)
Such a formation is extremely rare and does not imply the use of a pronounced attacker. The formation can also be described as 3-2-2 (two defensive midfielders and two flank midfielders practically in the same line)
This formation is suitable for teams with quality performers in all lines, especially in midfield. The role of the three defenders is, in principle, standard, only their connection to attacks is more intense due to frequent replacements with midfield.
In general, the cornerstone of such a scheme is a clear understanding of all the players in the middle line and moving them from place to place during one attack. Wherever the game episode takes place, there must necessarily be a shift of players from one zone to another.
Most often, the process of movement begins from the position of the attacker. His displacement to the flank or to the center for undershooting entails a move to the attacking zone of the extreme midfielder, in place of that comes the extreme defender.The process takes place through both flanks. The scheme is great for positional attacks and opening up especially dense defensive redoubts. For a high-quality confrontation, she needs a clear zone defense, but since most teams in amateur football play personally in defense, over and over again the defenders will come to a stupor from not understanding who is responsible for what. Constant movements are accompanied by short and medium passes, followed by sharp lunges into the vacated zones.
- an excellent way to open a tight defense
- in the presence of really competent players and good teamwork between them, you can complete any tournament task
- the need for high-quality players in the middle and attacking lane, technical, capable circle 1-in-1, as well as with a good playing vision of the field
- the need to carefully play the composition for synchronized movement across the field
By and large, a balance is important in tactics, which, of course, depends on the skill and manner of each of players.When there is good movement in the team and mutual understanding, then all formations become a convention, because according to the situation, even any of the defenders can be in the place of the attacker. Rather, positions play a role in the game in defense in order to roughly understand who should meet whom and in what zone. And as soon as the ball is selected, the carousel begins. There were games when we did not have a single nominal defender on the field: we were divided into those who meet from behind and who in front, who is to the right and who is to the left.
– Danil Davydenka, “Cuticle” team
2-4-1 or 2-3-2
Playing two defenders is good only when there is a strong midfield. And the main burden with such tactics falls on them. In defense, the defensive midfielder moves to the center of the defense, and the full-backs diverge along the flanks. The extreme midfielders act as broadly as possible when attacking, and when defending they are narrowed in fact to the support zone. In defense, the center forward is paired with the attacking midfielder and forms an imaginary square in the center of the field with the extreme midfielders, thereby closing all approaches to the penalty area.
Defensive play in a 2-4-1 formation.
- with correct and simultaneous rebuilding by all players, virtually all approach paths to the goal are blocked, and the possibility of the opponent’s passage through the central zone is minimized
- even if one of the players in the attack groups is beaten 1-in-1 , then this will not bring any dividends to the opponent, the next defensive player immediately grows up in front of him, and the moment to strike from outside the free kick will be missed due to the time spent beating the first player
- when attacking, undoubtedly, a clear plus is that, that virtually all the players are involved in the siege of the opponent’s goal, and the extreme defenders can painlessly join the attacks, swapping places with their midfielders
- if one of the players is tired / did not have time / not in shape / forgot or rebuilt from an attacking formation to a defensive one, then the whole scheme collapses, and a more or less competent opposing team will be able to break the line of defense – the scheme works only with trained and physically prepared players
- the most important disadvantage is that not all players can understand it (especially those who have passed the courtyard football school)
We chose such a scheme for our team not because in the squad there are wonderful masters and virtuosos of the leather sphere, but because we want to play beautiful combination football, with great variability in formations and good movement on the field.So that the players come not only for conditional points, but also enjoy football. We promote team football, in which the names of the players do not mean anything, and any player can painlessly replace the eliminated player. There is such an expression: “the order beats the class”. I tend to believe him.
– Sergey Melnikov, KMS Neva team
4-2-3-1 – the scheme that changed football – Antosha Chekhonte – Blogs
The 4-2-3-1 scheme is a very popular arrangement of players in modern football.The so-called “Spaniard”, which seemed to be a whim of football tactical fashion, very quickly became a universal weapon at tournaments of various levels. This tactical structure balances effective attack and defense with wide freedom of action for the players on the field. This scheme makes it possible to dynamically change the game pattern depending on the tasks or the current result.
At first glance, this formation looks purely defensive, but in fact it is very flexible, since 3 midfielders at a certain moment can quickly switch to the attack along with the central forward.
The line of defense of 4 defenders, in general, corresponded and corresponds to the current defense tasks. The two center-backs usually play in a line. But you can also see the formation with the libero. In this case, one central defender is pulled back from the partner by ~ 10 m and “cleans up”. The extreme defenders are located slightly in front of the central ones and, when attacking, support it from the side-rear, playing the role of extreme midfielders.
In front of the central defenders, a pair of central midfielders.In the “classic” sense, both are defensive central midfielders. They can be box-to-box midfielders or players who are more prone to destruction. This formation of the central midfielders allows you to “close” the dangerous space in front of the central defenders. In other words, the 2 central midfielders provide a compact space between the midfield and defense lines.
The attacking midfielder group consists of two wingers and one central midfielder. That is, attacking players who act under the main forward and move from wide positions to the middle zone.These wing midfielders should also actively assist in the defense. At the expense of the wingers, the 4-2-3-1 formation, in the attack, is rebuilt into 4-3-3. This allows for a good quantitative attack. And also to organize very flexible combinations with repassing and changing positions by attacking players. Wing midfielders combine the role with the role of wingers. When the full-back goes deep into the attack, the corresponding full-back or center midfielder will provide insurance for him. Likewise, center-backs back up center-backs when they enter the opponent’s box for set pieces.
The attacking center midfielder is, in fact, a drawn forward. His task, like the midfielders, is to supply one striker with balls. But he can also play as a “second striker”, acting from a deep position. In general, in the “classic form”, the attacking central midfielder is a creative player.
A 4-2-3-1 formation uses one clean striker. Often this position is occupied by a ram-type forward. Under him is either a creative midfielder or a drawn, technical and fast striker.Thus, the wingers and the attacking center midfielder provide significant support to the lone striker. We must also not forget about the connections of the support speakers.
In defense, this tactic resembles “4-4-1-1” or “4-5-1”. During defense, the extreme midfielders retreat to the level of the supporting ones, forming two pronounced lines of 4 people each with the defenders. At the same time, the playmaker and the forward retreat to the center, imposing a fight there and providing partners with the opportunity to pass and counterattack in the event of an interception. Those teams that use it are able to quickly interrupt the positional attacks of the opponent in the central zone, crushing them with a numerical majority.With this structure, it is good to play counter-attacking football, throwing long passes at the center forward.
Pay attention to the balance of attacking and defensive players and in general, the overall balance of the system. These are 6 people of a defensive plan and 4 people of an attacker.
Offset towards defense, conditional. In fact, the coach can “correct” the balance with the help of “point” changes. Moreover, in the zone of the playing space that requires it.With sufficient versatility of defensive or offensive midfielders, the system can flexibly adapt to the situation on the field. The defensive central midfielder went half a step higher, this is already an attacking option. One of the wingers or the central attacking midfielder below is a defensive option.
And the balance, in general, is maintained as 6-4. This is the essence of modern football. The opponent has the ball, in front of him there are 5 or 6 defenders. The ball is intercepted, already 4, or even 5 people rush to the attack.
Of course, playing two playmakers at the same time is not very effective. But 4-2-3-1 allows you to effectively rebuild the game.
Ultimately, a tactical battle is a struggle for space. You can play through a drawn playmaker if the opponent is putting pressure on the attacking group players. But as soon as your opponent moves their midfielders higher, you can play with a high playmaker.
In the end, thanks to the “verticality” of the circuit, you can distribute the ball between the lines quite efficiently.Of course, this requires players with a sufficient level of skill, who know how to play at a high pace. However, depending on the staffing capabilities of a particular team, you can use various tactical options with a drawn or high playmaker.
Let’s start by using the full backs. If you noticed, one of the full backs among coaches who actively use 4-2-3-1 is a pronounced attacking player. Of course, such a scheme will require a fast and very efficient player.But you have been able to convince yourself of the effectiveness of this approach more than once. On the other hand, this is a natural solution. Usually the wingers play tight and the full-back extends the attack. But this, for some reason, is always unexpected and effective. Especially if the winger interacts well enough with the center forward or one of the midfielders.
Center-backs do not stay out of the game either. If the center-back is cool enough and has a good pass, that’s a big plus. If the team is under pressure or tight defensive formations await it, such a defender is simply necessary.And in 4-2-3-1 he looks natural with two central midfielders, one of whom can pull back, hedge or steal his guardian.
Two defensive midfielders. There can really be two of them. Then the team has a rich defense in the middle zone. It can be one player, then the other of the central midfielders can perform more attacking functions. And it can be two attacking midfielders at once (not DACs), when the players take turns performing attacking functions.This is also always unexpected for the opponent, as it allows the team to act according to the game situation. You can generally play without a clean defensive central midfielder. But this requires a couple of good central defenders, and fast ones.
When you have 4 attacking players in front of you, you can build different schemes. 4-2-3-1, in its original form, was a rigid model structure. That is, each player had a clearly designated “zone of influence” with a fairly specific set of responsibilities.This contributed to the widespread use of the formation for national teams. But club coaches have much more opportunities. After all, they have a lot of time to work with the players. Imagine 3 out of 4 attacking players switching positions. The task of all these maneuvers is to confuse the opponent, force him to open zones and use this in order to score a goal.
The change of position is, of course, not just like that, and there are options. Think of “false 9” or “false 10”.That is, a false striker or a false playmaker.
The task of the false forward is to be “somewhere” on the edge. He does not complete, but plays an assistant who can give a cunning pass to a partner or free up space. The “false ten” has a slightly different task. It is this player who can be on the cutting edge instead of the forward. But he can also just make space for one of the wingers, who moves to the middle.
However, more complex movements of the attacking group players can be observed.Much depends on the coach and the staff potential of the team.
The 4-2-3-1 is actually a fairly simple formation that has evolved over the years. Most of the players have played in this formation and many coaches opt for it, as the players do not need to be retrained too much.
The 4-2-3-1 formation is still defensive. More precisely, it can be effectively used to play “on counterattacks”. It can generally be used without possession of the ball, since the other quality of 4-2-3-1 is much more important – covering the space.
But also 4-2-3-1 can be completely attacking, dominant. It’s all about the transition from defense to attack. And 2 central midfielders in the middle just allow you to make the “switch”.
Formation can be tough, especially when defensive qualities are needed. And, in an instant, you can rebuild the game. There would be the right players and enough ideas from the coach.
You can also remember the “asymmetric” formation, when one of the wingers is a pronounced attacking player.And the other winger plays deep, in a low position.
Many coaches actively use inverted wingers, where the right-hander plays on the left and the left-hander on the right. In fact, an inverted winger is a natural forward. Usually, he moves from a wide position to the middle with the ball to hit the goal.
It is obvious that 4-2-3-1 is a versatile, flexible enough formation. Although demanding on the level of players. But it allows the coach to act within a broad framework based on his capabilities and the capabilities of the team.
End of an era?
It seems that the coaches have exhausted all the possibilities of the formation. She served regularly, but again began to be ousted. Experts and many coaches judge by victories. And at the club level, in the Champions League, teams with 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 formations were the best. In the World Championship, many teams using 4-2-3-1 failed miserably. And Brazil suffered the biggest defeat in its history. The teams that achieved a lot from 4-2-3-1 just became predictable. Will many coaches change formations? This is, of course, a question.However, we must point out why many formations began to “outplay” the 4-2-3-1.
Take 4-3-3. Outwardly, these formations are similar, especially since 4-2-3-1 in the attack can go as 4-3-3. But there is a peculiarity, if the organization of 4-3-3 is somewhat unusual:
1. The team with 4-3-3 must give up the overwhelming possession of the ball, or at least have equal possession.
2. It is necessary to make some changes in the organization of the game.
To change the organization of the game in midfield, you will need the following players:
1.A good defensive central midfielder who will play in a very deep position to provide defense. He must read the game well, be accurate in selection and, at the same time, sufficiently reliable.
2. You will also need a center midfielder with good speed and technique.
3. But most importantly, you need a mobile playmaker. He must have good defensive qualities. This playmaker needs to help the center-backs.But he must move well enough, open up and be able to “drag” the ball before passing. The mobility and activity of the playmaker will be the main point. Why?
At 4-2-3-1, a pair of central midfielders play fairly flat. The fast player and mobile playmaker can use this. They can “sever” this duo of defensive players, forcing them to move lower. Or make them stay in the middle and let their wingers play more actively and efficiently in the spaces between center and wingers.
Also against 4-2-3-1 4-4-2 will be effective. The idea is the same, only the central midfielders 2. Ideally, it should be an interchangeable duo, with the central midfielders taking turns taking on attacking and defensive responsibilities. But you can also be versatile. The main condition is the activity and mobility of the player who joins the attack. He must be a good dribbler and skillfully resist in physical combat.
But it can also be one of the flanking midfielders when you need to ensure quantitative equality in the center of the field.The two central midfielders play on defense, while the winger plays in the middle. And in front of the team with 4-4-2, by the way, as many as two forwards.
However, the question of the formation that opposes 4-2-3-1 is not very important here:
1. First, in 4-2-3-1, after all, the central midfielders play in a line. When one of them begins to move forward, space opens up behind it.
2. The second is the emergence of a mobile playmaker with a fairly wide “zone of influence”.Of course, the presence of such a player requires a fairly reliable “rear”.
This is a truly versatile and flexible formation. 4-2-3-1 has a really large selection of options for organizing the game. There would be staffing opportunities.
But, nevertheless, 4-2-3-1 has certain disadvantages. The pair of central midfielders that define the essence of the formation is its advantage, in fact it is its own disadvantage. But provided that the opponent uses a sufficiently mobile, efficient playmaker.It is clear that a playmaker must have all the skills necessary for his role.
Still, there really isn’t enough reason to give up 4-2-3-1 right now. Rather, many coaches need to think about new solutions within this tactic. However, it is hardly worth ignoring certain changes in the game by other formations. Returning 4-4-2, making good use of 4-3-3, perhaps returning to 3-5-2.
90,000 The 5 Most Perfect Midfielders in Football
To dominate the game, teams need technical midfielders who can control the game from midfield.There are different types of midfielders and each position in the midfield is different. For example, there are defensive midfielders, whose task is to destroy the opponent’s attacks, and the other is to play the game from the depth of field. Casemiro is an attacker and Sergio Busquets is a deep playmaker. This varies from team to team, but each team can use versatile and technical players who can play anywhere in the midfield. This gives more flexibility to the team and contributes to better management of the game.
Georginio Wijnaldum (Paris Saint-Germain)
Giorginio Wijnaldum has denied Barcelona a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain this summer. The Dutchman has been a very important player for Liverpool from his transfer in 2016 until he left a few months ago. He was an important link in the team that won the Champions League and Premier League in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, respectively. Wijnaldum is a hardworking midfielder whose technical ability allows him to play anywhere in midfield.He plays as a center midfielder covering the back line. Wijnaldum shines as a central midfielder who can put pressure in high positions.
He likes to break the opponent’s play, and the defensive side of his game is well developed. He also knows how to make late and effective runs into the box to score some important goals for his team.
Franck Cessy (Milan)
Frank Kessi is one of the best midfielders in Serie A.The Ivorian midfielder has many talents and usually plays in midfield as part of a duo. But more importantly, Cassie is the glue that holds Milan together. The 24-year-old is a versatile midfielder. Usually it is he who starts the high pressure. He knows how to pass through the lines and is therefore an excellent attacker. Cassie also rushes forward a lot to connect to the attack. He has strong physical strength and uses his body well to defend the ball, which allows him to be a good ball carrier.Cassie is also a very strong footballer and his endurance is commendable. In the 2020-21 season, he played the most minutes for Milan.
Last season, Cassie scored 13 goals and provided six assists in 37 Serie A games.
Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)
Barcelona midfielder Frenkie De Jong has all the qualities you would expect from a player who graduated from the Ajax youth academy. The “total football” philosophy taught at Ajax makes the players versatile and their youngsters tend to be great technicians.De Jong is now one of Barcelona’s most valuable assets. The Dutchman is so good at possession of the ball and tactically clever that in the past season he was even repeatedly put in the position of center-back. Ronald Koeman admires De Jong’s qualities as a progressive ball player, and he has given him complete leeway to take easy runs and connect to attack. He passes the ball well and does an excellent job of his defensive duties thanks to his excellent reading of the game.
De Jong has eight assists and seven goals in 51 games across all competitions in the 2020-21 season.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Paul Pogba is one of the most talented and gifted footballers we’ve seen lately. The Frenchman does so many incredible things, seemingly effortlessly, but there are some aspects of his game that always needed improvement. Pogba has all the qualities you’d expect from a depth of field playmaker.However, he is not very good at dealing with opponents and pressing. But as long as he plays in central midfield with a partner who is prone to doing the dirty work, Pogba will be fine. This is how the Pogba-Kante double link works in France. But at Manchester United, Pogba shines at the forefront. His passing flair and ability to select teammates are unmatched, and his passing range is worthy of being explored by youngsters aspiring playmakers.
Pogba showed his best side when he began to play in the position of the left midfielder.It was an ingenious move on the part of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Pogba got off to a good start to the 2021-22 Premier League season with seven assists in four games.
Leon Goretzka (Bavaria)
Leon Goretzka is one of the most dynamic midfielders in the world. Together with Joshua Kimmich, he became a strong core for Bayern, which is likely to remain for years to come. Goretzka’s physical transformation after joining Bayern was enormous, and it’s incredible that he grew up without losing a meter of speed.As a result, he just became a stronger version of the midfielder he already was. Goretzka is quite straightforward with the ball at his feet and loves to rush forward, creating chances and scoring goals for his team. Having a partner like Joshua Kimmich sometimes helps the 26-year-old to attack with full dedication, as the former does the job of supporting from behind.
He can play on any flank of midfield and is as good at his defensive duties as he is at influencing the attack.The German gave eight assists last season and scored eight goals in 32 appearances for Bayern in all competitions.