Tips to become the best midfielder
We are going to give you some tips to become the best midfielder because we want you to learn about enjoy every position on the field. Playing in the middle is always fun but you need to be on the move and ready to give the easy pass every time. Every position on the field is key but becoming the best soccer midfielder is about hard work and competition. Are you ready to play?
In order to become the best player on the midfield, you need to look for the easy pass at any moment of the game. If you don’t practice enough, it will be almost impossible to keep evolving your game on the field. Only with intense training and the best passing exercises, you’ll be able to get proficient. Passing drills will help you to develop like a pro athlete.
All the great midfielders in the world, like Iniesta, Modric or Xavi, always look ahead for the easy pass. They do it for a very simple reason: it makes everything easier.
It’s vital to practice your vision of the game to evolve as a well-round player. If you train your vision you will be able to succeed almost in any given situation. A lot of players know how to run and pass the ball, but only the special ones know what is going to happen during a game before it even happens. You need to focus on the field and make sure to play ahead of your opponents.
Game vision will help you succeed during the game. Real great players don’t wait to have possession of the ball to decide the next move.
The best way to improve your game is to control the ball the way you’re supposed to. A lot of players usually forget how important it is to stay focus on the ball to rule the midfield. It’s vital to practice your ball control because it will make you a better player.
When playing soccer, every second matter. In the end, it’s all about being ready to play quickly and always keep moving. The game is becoming faster every year and improving your ball control will take your soccer to the next level. Make sure to spend enough time practicing your controlling skills, it’s the best way to keep growing your game. Train hard and learn about your mistakes to develop a proficient ball control skill.
The best midfielders need to be able to dribble at any time during the game.
Making the best decision is very important, but without improving your dribbling skills, you won’t be able to make a big difference during the big games. Practicing all dribbles is a must when playing on the midfield. It’s the most crowded part of the field and a mistake can easily cost you a goal
Always on the move
Playing quick and always being on the move is the best way to become a great midfielder. Awareness is really important and staying focus on the game will prepare you for any situation. We’ve been developing talented soccer players and helping them to reach their full potential. If you choose to develop at an elite soccer academy you will become a great soccer player.
We want every young player to evolve their game to become an outstanding soccer player.
To become the best midfielder on the field you need to practice all kind of different skills. Game vision is vital and ball control can help you dribble your opponent at any moment. It is also very important to always look for the easy pass to surprise your opponent at any given situation. Don’t forget to always be on the move, it’s a must to evolve your game. Make sure to check out our elite soccer academy in Barcelona.
If you want to take a chance to play for the elite soccer academy in Spain, make sure to register to one of our trials. You will get the chance to develop your soccer skills and live a wonderful experience in the beautiful year in Barcelona.
How to Dominate as a Midfielder in Soccer (Tips and Secrets)
“Games are won or lost in midfield.”
Talk to anyone who knows their soccer, and this will be one of your essential takeaways.
In many ways midfielders in soccer are the heart, brains, and lungs of the team.
They’re the engine that tirelessly drives the team forward. And they’re willing to put their bodies on the line for their teammates, inspiring everyone on the side to greater heights.
Midfielders have many roles to play.
Be it in defence or attack, almost every move goes through them.
They’re the key to a smooth transition from your defense to your forward line, they set the tempo for the team, and are crucial for retaining possession of the ball.
You can imagine the incredible work-rate demanded of them in the average game…
They’re usually the players on the team who travel the greatest distance, take the most touches on the ball, and make the most passes.
And, more often than not, it’s a thankless job.
Who actually remembers the middleman who supplied the pass leading to a goal?
Or the one running around blocking passing routes, making interceptions, or marking key opponents?
It’s usually the goalscorers, last-ditch tacklers, or goalkeepers making wonder saves who are hailed as the heroes of the match.
Make no mistake about it…
A team will quickly collapse without quality play from the midfielders.6 Traits of a Great Soccer Midfielder
A midfielder must be something of an all-rounder as footballing abilities go.
Even the midfield specialists have important roles in attack and defence they can’t afford to neglect.
To influence the game in both attack and defense, and to control the flow of the game, midfielders will need some key traits:1. Great Positioning and Understanding of the Game
Midfielders need to make sure that they are always in the right position.
Their fantastic understanding of the game helps in this respect as they should know when and where to be to receive passes and to help their team to keep possession of the ball.
If they are caught sprinting up field without a care in the world, the team risks being open to the counterattack.
This means they need to know what is expected from them at any given time.
While there is a time to attack, it needs to be done at the opportune moment involving the least amount of risk.2. Disciplined and Know Their Role on the Team
With so many different responsibilities tied up in just one position, midfielders must clearly understand their role and what is expected of them.
While they do support the wingers and strikers in creating goal scoring opportunities, they also need to be disciplined and provide cover and protection to the defence.
The midfield role is very important…
If they are out of position or neglect one side of the game, the team can quickly get overrun and concede a goal.3. Know What’s Around Them at All Times
By keeping their head up and constantly moving into pockets of space, the midfielders can give themselves more time on the ball.
This helps them to keep possession within the team and limits the opposition’s goal scoring opportunities.
This awareness of their surroundings (which they gain through quick looks over their shoulder) also enables them to know where each player is on the pitch.
Whether it is passing the ball on to a teammate or screening an opposition player’s run, knowing what is around them at all times is a key skill to have for a midfielder.4. Keeps Possession Under Pressure
A great midfielder is calm on the ball, executes a great first touch, and has impressive technique.
This helps them to keep the ball within the team.
Their fantastic passing skills and ability to find space and time means that they can escape the relentless press of the opposition and help their team to move the ball around the pitch.
This is an important aspect of being a midfielder…
Without this ability, the team will struggle to assert their dominance.5. Loves the Ball and Has Great Decision-Making Skills
The best midfielders love having the ball and constantly demand it off of their teammates.
They do this by showing for the ball and moving into space to create better passing angles.
Passing and moving comes naturally to them, and with their great technical skills, they should usually have a high pass completion rate.
Much of this has to do with their fantastic decision-making skills…
Being able to weigh up the different options available to them and then quickly make the correct decision time and time again in a high-pressured environment.
Along with the previous traits, their decision-making and love of the ball will help the player to steer their team to victory, dominating the opposition as they go.6. Able to Cover Every Blade of Grass on the Pitch
With so many things expected of them, the midfielders need to be supremely fit and be able to run non-stop for the whole duration of the match.
Because without a high level of endurance their effectiveness will drop towards the end of the game and they will start to make silly mistakes.
To remain focused and give their best performances, midfielders must have great stamina.
Whether it is striding forward to support the attack, dropping back into defence to make a last-ditch tackle, or sprinting out to the wings to help overload the opposition…
All of these jobs require a supreme level of fitness.7. Be a Great All-Round Player
As their role involves a wide range of responsibilities, the complete midfielder must have nearly every skill in their locker.
They need to win their battles and have a high tackle success rate, muscling the opposition off of the ball and pressing the space intelligently.
When it comes to the final third of the pitch…
They have a good degree of vision and creativity to help out around the opponent’s box. And also get on the scoresheet from time to time with their decent shooting skills.The Roles and Responsibilities of a Midfielder in Soccer
Central midfielders are crucial to the success of a team, you understand that already…
But what are the actual responsibilities that they have on the pitch?
Let’s take a quick look at the specific things that a midfielder is tasked with:1. Providing Smooth and Efficient Transitions Between Defence and Attack
Defenders are needed to cover spaces in defence and mark opposition attackers.
While forwards and strikers are meant to stay up to, look for threatening runs, and receive passes forward in order to score goals.
So clearly, a link is needed between the two.
That’s where midfielders come in.
The play goes through them…
Whether it’s an attack from the pack, a temporary retreat and regroup from the front, or a switch-up from one side to the other.
When the ball has been recovered at the back, midfielders need to provide passing options to the defenders on the ball if they want to play their way up the pitch.
In the final third, one central midfielder usually stays back while the others advance the ball up the pitch and then assist the attackers.2. Maintaining Possession and Dictating Tempo of Play
While the transitioning and link-up play may be their primary function in the team, midfielders are famed and celebrated for this role in particular.
Keeping possession and dictating tempo.
Midfielders are required to pass the ball from side to side, probe for opportunities, and work the ball into dangerous areas where possible.
With their brilliant touch, high-level intelligence, and ability to make skilful, quick passes, midfielders open the gate for the attackers to run through.
They can do this by:
- Speeding up or slowing down play to suit the team’s gameplan.
- Changing approaches when needed.
- Moving the ball between attack and defence to frustrate opponents.
They’re also frequently called upon to bail out teammates in trouble using their skill on the ball and quick thinking.
You will often see other players looking for a midfielder when they’re stuck.
Also, great midfielders always have the odd trick up their sleeves to dribble out of tight situations and keep the ball for their team.3. Stopping Opposition Attacks
This responsibility especially applies to holding or defensive midfielders since their main job is to break up attacks and shield the defence.
Midfielders are the first line of defence for a team.
Good midfielders are always alert to impending attacks and look to prevent them before the opposition builds momentum and threatens the defense.
In the defensive third, midfielders need to provide cover to the defenders and drop in if one of the fullbacks has gone on a run.
Also, if a centreback has been drawn out wide to engage in a battle with an opposition player, it again falls to a central midfielder to drop into the space they have vacated.4. Assist and Score Goals
More often than not, it’s a playmaking midfielder who’s the primary assist maker in a team.
Without them, a striker’s supply runs dry and the team will struggle to get enough scoring opportunities to win games.
Even relatively withdrawn midfield positions, like holding midfielders, should have it in them to thread a good through-ball.
In fact, the deep-lying playmaker must be highly skilled in playing inch-perfect long passes to help attackers bypass the opposition’s midfield and defence.
It’s a devastating ability to have if the player is skilled enough and often leaves the opposition helpless.
However, merely providing assists isn’t enough.
A midfielder must be able to rack up goals throughout the season, too.
These usually come from:
- Long-shots from outside the box when there are openings
- Strikes after late runs into the opposition penalty box
- Brilliant individual runs using their dribbling skills to unlock defences
Not all successful central midfielders are natural goalscorers…
But the best ones always find ways to relieve the burden on their strikers and forwards.5 Tips for a Soccer Midfielder
Now that you know the traits associated with the best midfielders and the many responsibilities which they have on the pitch…
It’s time to talk about improvement.
Here are 5 tips to ensure you dominate the midfield:1. Keep Your Head Up and Constantly Scan Your Surroundings
Knowing what is going on around you at all times is a crucial component of being a midfielder.
Try and get into the habit of looking over your shoulder as often as possible.
This will help to give you more time on the ball and you´ll also have a better idea of what passing options are available to you before you receive the ball.
Admittedly, it is tricky to remember to do it with so much going on…
But once you get into the habit, it will soon become second nature.2. Practice Until You Are Confident Using Both Feet to Do Everything
Having the ability to play confidently with both feet is a great skill to have in any position…
But it is particularly important in the midfield area as you get so little time on the ball.
When you can use both feet equally well in the congested centre of the pitch, it will save you time on the ball and mean you can confidently revert to one-touch passes instead of taking a touch.3. Think About Your Teammates When Making the Pass
Is your teammate right-footed or left-footed?
Where do they like to receive the ball?
When making a pass to your teammates, you want to put it in their preferred position so they have the best chance of controlling the ball and playing it on.
Which is why you must take into consideration their preferences when making the pass to their feet.
In the right place, they will be able to take the ball in their stride without the risk of losing it to an opposition player.
When a player takes other’s abilities and preferences into account, mistakes will be minimised and the team will retain possession easier.4. Move Into Space
With so many players occupying the centre of the pitch, it can be tough to find space in which to play.
Whenever you pass the ball on to a teammate,make sure that you take up a new position which gives them a passing angle.
This will mean that you see more of the ball and that the team retains possession for longer.
You also want to move into space whenever you receive the ball.
To do this, you must control the ball in such a way that it takes you into a small pocket of space away from the opposition player nearest you.
This will give you a couple more microseconds in which to make a decision on what to do with the ball next.
Static midfielders are easy to mark, one constantly on the move is a nightmare to track.5. Improve Your Stamina
If you can’t cover every blade of grass during a match, then you’re going to have a tough time.
Since a midfielder must constantly move up and down the pitch while helping out on the wings before dropping deep to prevent a counterattack…
A great way to see improvements in your game is to work on your stamina.
The fitter you are, the better you’ll play.
This is true because all the silly mistakes that come from fatigue will be erased from your game.Conclusion
The role of a midfielder in soccer is crucial to the team’s success.
Due to its importance, you want to play disciplined players with great technical skills and a good understanding of the game in the centre of the park.
With a good engine on them, midfielders are required to tear around the pitch, passing the ball around and retaining possession until an opening opens up for the team to exploit.
They’re the heartbeat of the team and connect everything together.
Although it’s possibly the toughest position to master due to the multitude of responsibilities, playing as a midfielder is a great experience as you are involved in absolutely everything.
With time, practice, and dedication, your skills in the centre of the pitch will improve and soon you will be dominating the midfield position in soccer.
6 tips to be a great central midfielder
There are many different types of central midfielders meaning you can learn inspirational styles from a range of midfield footballers. The diversity of skills required to master the role make it extremely competitive amongst players.
There are action-based players like Paul Pogba who always wants the ball and drives their team on. Players like Andres Iniesta, who constantly wants the ball only needing one touch or one pass to cause havoc for the opposition. Steven Gerrard could hit a shot from 35 yards with unnerving accuracy and
become a great central midfielder.
Despite the variety of the role, there are some tips that every great central midfielder needs to remember. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you master the role and show the power of Pogba and the incision of Iniesta.
Always be on the move
The middle of the pitch can be the most crowded area, which can make it difficult to get on the
ball at all – let alone in time and space. The best central midfielders are those who are always
on the move, becoming a nightmare for the opposition to mark and popping up in pockets of
space which they’ve spotted but the other team haven’t thought to cover.
Don’t just focus on where the ball is but think about where it needs to go and how you can
create new attacks for your team. What you do when you don’t have the ball is almost as
important as what you do with it.
Play with your head up
Vision is a skill to master. While there are creative and visionary players who can see things that
others do not, there are many ways in which you can improve your own vision.
The most basic is by playing with your head up. Scan the horizon all the time, especially when
you don’t have the ball. You might notice that three of the opposition’s defence are positioned
on the right and so if you receive possession, you’ll know to switch the play to the space that
has created out on the left. The ability to spot gaps and openings is a massive weapon for a
central midfielder to have, and it all comes from keeping your head up.
A good first touch is vital anywhere on the pitch, but it’s even more important in central midfield.
Being able to control the ball effectively will give you more time to work when the football is in
your possession. A bad first touch will allow the opposition to close you down quicker or may
result in you surrendering possession completely, putting your team under pressure.
Don’t be afraid to shoot
How often do we hear the phrase “guilty of overplaying” with football on television? Don’t be afraid to shoot if you get a sight of the goal in a good position.
Keep it simple and stay composed
You need a good range of passing to be a great central midfielder, but the most important pass you can play is the simple one. 60-yard raking balls and switching the play from one flank to the other may look spectacular, but they are a risk even for the best players in the world.
Keeping it simple is often the best choice. You’re less likely to surrender possession with short and sharp passes since they force the opposition to chase the ball– therefore creating fatigue and potential openings for you to exploit. If it works for the coaching legend Pep Guardiola, it should work for you!
Learn about your teammates
A central midfielder has more connections with their team than any other player. A central midfielder is at the heart of everything and plays a key role. It’s the position that threads defence with attack and left with right. Therefore, knowing everything about your teammates is important.
If you know you’ve got a defender who is comfortable playing the ball out, then you can drop short to give and receive it from them with confidence. If your striker likes to play on the shoulder of the last defender, you know that they’ll always be anticipating a through ball to run onto.
Developing relationships with the 10 other players on the pitch and every member of your squad will help you to become a great central midfielder.
Repetition and self-discipline
Becoming a great central midfielder is difficult, but with hard work, practice and a focus on self-development, it is achievable. The position is extremely competitive and even the professionals consistently find ways to improve their performance. A top central midfielder will play a key role in the success of their team. As with any sport, practice is integral to development– so finding the time to play match football will be key to becoming the best central midfielder that you can be.
We Make Footballers believe that dominating in 1vs1 situations and the 6 tips above are key to becoming a fantastic midfielder. We have helped over 2000 children join grassroots teams and 180 players sign at professional academies through our pathways.
Strong midfielder tactics
There is one problem with possession soccer and that is how are you going to play it if you haven’t got the ball or you keep losing it! The best way to get the ball back is to have a strong midfielder whose job it is to tackle the opposition, win the ball back and get your team passing again.
A strong tackler in the middle
If you’re playing possession soccer, one of the things you have to take into account is winning the ball back. Sure, all your players know how to tackle but every team should have a player who gives his all to win the ball back.
Use your best tackler in midfield
What you have to do is take your best tackler and show him how to stop attacks and hit the opposition hard with some good passing skills. When the opposition loses the ball they will be at their most vulnerable and your midfielder will be able to put them on the back foot with a good pass.
He will become a key player in your match day tactics – a player the rest of the team rely on when you lose the ball.
Midfield ball winner soccer drill
- Tell your player to play in the hole in front of the central defenders.
- Get him to close down any player running at the defence and stop them in their tracks.
- You’ve seen games where the opposition kick off and runs right through your team to score. This player stops that. He targets the man with the ball and makes sure he gets it.
- And when he does get the ball, he’s off running, passing, opening up the opposition defence.
- The rest of the team have to be ready to support his role and be open for the pass.
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About Dave Clarke
Dave Clarke is head coach and editor of Soccer Coach Weekly, providing thousands of subscribers worldwide with drills, insight and advice covering all aspects of coaching.
Ask your players “what makes a midfielder?”
in Email newsletters, Midfield
One of the things I find really useful is to engage my players on a Zoom call and get them to list the attributes they think players need in certain positions. So this week we are working on defensive midfield. What does a player in that position have to do? MORE
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Triangle midfield drill
in Ball Control and Footwork, Midfield
This is all about keeping hold of the ball using an overload and a triangle midfield shape. Great for getting midfielders to think about their shape and where to move to receive the ball. MORE
Midfield support in attack
in Attacking, Midfield
When you attack the play should cover all areas of the attacking third. To do this attackers need support from midfield that is creative and moves quickly into the dangerous areas of the pitch to create goal scoring chances. MORE
Andres Iniesta: How to boss the midfield
Receiving a pass
Before I receive the ball, I quickly look to see which players I can give it to. Always be aware of who is around you: if you feel them closing down, take a touch to move the ball away from them. Try and put yourself in space to get the pass: the more space you have, the more time you have to think. And when you get the ball, don’t move it towards the opponent. That said, sometimes I’m happy to run at a player and just hold the ball in front of him. That way I’ve moved the team forward.
Playing the pass
Every pass is important. A bad pass loses possession and puts the team under pressure. Short passes build momentum and if you have the ball then the opponents can’t do anything. Know the time to make a killer pass. If you need a goal, search for the space to make the pass. If you’re protecting a lead, keep possession and play safer. Because we have played together for a long time to a certain system, everyone knows where to move. That makes my job easier, knowing where Xavi or Leo [Messi] will be.
Thinking on your feet
If you think before your opponent where the ball is going to go then you have an advantage. If you stay with the ball at your feet and think about what to do, you are going to lose the ball. The best players are the quickest thinkers. Where is my team-mate going to run to? Will he stay onside? Which one has space? Which one is looking for the ball? How do they like the ball – to their feet or in front? You can be the best passer in the world, but without your team-mates being in the right position, it’s no good.
Drawing a foul
Make the opponent think that you are going one way, then go the other. Confuse him. And when your opponent has the ball, close him down quickly. Put him under pressure before he’s even had time to think about an attack. Another thing: if the attack has gone, don’t waste energy playing catch-up. You can be as much use to the team as a defender if the ball comes back. Or you can move up more slowly and still be in a position to shoot if the ball comes back to you.
Dealing with a giant
If I play against a big player, I play the ball quickly on the ground. Playing a quick one-two is also very effective as bigger players are slower to react and turn. I also keep a distance from them so that I can turn quickly and we don’t find ourselves going for the same ball. I only weigh 63 kilos so I don’t have weight to throw around. If you can get the ball past them a few times using a one-two they will be more reluctant to rush in and tackle, so you have more space to play. Barça is a small team, so we use our height well. It’s good for me to take corners, not just because I’m unlikely to win the ball in the air.
Shooting from distance
I’m not a natural scorer, but if I see an opening, I’ll shoot. I shoot if I think I can score and I’ll aim for the part of the goal that’s most difficult for the goalkeeper. That’s what I did in the World Cup final – the corner near the post. And against Chelsea too [Champions League semi-final in 2009], because I saw a space through a crowd of players. Opposition players in front make it more complicated – for me but also for the goalkeeper – because they can’t see properly. And if there’s someone in a better position, I’ll pass. So you need to know who is around you all the time and where they are.
Iniesta wears the Nike Pro Combat baselayer, an integral part of every player’s kit. Nike Pro Combat Slider Shorts and Thermal Mock Top are available in a range of team colours and provide compression technology, protection against cold weather and reduce risk of impact injuries.
For more football tips see:
Paulinho: Run the engine room
Michael Carrick: Protecting the back four
Michael Ballack: How to be the complete midfielder
Mikel Arteta: Pass your opponents off the park
Yaya Toure: Dominate the middle of the park
Jack Wilshere: How to keep possession
5 Tips To Become A Better Central Midfielder – CruzCoaching
To begin with, this is not going to be another basic article like you have probably already seen somewhere on the internet. So no, I am not going to tell you that you need to make amazing passes, and have excellent technical skills. If you are reading this article, your probably not a newbie to football (soccer). You probably know that the basics of the midfield positions require excellent technical ability, so we are not going to talk about that today. I like to get straight to point and break my information down in the most relatable fashion for everyone to understand.
Let’s get started, here are my five tips to become a better CM or CAM:
GREAT POSITIONING & RAISE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE GAME
As a midfielder, excellent positioning is understanding space. Now, there are two types of space in football, which we call free space and then, of course, no free space. Having a complete understanding of both situations is crucial to raising your level of play. Just think, with space, we have more time to control the game, and with no space, we have less time. So, you must master these two types of situations in the game. When thinking about space, understand why you are looking for space. It’s either your creating space for you or for someone else to receive the ball.
Now, in situations when I have no space, remember you can have no space with or without the ball. A great midfielder needs to be great with the ball at their feet and also when it not.
Getting out of situations where you have no space means you must create the space. The best midfield master the art of finding creating space out of nothing through skill and vision. I have found that ball mastery training is a great way to develop excellent ball-handling skills for these situations. Ball mastery helps you develop control on the ball, making it difficult for opponents to get off your feet.
Try my online ball mastery program
Now, the following situation is ‘no space’ without the ball. It’s preferred to avoid this situation or understand why. Ask yourself these questions. Are you closing your space to open space for someone else to get the ball, or are your movements not predetermining a vision of play? Some great midfielders that you can use, for example, are the Barcelona three Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, and Sergio Busquets. Besides their extraordinary technical abilities, they are some of the most intelligent midfield minds in football. I recommend you watch some of their extended highlights and analyze their game.
BE DISCIPLINE & KNOW YOUR ROLE
Midfielders have the most responsibility on the pitch. Think of a midfielder ass the engine of a car. A car can function on a flat tire or broken windows, but without the engine, it’s useless. This is how you need to look at your role in the midfield. Perfecting your role requires you to be disciplined. Your responsibility in the middle needs to be specific or configured in the best way to help your team succeed. Some coaches ask you to stay central, and some may ask you to free roam. Whatever the requirements are, you need to adjust and follow through. Know when to push forward, when to hold back, when to dribble, and pass and over-communicate. You set the pace of the game.
KNOW WHAT’S AROUND YOU AT ALL TIMES
Because you’re in the middle of the field, you’re almost always going to be under some pressure. This is why midfielders need to know what is happening in all directions of the pitch. Developing awareness can separate you from other midfielders. The midfield position is as an artist. Most artists visualize the outcome of their artwork piece by piece before they create, so they always know what’s next. A midfielder should carry the same concept to be dominant. Start thinking about solutions to situations before stepping onto the field. Football is becoming so sophisticated that you can no longer step onto the field without a mental plan. Your mental skills are just as necessary as your physical and technical ability.
BE COMPOSED UNDER PRESSURE
Players who can stay calm throughout the game find more solutions on the field. This is primarily in the most chaotic moments. It takes superior emotional intelligence to unlock this skill that can be developed over time. The more emotional intelligence you develop, the better your mind can respond to chaos. Midfielders who don’t practice composure probably lose the ball about 85% more than the typical player. Just like we talk about before, awareness, or seeing the field will give you comfort while under pressure. So you must continuously scan and look around the field to detect what’s coming next. Your ability to quickly detect pressure while staying calm allows for quicker problem-solving even if it means playing the ball backward. Remember, your job as a midfielder is to keep possession, defend, create, and distribute. When composed, you will produce more quality.
LEARN TO COVER THE PITCH
Covering the pitch has a lot to do with fitness and being in the right places at all times. Let’s take Chelsea’s Kolo Kante, for example. He is a box to box midfielder with an extreme level of fitness. He is primarily known for being in the right place at the right time with the ability to shutdown down opposition attacks with a considerable success rate. You’re going to need to build stamina. It’s crucial to be fit, not fast when playing in the midfield. Footballers rarely hit top speed during a match, so it will serve you better to be quick. Speed is a great asset but not necessary. Your overall fitness level will always be exposed in the midfield. To cover the field, you must make sure that you have the stamina and mentality to keep up.
To conclude, the midfield position takes a lot of intelligence and discipline to perfect. You understand that technical ability is a priority and mastering the five tips above while help you become the best midfielder you can be.
If you can find any more tips that you think I should have added, please free to leave a comment, and let’s chat.
Take Your Midfield Game To Next Level With These Tips
Midfielders are required to perform multiple tasks on a football team.
Midfielders are the lynchpin of any football team, often performing more than one task and the driving force behind the success of any team.
To be a midfielder requires a person to be good at doing many things, technically and tactically, and it is often the midfielders who are the best players on the pitch.
Here, we take a look at ways that you can become a better midfielder:
- Learn to pass the ball
Whether you’re a deep-lying midfielder, a box-to-box midfielder, or an attacking midfielder, you will have to have good passing skills. A midfielder is required to play the ball long and short, and when under pressure.
To become a better midfielder, you will have to play quick passes with both feet, as well as long ones that can penetrate the opponent’s defence.
Learn multiple passes – passing with the side of your foot, outside of your foot, chipping the ball, and different speeds with which the ball can be passed.
- Positions to take while attacking
Positioning is key in football and is even more important as a midfielder. While attacking, midfielders must go forward according to the number of his teammates who are attacking, as well as the scoreline and time remaining.
Midfielders must also offer themselves for short passes, or 1-2s with the wingers, who can then bomb forward to make an impact on the game.
If you’re a holding midfielder, you are probably expected to provide your defenders with security, hence shouldn’t venture too forward and must hover in and around the centre circle.
A box-to-box midfielder can bomb forward and stay just outside the penalty box, while an attacking midfielder who is given freedom, can make late runs into the box and even go ahead of the centre-forward.
- Positions to take while defending
While defending, a midfielder must close down spaces and passing zones of the opposition, and tackle to dispossess the opponent.
A good midfielder will rarely expose his defence to the opposition’s attack and will control and the dictate the game.
Defensive midfielders will have to provide their defence with a screen, shushing out attacks, playing the ball around at the back, and patrolling the penalty area for balls.
A central midfielder will have to track runs of opposition midfielders and shadow his opposite number when he’s in the attack.
An attacking midfielder can cut off passes from the back of the opposition, putting pressure high up the pitch and forcing the opposition to go long.
- Awareness and reading of the game
Midfielders have to don multiple roles when they step out on the pitch and an important one requires mental fortitude and discipline – reading the game.
A midfielder will have to be able to understand the positions to take according to the match situation, know when the opposition is going to intercept a pass or understand the pass that the opponent is to make and sully an attack.
He will need to have a 360-degree vision of what is going in the game – which midfielder or fullback is going to make a run to pass to, will the forward come shortly to pick the ball up from midfield or run behind the defence, and more.
A midfielder will have to be smart and on his toes at all times. Players develop an understanding of the game the more they play, and by observing other quality midfielders.
- Controlling the game
As highlighted in the previous point, midfielders will have to provide a balance in a team, filling in gaps, in attack and defence.
A good midfielder will have the match on a string, dictating and controlling the tempo of the match.
You will need to learn when to start attacks and from where exploiting weaknesses in the opponents by targeting an opposition player or employing various tactics to counter the opposition.To become a better midfielder, you should know when to slow down the game or quicken it, with a long or short pass, or a shot on goal.
As a midfielder, you are required to have great composure and technical skill, as well as the ability to dictate the play.
- Improve stamina and strength
As a midfielder, you are required to go up and down the pitch, filling in gaps on the pitch in attack and defence, which requires a player to have great stamina.
Running around the pitch for 90 minutes can affect a player physically and mentally, and it is important that midfielders have the optimum stamina to be successful.
Midfielders are also required to be strong on and off the ball, to run past defenders as well as put a tackle in from time to time.
It is a myth that tall and strong midfielders are the ones that are successful; players like Iniesta and Scholes have shown that having a low centre of gravity can be useful while twisting and turning past players or playing a clever, quick ball behind the defence.
- Master your shooting
One of the key ingredients of every great midfielder, midfielders have to know to shoot from distance or inside the box with accuracy and precision.
Often, the ball drops just outside the penalty box which can be exploited by midfielders who shoot well.
Learn to shoot high and low, with power and precision, to have a wide array of shooting options. Practice time and again to get better at your shooting as it is a key skill required of every midfielder.
Here is a video that will help you understand further:
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comments90,000 NF: How to Become the Best Midfielder
How to become the best midfielderDanil Tarantsev asked me to tell you how to do it – how to become the best midfielder. Since the request was received, and I did not react correctly, I will have to, albeit succinctly, respond to this request.
How should I have responded correctly? I had to invite the guy to visit two playlists. This is a spider playlist and a winger playlist.And that would be correct.
There is all the information for a thinking person. But, since I did not react correctly, I will express myself, albeit succinctly.
What is a midfielder? What is this concept? This is a football role, the main function of which is to be the link between defense and attack.
The second most important task for midfielders is mastering the center of the field. We will not talk about secondary things.
What do you need to accomplish the first task? You need to be able to see the field and understand the game, you need to have an impeccable reception of the ball, sent with any force, and you need to have a high passing culture, which implies not only accuracy in strength, but also accuracy.
You also need to be able to find free zones and open up in them for a comfortable reception of the ball, and not hide behind the backs of opponents. That’s all you need to know to accomplish the first task.
As for the second task – the fight for the center of the field, here you need to be able to fight for the ball, both yourself and be able to insure your partner. You also need to be able to intercept the ball by reading the opponent’s play.
Fighting for the center sometimes involves the ability to tackle the ball collectively, where the midfielder plays perhaps the most important role.This is the main thing I wanted to say.
And one more, very important point. If someone thinks that shooting at the opponent’s goal is a function of the attackers, then he is mistaken. The attackers close the shots, send the ball into the goal, finish off, go out on a date with the goalkeeper, etc. This is not the shelling of the gate.
A bombardment is when an attack, without going into an acute phase, unexpectedly for the defenders, ends with a shot at the goal. This is precisely the shelling of the gate, and not something else.
And, first of all, the midfielders are responsible for shooting at the goal.This is their function. and when I hear that the midfielder has a problem with strikes, I feel sad. I even get lost, not knowing what to say to such a football player.
How can you become the best midfielder? Let’s define the main quality of a midfielder, and then the most logical conclusion follows: in order to become the best in the team’s midline, you need to be able to show the most important quality of a football player at the highest level.
At a level that will be unattainable for others.Let’s remember again, what is the most important function of a midfielder? These are the linking actions between defense and defense.
And what is needed for this? Perfect passing culture, brilliant reception of even the toughest passes, ability to read the game correctly and quick thinking. That’s all the wisdom, my dear Danil.
Bring these skills to the highest level and there will be no better midfielder than you. If this is not enough for you, then you will find everything else in the two playlists I have already mentioned.
There is no point in repeating what has already been said many times. Good luck to you!90,000 How to be a good central midfielder
Do you want to become a great central midfielder like Xavi? If so, these tips are for you.
1. Practice playing soccer. The central midfielder is the most responsible position, because the whole game is built around you and it takes time to become a good midfielder.
2.Get fit. Find out how to improve your fitness. Train your endurance. It is very important to be a good athlete; in this position it is imperative to be physically strong. This position is the most important on the football field. (You don’t have to be very fast; speed is not important in this position).
3. Master the technique well. Work on your skills. Ball handling should be of the highest standard, as you are the player who holds the ball most of the time and has no right to lose the ball.
You must be good at dribbling, passing and handling the ball on reception. (Not only with the legs, but also with other parts of the body, such as the chest and thighs.)
You must have good dribbling.
4. Strive and look for the opportunity to pass. If you can’t pass well, don’t even think about becoming a midfielder (positions CAM, CM, CDM). Midfield, the position where the magic of football works, the position where people show their best passing skills. You must play well on the bottom and on the second floor, give a short pass, which should reach the goal both on the ground and in the air. You have to be the kind of player who can read and analyze the game and run to the exact spot where your teammates are passing the pass.
It is very important that the midfielder creates scoring chances for the team. This is why these players are called “playmakers”.
5. Work on your defensive actions. The central midfielder does more than just attack.You are the engine that leads the team to attack and defense (applies only to CM, CDM positions)
6. You should always keep an eye on the ball and look for an opportunity to shoot on goal. Always consider who is around you and run into the free zone when you are out of the ball.
Learn to see the field well. This will help you move well across the field and create chances for chances. You, as a midfield player, must control the course of the game. This means giving passes to clean up all the balls for partners.
Hit the goal when you can. It’s not the midfielder’s main job, but given that you don’t rush into the box that often, a well-placed shot is always a big plus.
How to Become a Better Midfielder – Other 2021
Playing defense in football requires many skills, but no defensive position requires more all-round ability than a midfielder.The defensive line players must hurry up the pass and stop running. Defensive backs should cover receivers and do tackle. Midfielders must do both. They equip the defense with their ability to disrupt the offensive play plan.
Aggression and Defense
Do the best you can. Aggression should be part of a midfielder’s makeup, and it should come into play when you have the opportunity to make a decision. You must reset the blockers that are trying to stop you or hinder you.When you pick up the ball carrier, the key should go down, wrap both hands around it and lower it down.
Cover running backs and tight ends overlooking the passing patterns. Defensive backs are likely to be filled with arms wrap around the opponent’s wide receivers. However, running backs and tight ends have speed, athleticism, and gaining skills. You should be able to cover them without any penalty. Stay with receivers, shoot down passes, and tackle to keep the passing trap from unnecessary rage.
Throw the quarterback on a blitz when this game is called. One of the keys to successful protection is unpredictability. The defense does not rush to the same four defenders in every game. They will bring in another midfielder to stop the enemy offensive or trigger a coup. A midfielder who can do all of his duties needs to know how to go down in order to get past the blocker and reach the defender.
The force fiddles with receivers or runners from behind who carry the ball freely.A good midfielder needs to feel the weaknesses of the opponent and exploit them. Punish the ball holder with hard shots and knock the ball out of his hands when you get the chance.
How a midfielder should play. Football for beginners with 3D illustrations
How a midfielder should play
As you know, defenders should act closer to their goal, and attackers – closer to the opponent’s goal. Therefore, during the match, the lines of defense and attack are at a fairly large distance from each other, and therefore there is a problem of ensuring uninterrupted communication between them.The solution to this problem is entrusted to the players of the middle line of the field, that is, the midfielders (Fig. 6.10).
Fig. 6.10. David Beckham is one of the most famous midfielders
Many experts point out that in modern football the midfielder is the brain center of the team. He participates not only in defensive actions, but also in the offensive, mainly in the role of the organizer of the attack. Therefore, a good midfielder must be able to attack and defend. Currently, different tactical schemes involve the use of a different number of midfielders, most often three or four.
Since the midfielder acts mainly in the middle of the field, he has the opportunity to meet an opponent rushing to the goal far from his own penalty area. In this role, midfielders are the front line of defense. At the same time, it is in the middle of the field that most attacks originate, and the effectiveness of the team largely depends on how competently the midfielder is able to distribute balls, give the first pass and generally organize an attack.
Midfielders, like defenders, are divided into extreme (flank) and central ones.The actions of the midfielders on the field are largely determined by the coaching task for the game: one is instructed to take under the personal care of one of the opposing players, the other is to deal more with defensive functions, the third is to organize attacks and at the same time do not forget about defense, etc. The central midfielder, who is entrusted with the functions of both the defensive player and the organizer of attacks, that is, through whom the entire team play is built, is called the central defensive midfielder. In Soviet football, one of the best central defensive midfielders was the famous player of the USSR national team, Dynamo Minsk and Juventus Turin, Sergei Aleinikov, and the equally famous Moscow Spartak player Yuri Gavrilov.
When conducting defense, midfielders, like defenders, can act on the principle of personal or zone guardianship. In the first case, the midfielder takes over the opposing player who acts in the same place as he (for example, the right wing midfielder plays against the left wing midfielder of the opposing team, etc.). I would like to note that during the match you can deviate from the principle of personal guardianship and, as the players say, “play the zone”: this is determined by the specifics of the current situation on the pitch.
When playing in defense, a midfielder should be guided by the following principle: the closer the game goes to his goal, the harder and stricter it is to play against the opponent. In this case, the midfielder should either be as close to his player as possible (in most cases), or, acting in a different place (for example, while insuring partners), not lose sight of the opponent. If the team goes on the attack, the first task of the midfielder is to open up and take a position that will allow him to conduct active offensive actions.
Sometimes there are situations when the opponent has fewer midfielders on the field than his team. In such cases, coaches, as a rule, release one midfielder from defensive actions, instructing him to play in the attack (fig. 6.11). In fact, the team gets one more attacker (he can act in the place of the drawn attacker).
Fig. 6.11. Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard manages both defensively and offensively
One of the main principles of the midfielder when the team goes into the attack is timeliness.Let me remind you once again: it is the players of the middle line that in most cases act as the organizer of the attacks. As soon as one of the midfielders has received the ball (especially if it is the central defensive midfielder, through which the whole team’s play is built), the players of the attack line are instantly activated and take those positions on the field that, in their opinion, will be the most dangerous for the opponent and, respectively, promising for the development of the attack. But the players of the opposing team’s defense are not sleeping either: they will strive to “cover” the opponent’s attackers as quickly as possible.Therefore, one of the key roles in organizing offensive actions is played by the midfielder’s ability to make the right pass to his partner (striker or midfielder) in time. If at some point several partners have opened up to receive the ball at once, the midfielder must unmistakably choose the one that is in the best position to continue the attack.
If it is not possible to sharpen the game with the help of a pass to a partner, then the midfielder must immediately make a different decision: go some distance with the ball, make a canopy into the penalty area, strike from a distance on goal, etc.
As noted earlier, the number of midfielders in a particular match depends on the tactics of the team. Usually there are two, three or four midfielders on the pitch.
If the tactics of the team provide for the presence of two midfielders, then, in addition to maintaining the connection between the players of the defense and attack lines, they must neutralize first of all the flanking midfielders of the opposing team. At the same time, both defensive and offensive functions are assigned to them equally.If the ball is in the possession of an opponent, the midfielder must take such a place on the field to intercept a possible pass directed towards the player’s “ward” (usually not far from him). When the team goes to the attack, the midfielder must find and take a free space on the field as soon as possible, and if he receives the ball, either quickly pass it to a partner in an advantageous position, or shoot on goal. Sometimes you can try to break through on your own closer to the opponent’s goal, but remember that the loss of the ball by a mid-line player (as well as a defender) can lead to an immediate deployment of a counterattack on his own goal (such swift counterattacks in football slang are often called “turnovers”).
In most cases, teams enter the field with three midfielders: two flanks and one center. However, there are exceptions. For example, Juventus Turin at one time (at the very beginning of the 1990s) played with three central midfielders at once and absolutely no extreme midfielders, constructing the game only in the center of the field. If the team intends to play in an attacking style, then the central midfielder, as a rule, pays more attention to participating in the offensive action. He is a key figure in the team, therefore he must have high technique, endurance, the ability to quickly make the only correct decisions, as well as a strong and accurate strike.
If the team acts “on defense”, then the central midfielder is assigned mainly defensive functions. In fact, he acts as a pushed forward additional center-back.If a team has four midfielders, then two of them are on the flanks, and two more – in the center of the field. In this case, one of the central midfielders acts as an organizer of attacking actions, and the second can be promoted either to the position “under the attackers” or closer to the defense line (depending on the tactics chosen for the game).
This text is an introductory fragment.Continuation for liters
The best defensive midfielder for Manchester United »MANCHESTER UNITED in Russia and the CIS – Russian-language fan site
The main transfer goal of the Devils for this summer should be the defensive midfielder.The team now needs a player for this position more than for any other.
Of course, United have a hard time creating chances and ending them this season. In addition, we periodically observe various shoals and in defense. However, if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to build a powerful team that will play fast attacking football and press high, he simply needs a high-quality breakwater that will be a reliable wall for his defenders and can disperse attacks from the depths.A true defensive midfielder.
Let’s be honest – now the team has enough players in the center of defense and in the position of the center forward, and even on the right flank of the attack. You can argue about their quality for a long time, but there are still frames. If United do not strengthen these positions in the summer, then the current roster will still be enough to get into the Champions League at the end of next season. But if we want the team to have such a player who can single-handedly bring the extra 8-9 points, then United are simply obliged to buy the defensive player.The team needs a classic six.
Who could it be? Let’s figure it out.
When writing this article, we proceeded from the fact that Solskjaer in the next season will play mainly in a 4-2-3-1 scheme, where Bruno will still play the role of a playmaker. Yes, the Norwegian has experimented with both 4-4-2 with a rhombus in the center, as well as with formations 3-5-2 and 5-3-2, but the list of today’s nominees is based on a formation with two players in the holding zone.
We took into account another important aspect – with whom exactly from the current midfielders of the team this or that player from today’s list will play in a pair. This is the hardest part: the set of necessary qualities for our potential newcomer depends on whether he will be paired with Paul Pogba (whose future at the club is still unclear), Scott McTominay, Fred, Donnie Van de Beck, or even with Nemanja Matic.
We, in turn, will make every effort to explain who is best for whom.It is worth saying that the key aspects in the game of this or that player will be evaluated today on a scale from 0 to 99 points (like in Fife, yeah).
So, we got 11 players, which we divided into 5 categories.
Category 1. Gold Standard
This list includes those midfielders who would ideally fit into the starting lineup of Manchester United, regardless of the personality of their partner in midfield.
The Nigerian is undisputedly the Premier League’s best defensive midfielder outside of the Big Six.Although this season Leicester is more than worthy to be on this list. Or you need to expand it to seven teams and give a new name – “The Magnificent Seven”. And the main reason for this is Wilfred Ndidi. Yes, he is so good.
The 24-year-old defensive midfielder, first of all, is engaged in the fact that does not allow the opponent to play – he has incredible indicators of tackles (score of 99 points for thwarted attacks of the enemy) and interceptions (the skill of returning possession was rated at 73 points). On the graph above, there are red zones.
Brendan Rogers bases the lion’s share of his offensive ideas on the game of Wilfred. This season, Ndidi makes an average of 11.3 clean tackles per match, that is, the number of successful tackles, fouls and unsuccessful attempts per 1000 touches of an opponent is taken into account. This is the highest figure among all the Premier League midfielders. Wilfred is a very mobile and tireless midfielder who is able to extinguish the opponent’s attacks in the bud.
Ndidi is not the most talented passer, but his defensive skills make up for it. Rogers has used several formations this season, and most often Ndidi has played with Uri Tielemans. The Nigerian destroys and the Belgian creates. A similar tandem can be easily replicated at United, where Ndidi will untie the hands of Pogba and Van de Beck, while McTominay and Fred will go forward bolder.
Leicester’s downturn following the resumption of the league last season was largely due to Ndidi’s injury. He is able to successfully perform in the support zone both in pairs and alone.To quote Ian Wright, United should not only acquire Ndidi, but also his potential replacement at Leicester and the scouts who were the first to find the Nigerian. ” He’s so good.
The Englishman is now one of the fastest growing players in the Premier League, and his tandem with Thomas Soucek has laid the foundation for West Ham’s quality rise this season. Replacing Mark Noble in the Hammer’s midfield, Rice was able to open up new facets of his game and became a well-rounded midfielder.
Declan also made great gains in such components as pressing and counterpressing the opponent. Its intensity during defense reaches a quite good – 69 points – level, while its contribution to defensive actions is estimated at only 50.
It is worth remembering, however, that Rice is paired with Soucek in the holding area, and defensive duties are equally divided between them. The game of the Englishman in the selection of the ball and the skill of riding martial arts show an assessment of 91 points.This makes Rice a very unpleasant one-on-one opponent.
Rice propels the ball excellently – a solid 89 points in dribbling and possession, as well as 70 points in the ability to keep the ball. Such indicators indicate that Rice will very rarely lose the ball when playing from free kick to free kick.
The 22-year-old defensive midfielder is also very good at joining the attack with a second pace, he runs great into the opponent’s penalty area, and Declan also has a very good long-range shot, which he does not hesitate to use periodically. Moyes is playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, which means it will be easy for Rice to get comfortable with Solskjaer’s football. He will be able to make a great pair for Pogba or Van de Beck, becoming an improved version of McTominay.
For Fred, he can also be an excellent partner, and if you put Declan next to Scott, then this pair will be very similar to what West Ham already has. Thanks to the Englishman’s excellent passing culture, the Rice-McTominay link will allow Fernandes to rest and put Van de Beck in the top ten.
Declan Rice is one of the toughest men in the Premier League. In the 19/20 season, he played all league games without substitutions and is likely to repeat this figure this season, if injuries do not interfere.
Following the recent England vs. Albania match, the midfielder has reached 3000 minutes played for the club and the national team. In addition, Rice can play as a center-back (largely because of this he wanted to see Lampard). So Declan, 22, is quite capable of giving United much of what Michael Carrick has given the team for ten years.
Category 2. Young talents
In this group we have placed those players who, most likely, will spend most of their careers under the sign of interest from Manchester United and clubs of similar size and status. With the right coach, each of these guys could eventually become the mainstay of United’s dreams. Whether this coach will be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is up to you.
He is 18 years old, one of the most promising footballers in the world, and he is praised in almost the same words that Paul Pogba was praised several years ago.Not to say that Kamaving is the second incarnation of Pogba (even if they are both French and both are rather tall lanky guys), but they compare them primarily in their ability to play cool in the supporting zone. Although it is worth admitting that one and the other show their best qualities at a higher position.
Kamavinga was simply in breathtaking shape at the beginning of this season (September and October), and also scored a goal in a friendly match with Ukraine, thus becoming the youngest (17 years and 29 days) scorer in the Tricolor team in the last 100 years. However, after a minor injury at the end of October, the teen began to recession and after Christmas he did not look like himself.
During the last international break, Kamaving was not playing for the senior team, but for the youth (U-21) team. The young Frenchman is still clearly damp, although incredibly talented. For example, 28-year-old Pogba can propel the ball forward with both dribbling and long-range passes. Kamaving, in turn, with long-range gears is still on the “you”, but, of course, it will grow in this regard.
His agent Jonathan Barnett believes that Eduardo is quite capable of playing in the Premier League next season and his best position is a box-to-box midfielder in a 4-3-3 formation (we often heard this about one Frenchman from United “, Yes?).
Kamaving is unlikely to go to the upcoming Euro, it is more likely that Deschamps will start attracting him to the selection for the next major national team tournament. He is left-handed, which will also provide new opportunities for positional play. By analogy with Matic, who, in his best shape, is very helpful in the build-up, being located above Maguire.
Definitely, Kamavinga should be watched this summer. If one day he does become a United player, then another candidate on today’s roster would be more suitable for him than any of Solskjaer’s current players.
The young midfielder of Ajax Amsterdam (hello Donnie) looks like a very promising guy. Likewise with Kamaving, Gravenberch’s best position is most likely a left center midfielder in a 4-3-3 formation (again, as with Pogba) who dribbles the ball forward.He does not perform many defensive actions (38 points in terms of interrupting enemy attacks and 62 points in terms of intensity in defense), but when he decides to enter the fight, he does it quite skillfully.
Ryan’s contribution to the defensive actions of the team is estimated at a solid 78 points. Like other Ajax-to-United players like Daily Blind and Donnie Van de Beck, Gravenberch rarely plays a player, often cleverly closing space, allowing him to drive opponents into safer areas and avoid unnecessary fouls.
Gravenberch is currently stronger than Kamawinga in terms of passing and decision making, but weaker in promoting the ball and dribbling. Like Van de Beck, he can play as a defensive player in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but he definitely needs a partner who will be primarily busy with tackles and interceptions.
Also worth mentioning is the agent of the 18-year-old defensive midfielder – Mino Raiola. Do whatever you want with this information.
Category 3. Robbers
Now we are talking about pure destroyers who know how to hold position while staying at the bottom of the midfield.In every team of the “big six” (or claiming this title) there is such a person in the cage. Most clubs in Europe that have high pressure have a player in their squad who covers the free zones from the opponent’s penalty area to the middle of the field. He returns the ball and passes it to the nearest team-mate, who will already come up with something interesting.
Yes, the guys in this category are not the brightest players in their squads, but they don’t need it. In the shadow of their more creative teammates, they continue to be indispensable elements in their teams.
Those who followed the Spanish championship will not let them lie, Renato is a real chain dog that negates any attempts of opponents to carry out attacks through the central zone. Tapia performs a huge number of defensive actions – 98 points in terms of destroying other people’s attacks and 86 points on the intensity scale when defending his own goal. It is worth noting that in 26 matches played in this La Liga draw, Celta’s Peruvian midfielder from Vigo has already collected 11 yellow cards.
However, there is a nuance. Despite the fact that Tapia skillfully burns out the center of the field (his indicator in tackles is estimated at a whopping 98 points, which makes the Peruvian one of the best on this list by this criterion), this does not give his team an advantage in possession of the ball. Renato’s tackles are quite chaotic, and this is clearly shown by the scale of contribution to defensive actions – 21 points. In simple words, Tapia takes the ball a lot and successfully, but after that he rarely leaves it to the team.
Tapia enters a single combat, takes the ball, and then passes it to a more creative partner.This is his task on the field. For United, this will not be a problem only if Renato is paired with a tough passer (for example, Pogba). Tapia is bad at vertical cutting passes and against teams that will sit deep (conventionally “Crystal Palace”) he will be of little use. Especially when paired with Fred or McTominay.
Tapia is only 25 years old, has the potential to grow and if Solskjaer can surround him with cool playmakers it might work.It is worth noting that Tapia is currently playing a single defensive player at Celta in a 4-1-3-2 formation.
If Rice can be called an improved version of McTominay, then Tapia is an improved Fred. Strong and tenacious, but sometimes a little wobbly with the ball at his feet.
Red Bull Salzburg’s Opornik can also be called an improved version of Fred (at least if you look at the graph).
The Austrian championship is very different in style and speed from the English one (Takumi Minamino is an example of this), but Kamara shows itself very well for a football player of a team that has an energy drink brand in its name.He is always on the move, always busy with something and tries to be wherever possible.
Mohamed is only 21 years old and only recently started playing for the Mali senior national team. At the club, Kamara plays as the second defensive player in a 4-2-2-2 formation. His missions are to apply high pressure, block off passes, and quickly propel the ball forward upon regaining possession.
Most of Kamara is busy with defensive actions without the ball. He has low selection rates (26 points out of 99) and horse martial arts (a paltry 5 points), but this rather indicates the weakness of the Austrian Bundesliga. Most likely, Kamara will continue to progress and improve his skills at Leipzig before going to conquer the elite English division.
However, the conquest of England could be a little delayed, as Camara is currently serving a three-month suspension for an anti-doping rule violation along with teammate and national team Sekou Coita.
“In its verdict, UEFA ruled that there was no intentional anti-doping rule violation in this case, but these rules stipulate that each player is personally responsible for the ingestion of prohibited substances, which happened to Camara and Koit during their games for Mali. “- said in the February statement of” Salzburg “.It also mentions that prohibited substances may have entered the players’ bodies through altitude sickness medications.
Category 4. Passers and depth playmakers
If a player of this type ever wears a Manchester United jersey, the hopes of all the club’s fans will be that this man will repeat the success of Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes. These players are valued not so much for their ability to tackle and intercept, but for their ability to propel the ball forward through cutting vertical passes from the depths.Good reading of the game and positioning are important skills for them. These qualities are useful not only in positional attacks, where they can competently manage them, but also when going on the defensive. If you timing correctly and move forward 4-5 meters to intercept the ball or press the opponent, you will not need to run headlong 30 meters back behind the opposing team’s forwards.
Paul Pogba can play effectively with such a partner, but he will also have to take on some of the defensive functions.
If you put such a player in a pair with Fred or McTominay, each of whom can do the lion’s share of defensive work, then Van de Beck can be safely placed over such a pair. Our recommendation: if you put the Dutchman as the second defensive player, then only in pair with the steep destroyer.
The Sassuolo midfielder is quite an interesting character. He is comprehensively developed, good at stealing, moving the ball, a good passer and skillfully delivering the ball to the final third of the field.Players moving into the English championship from Serie A take time to adapt, but Locatelli is only 23 years old and still has many years of career ahead of him.
Manuel has a good record in destruction, defensive intensity and also in regaining possession. This shows that he has a good understanding of the game and enough energy to be a first-class defensive player and make so-called pre-goal (key) passes.
Locatelli is still little involved in the defensive actions of the team, but he has good technique and excellent vision of the field, so this disadvantage can be corrected by hard work in the gym.
The Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder has attracted attention with his outstanding performance in the Bundesliga and Champions League this season. The German team plays the standard 4-2-3-1, and Zakaria is positioned in the center of the field with one of the two defenders. He propels the ball superbly (99 points out of 99 in dribbling and dribbling) and, moreover, is very good at holding it. Zakaria often pulls on the opponent’s players, opening up areas for partners.
As an example, remember Fred’s excellent second-half performance against Milan in the Europa League.While Pogba collected several opponents on himself, the Brazilian had more room to play in passing and sharpening.
Oddly enough, Zakaria is not very good at physics. The performance on the second floor reached only 35 points (standard provisions are not taken into account here), plus Denis played only 38% of Borussia’s league games this season due to knee problems. Zakaria’s performance on the field has been steadily declining throughout the season, however, this is what the rest of the team is guilty of.Perhaps the premature announcement about the departure of the head coach this summer affected. But it is also worth noting that Zakaria sometimes does not play very confidently, which makes it easier for his opponents.
With the right coach, a Swiss midfielder can become one of the best defensive midfielders in European football and add intensity to both defense and attack. However, at the moment, Zakaria is more of a cog in Gladbach’s well-oiled mechanism than a tough individualist on whom the team’s play depends heavily.
Bonus. Non-obvious options
The next three players are a small reward for those who have read the article up to this point. Thank you for not closing it yet. We will try not to disappoint. Briefly and to the point.
He is 21 years old and plays for the French Lens and the Mali national team. He is an all-rounder capable of growing into an excellent midfielder as well as a tough box-to-box midfielder. He made his senior national debut at the age of 19 and has a good chance of making a big break in the next Africa Cup of Nations.
He is sometimes mistakenly called a striker, but don’t let that fool you. According to the authoritative portal Transfermarkt, Dukure is a defensive midfielder. Here are his stats:
25-year-old Cameroonian plays for Fulham. On the field, he is located in the support zone, paired with Harrison Reed, who can be called a “robber” (see above). This tandem can become a key one in the struggle of “summer residents” to maintain their registration in the Premier League.Angissa is similar to Zakaria in ball advancement and control, but surpasses the Swiss in defensive skills.
Even if Fulham are eliminated from the Premier League this season, André-Frank is good enough to stay in the elite English division, but in a stronger team. He’s like that, you know, Pogba at the minimum wages. We don’t see him paired with the Frenchman, he can rather be seen as a less expensive replacement for Paul.
And the last player on today’s roster is Sheffield United defensive midfielder Sander Berge.The turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down Berge’s adaptation to the Premier League, but if we talk about him in general, the Norwegian is a tall (195 cm) and overall (96 kg) midfielder with excellent skills in selecting, promoting and retaining the ball. and also great for positional attack. If used correctly, Berge has the potential to rise to peak Matic levels. Moreover, Sander is only 23 years old, there is time for progress.
He connects well to attacks with a second pace, entering the penalty area, and also knows how to create at a decent level.In addition, it is very difficult for Berge to go one-on-one, despite the fact that he is far from the fastest and sharpest footballer. Martial arts is its definite plus. A solid option in a squad with the potential to become an iron mainstay player in the future.
Epilogue from the translator
In conclusion, I would like to note another non-obvious option – James Garner. The pupil of the club and the former captain of the youth teams of “United” is already fully learning the delights of adult football in the Championship, showing there a game that is very mature for his age (20 years).James is slowly but surely gaining vital experience and falling in love with Nottingham Forest fans.
Garner is good at directing the game from depth, propelling the ball forward with solid long-range passes. Anyway, with the culture of the pass, the young Englishman is doing great. Also, among the advantages of Garner, I would like to note his interception skills, great involvement in the defensive actions of the team (James often returns to his own penalty area and clears the ball) and surprisingly cool ability to connect to attacks at a second pace, rushing into the opponent’s penalty area.
Garner’s hit is great, too. James has scored many beautiful long-range goals for United’s youth team and has scored a number of goals at Nottingham. Including James scored the winning goal against Cardiff in a recent league game. By the way, after the proprietary connection to the penalty area and a touchdown strike.
Yes, Garner is showing all this at the Championship level, but he just turned 20 a little over a month ago, and this is just his first season in adult football.The guy has everything ahead. In terms of his playing qualities, he strongly resembles Michael Carrick, only more active and speedy. Garner has the potential to reach or even surpass Carrick’s peak. Moreover, when James returns to United, Michael himself will be able to pay close attention to the guy, teaching everything he knows himself.
Let’s not think ahead, but Garner has the potential to grow into an elite level player. Let’s hope this happens. With the right coach, it’s quite possible.But whether the “devils” have such a thing now, everyone will decide for himself.
What should be a world-class defensive midfielder?
Defensive midfielders are often referred to as those who carry the grand piano around the football field. Their play is not distinguished by beauty and showiness, and commentators do not often pronounce the names of the defenders with an intonation of admiration.
We can say that the holding midfielders are not very lucky in terms of the attitude of the fans – they are loved least of all, although the players of this role perform almost more work on the field than the players in other positions.We very often admire those who are not responsible for creation, creativity, dangerous moments and goals scored, while the play of the defensive midfielders is often out of our attention.
Modern football is such that having a player in the center of midfield who has both defensive and attacking skills is a definite advantage over opponents who do not have such a player. It is worth noting that there are not very many such players, which is why two central midfielders often appear on the field in the team, one of whom is aimed at destroying the opponent’s attacks, and the second is responsible for creating the attacks of his team.
There are three main criteria that a defensive midfielder must meet to claim to be the best in his role:
- Continuous tracking of the movement of players in the opponent’s attack group;
- Search for such a position on the football field that would allow timely blocking of potential penetrating passes on the opposing team’s attackers;
- Ability to personally patronize opponents if the coach needs it.
At the same time, during the attacks of his team, the defensive midfielder must:
- Position yourself in such a position that the wing midfielders and forwards can pass him;
- Insure your full-backs who take part in the attacking actions of the team.
Of course, these are not all of the tasks that defensive midfielders must perform on the pitch. The defensive midfielder’s functions are also largely determined by the chosen form of play and the team’s playing style. So, for example, in order to maintain an acceptable score, the coach may ask the holding midfielder to act only on the defensive. Conversely, if the team needs to move forward and attack more, the defensive midfielder can get an attitude towards attacking play and help the attackers.90,000 From garbage collector to the best defensive midfielder of today. History of N’Golo Kante Football
On Saturday, the Champions League final took place, Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0. The best player of the match was the French midfielder N’Golo Kante.
A modest smiling midfielder with a height of 1.68 and not particularly athletic build is considered one of the contenders for the Golden Ball at the end of the year.It’s time to tell the story of his life and sports career.
N’Golo Kante was born on March 29, 1991 to a poor family of migrants from Mali. His entire childhood was spent in the eastern suburbs of Paris, where he was engaged in garbage collection – more precisely, in the search for something that could be sold for at least some money. He wound kilometers around the area, alone or with his father and brother. As Kante himself recalls, the summer of 1998, when the World Cup was held in France, was especially successful for him.In places of mass gathering of fans, it was possible to collect a lot of different waste that could be handed over to recycling points. But besides the opportunity to make money, that tournament impressed 7-year-old Kante with football itself, especially with the performance of the national team. The young garbage collector saw how Zidane, Vieira, Thuram, Henri and other descendants of African migrants won the first world championship for France in its history. Like many French children that summer, N’Golo had a dream of becoming a football player and a year later began playing for the children’s team of the Suresnes amateur club.
His former team-mate recalls: “The first time he came on as a substitute was at the end of the match. He was 3 years younger than everyone else and much shorter than everyone else, but in those 10 minutes no one was able to pass it. After the game, we really respect this kid. ”
The coaches of that team were impressed by Kante’s efficiency and character: “He ran without stopping and managed everywhere. And he did exactly what he was told. I once joked that in a month he had to learn how to hit the ball 50 times with his left foot, 50 times with his right and 50 times with his head.How amazed I was when, a month later, he actually did it. But the most amazing thing is that he was never angry. No one has ever seen him angry, even after numerous fouls during games. ”
N’Golo’s father died when he was 11. N’Golo had to work even harder, he helped his mother, was a street vendor, but did not stop playing football. At the age of 19, he was recommended by his coach to Boulogne, a club in the third division. Kante was taken to the second team and first released on the field in May 2012.In the 2012/13 season, he played for the main squad in almost all league matches. They paid attention to the short, but extremely uncompromising midfielder. Already in the summer he moved to Kan, playing in the second division. Everything that followed is history.
N’Golo Kante played in all 38 games of the 2013/14 season and secured a ticket to Ligue 1, the top French division with Kahn. In the 2014/15 season, he played in all but one game and helped Kan maintain their place in the Major Leagues.Player statistics at this level are publicly available and we know that Kante returned the ball to his team that season more often than anyone else in the top European championships.
Of course, this could not go unnoticed by the football scouts, but Steve Walsh, who was then working at Leicester in England, saw the player’s talent before anyone else. It was Walsh who convinced Claudio Ranieri that the team needed to sign the young Frenchman. Previously, Steve Walsh brought Jamie Vardy, Riyad Marez and other upcoming heroes to Leicester for the 2015/16 season.(Later, Walsh worked at Everton, where he recommended taking Harry Maguire, Andy Robertson and teenager Erling Holland. He now works at the American club Charlotte, which will start playing in the MLS in 2022. Remember the name of this team, because now it collects Steve Walsh).
August 3, 2015 Kante signed a four-year contract with Leicester, 8 million euros were paid for his transfer from Caen. The team’s fairytale history has been described many times that season; Leicester took the top spot in the table after the 13th round, stalled slightly during the Christmas period, but returned to first place on January 16 and did not give it to anyone.
In 37 league games, Kante made 175 tackles (31 more than any other player), 157 steals (15 more than anyone else) and was included in the symbolic team of the tournament. In terms of the number of kickbacks for his team, Kante became the best in the European top championships for the second season in a row. In April 2016, Sir Alex Ferguson named him the Premier League Footballer of the Year.
Earlier, in March 2016, Kante was called up to the French national team for the first time.The debut in the starting lineup of the national team took place on the day of his 25th birthday, Kante celebrated this memorable day with a goal. France played a friendly match with Russia, and Igor Akinfeev went down in history as the goalkeeper, into whose goal Kante scored his first goal for the national team.
In the opening game of Euro 2016 against Romania, N’Golo Kante spent 90 minutes on the field, made the most tackles, interceptions and passes, ran the longest distance among all the players of both teams, and also gave an assist to Dimitri Payet.France then reached the final, but for some reason Kante was not included in the final match, and the French became only silver medalists (looking ahead, let’s say that in two years at the 2018 World Cup Didier Deschamps will not allow such an oversight).
In the summer of 2016, Chelsea paid Leicester € 36 million and N’Golo Kante moved to London. Arsenal also claimed the player, and it seemed that the connoisseur of French talent Arsene Wenger would win the fight for the midfielder, but in the end the Gunners preferred to buy the Swiss Granita Jacu for € 45 million.The transfers of that summer generally seem crazy now – for example, the same Chelsea gave € 39 million for Misha Batshuayi and € 35 million for David Louise; Manchester United bought Paul Pogba (for € 100 million), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (€ 42 million) and Eric Bailly (€ 38 million), while Juventus spent € 90 million on Gonzalo Higuain.
However, the past can always be assessed only at a distance, and the main thing is that Chelsea was not mistaken with the key decisions – at the same time with Kante, Italian coach Antonio Conte came to the team.A year later, as the winner of the Premier League, he will say: “N’Golo Kante is an extraordinary footballer. This is not only the highest quality, but sometimes it seems like the quantity. He plays for two. ”
Kante was named the best player of the season according to the versions of football players, journalists and the Football Association; he also became the second player after Eric Cantona to re-win the Premier League right after moving to another club (Cantona became champion in 1992 with Leeds and in 1993 with Manchester United).
True, as happens with Antonio Conte, he left the club immediately after the triumph, and was replaced by Maurizio Sarri, the third Italian coach in N’Golo Kante’s career. Sarri brought with him from Napoli his favorite footballer Jorginho, who played just in the position of the Frenchman. However, Kante still played 34 Premier League games and was voted Man of the Match in the FA Cup final against Manchester United (1-0). But his role on the field has changed a little – he began to play more on the flank, and also to act more in front.But even in the role of a “box-to-box” midfielder (that is, acting across the entire middle of the field, from his own to someone else’s penalty area), Kante did not at all reduce the quality of his game; on the contrary, he has become an even more versatile footballer.
World Cup 2018
N’Golo Kante played in all seven matches of the national team at the World Cup in Russia. He was recognized as the best player of the match in the game with the Danes (0: 0), played an important role in neutralizing Lionel Messi in the 1/8 finals game with Argentina, and had an outstanding final against Croatia.
Photo: Getty Images
At the ceremony of awarding the French World Cup, the whole planet watched the amazing footage: the whole team gathered around Kante and sang in chorus a song that appeared during the tournament – to the tune of “Les Champs Elysees” by Joe Dassin, only with the words: “He returns the ball, he passes the passes, oh N’Golo Kante! It cannot be stopped; he is small, but so brave, and he ate Leo Messi, oh N’Golo Kante! ” The army of French fans sang along with this soulful song in the stands, and the hero of the World Cup himself only stood surrounded by partners and smiled embarrassedly.Due to his amazing modesty, Kante did not even jump and did not take pictures with the World Cup – until the players almost forcefully shoved the trophy into him so that he would wave it over his head.
“How does it feel to hold the World Cup in your hands, how did you feel?” – the journalists asked him later. Kante responded in his disarmingly humble style: “Well, the cup is pretty heavy. And very so … radiant. ”
Photo: Getty Images
Champions League win
In November 2018, the Frenchman signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea, and at the end of the 2018/19 season celebrated the victory in the Europa League with the team.The following season he was plagued by injuries, but he still played 22 games in the Premier League. He was lured into the winter transfer window with a giant contract at PSG, offering to return to his hometown. But Kante refused, explaining his decision in simple words: “Sometimes we do not know what to do next. But we know what we have now. I like it in my current club. And I believe that there is success ahead of us. ”
Kante was right, it was really just a year and a half before the outstanding success.But before that, a lot happened: Frank Lampard was appointed and then fired to the post of head coach; in January the team was led by Thomas Tuchel. The German is considered one of the best coaches in the world, which he confirmed at the London club – not least by returning Kante to the position of one of the two defensive midfielders. Moreover, in his first five matches at the helm of Chelsea, Tuchel relied on the central axis in the composition of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, but soon admitted a mistake and returned to N’Golo Kante.
The Frenchman did not play in the first leg of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League against Atlético, but played in the return leg. As a result – a prize for the best player and the words of the head coach of Chelsea: “When on the Kante field, we have like one more player, he is a unique midfielder. It is happiness to be his coach, but the combination of his humility in life and his enormous contribution on the football field is especially striking. ”
In late April and early May, Kante was named the best player in both Champions League semi-finals against Real Madrid.His midfield performance was so dominant that a meme appeared on the internet comparing the midfielders of the great football teams: Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets; Casemiro-Modric-Kroos; N’Golo Kante. We also remembered another picture that appeared even earlier: 70% of the Earth is covered with water, the remaining 30% are covered by N’Golo Kante. At the same time, in the matches with Real Madrid, the Frenchman was not only excellent in destruction, but also extremely effective in moving the ball forward. In the Madrid game, he has 6 successful dribbles – more than Christian Pulisic.In the London match, he made 5 interceptions and gave 3 key passes, two of which led to goals scored.
“I am much more comfortable in the formation of two central midfielders,” admitted Kante himself after these matches. “I played like that at Leicester, I play like that for the French national team. It’s better for me and for the team – Jorginho stays behind when I move forward, or I stay behind when Jorginho walks forward. ”
Likewise, Chelsea’s midfield dominated the final against Manchester City; N’Golo Kante was again named the best player of the match.At the Champions Cup ceremony, the Frenchman was again in his style: all the players on the way to the festive stage kissed perhaps the main trophy in the career of any football player, and the Frenchman stopped at the Cup only for a second, timidly patted him and calmly went on. But along with coach Thomas Tuchel, the players tossed N’Golo Kante into the air.
An amazing person
In addition to his unique playing qualities, Kante is distinguished from all others by his strikingly modest nature.Here are just a few stories.
After moving to Leicester, the Frenchman went to training on a scooter or just jogged with a backpack on his back. The players advised him to buy a car for a long time, and once Jamie Vardy convinced Kante to “do the same as everyone else” – that is, come to the base by car. N’Golo was persuaded and bought a used Mini Cooper S. After moving to Chelsea, he moved to London in the same car and continues to drive it to this day.
One day, on his way to a League Cup match against Arsenal, Kante drove into a truck; the car’s left mirror and the arch over the front wheel fell off.The Frenchman was not at all embarrassed, he quickly settled the formalities with the truck driver, attached the mirror to the tape and managed to come to the game. After that, he continued to drive for a rather long time in a rumpled car with a hastily glued mirror.
The move to Chelsea is also significant in another story that was reported by Football Leaks. The management suggested that Kante save on taxes and issue a standard offshore scheme for the club. The player had to pay 10% of the salary of the law firm, and in return receive all his money from the offshore.According to the calculations of lawyers, this would allow Kante to save up to 800 thousand pounds a year. After some thought, the Frenchman refused: “Just pay me money as usual, directly from the club.” According to the lawyer, the player was embarrassed by a workaround, as well as publications about tax problems with some other European stars.
In Leicester, Kant used the same hairdresser. They became friends, and after moving to London, the Chelsea player paid his buddy 160 kilometers to keep coming to cut him.Soon the hairdresser did it easier – he packed his things and moved with his whole family to London, closer to his beloved client.
Kante is generally surprisingly easy to communicate with everyone, without exception. One day he missed the train after a match in Cardiff; told the team that he would come the next day, and he himself googled and found the nearest mosque. There he got into conversation with another visitor, an Arsenal fan, who, according to Muslim tradition, invited him to visit. Instead of a polite refusal, the Frenchman calmly accepted the invitation, dined with new friends, and then played with them on the console in FIFA.
Kante’s teammate in Kan recalled that he once invited him to his birthday. N’Golo came and embarrassedly handed the birthday boy a box of chocolates, admitting that he simply did not know what was given in such cases: “I have never been invited to birthdays before.”
Coming to Paris, Kante always meets old friends, teammates and coaches. They play football on the street, and it invariably turns into a holiday for all the local kids – everyone puts on the T-shirts of the clubs for which the French midfielder played and just kicks the ball.
“He hasn’t changed at all,” says his former coach at the Suren amateur club. “Everyone here, without exception, loves him, he is an incredibly modest and warm person. His brothers are exactly the same. I wonder how they do it. ”
To date, N’Golo Kante has played 194 Premier League games with 10 goals and 12 assists.
During all this time, he made 612 tackles, 470 interceptions and 1503 returns to his team.
Defensive midfielder, “burning out” the entire midfield, Kante committed 253 fouls and received 29 warnings. For 6 years of performances in the Premier League, he has never been removed from the field.
Photo: Getty Images
Kante is currently preparing for the European Championship with the French national team. If the French win at Euro 2020, then the Golden Ball at the end of the year will almost certainly be awarded to the 30-year-old midfielder, who surprisingly attracts the sympathy of everyone, even fans of other English clubs.Perhaps in the history of world football there are only two such players – the legendary Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta and the already legendary Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante.