Soccer Positions Explained
Football is the most beautiful game to watch. It has a lot of fans and I bet you are one of them. Did you know that each of the eleven footballers has a position with different responsibilities?
You are probably familiar with the goalkeeper, defenders, midfielder, and the forwards positions. Each player has a role which is dependent on the position he/she is occupying.
Well, are you curious? Read on and this article will explain in detail what they are and what characteristic are required for each position.
Soccer Position: Goalkeeper
Goalkeepers are often referred to as the last line of defense. They are the only players who are allowed to use their hands in a game. They protect the goal by use of any part of the body. The use of hands is limited to the goalkeeper’s box. If the goalkeeper uses his/her hands outside from the box then it’s deemed as a handball.
Goalkeepers are often ignored by most people and thus very little attention is given to them. Like any other player, they are of importance to the team. The role of a goalkeeper in today’s football has changed a lot. Some of the changes are as follows:
Why Do Goalkeepers Wear Different Jerseys From The Outfield Players?
Yeah, probably you have never asked yourself about this. The reason is simple and you can easily guess. It’s to differentiate them from outfield players. This is so important especially when there are fouls during a set piece. The referee can easily identify a goalkeeper in such a case.
What Are The Main Roles Of A Goalkeeper?
We have previously stated that a goalkeeper is the last line of defense with some more advantages but this is not the end. There are other roles. What are they?
We note a goalkeeper is a very important member of the team that should also be given praise. A good goalkeeper can also earn team points. They are still as vital as any other outfield players.
Soccer Position:The Defense
The work of a defender is very akin to that of a goalie in that they both protect the opposing side from scoring. The defender needs not to dribble but to know when to tackle and have a strong kick to clear the ball away.
Most teams require their defenders to be strong an aggressive. They have specialized in dark art such as pooling the strikers, this explains why most defenders have so many red cards and yellow cards.
Defenders can still score goals. They have recently been used to instigate attacks and score goals. For instance, when teams have set pieces they send their defenders forward. In doing so they are able to take advantages of their aerial prowess.
Various teams have different formations which tend to alter the defense a little bit, for instance, a 3-4-3 formation will have three defenders at the back. While a 4-3-3 or 4-2- 3-1 will have for defenders at the back whose main role is to defend. Without being biased of the defenders for each formation we will discuss all the types of defenders positions.
Their role has not changed but they are involved deeper in defending. Most of the times they are usually around their box. A good center-back must also have a good reading of the game.
They too must be strong and able to win both tackles and aerial duels. That means that defenders must be good at headers. It explains so much why most defenders score headed goals.
Characteristics of a center back
There is no denying that the role of the center-back is the hardest of any team. But if done to perfection it could be very simple. Just read your opponents movements and tackle the ball.
Soccer Position: Sweepers
Sweepers are very common for a formation with three center-backs or two. One of them will normally function as a sweeper. A sweeper is normally positioned between the goalkeeper and the defense.
Their role in football is a joy to watch for a football fan they make the work of defending easier. Though in modern football they have become so rare.
What Are The Roles Of A Sweeper?
The roles of a sweeper are normally easier. They don’t need to tackle anybody unless the defenders have been beaten. Also, they are not involved with any form of marking anybody.
Like most defenders, modern sweepers are also involved in an attack and are required to have a good distribution and control of the ball. They also need a strong shot to clear away the ball.
Characteristic of a good sweeper
Is it obsolete? The use of a sweeper in modern football has been so minimal and it’s not that famous as it was in the past. There are some factors which have caused this. They include:
The role of a sweeper is near obsolete and most teams have given the roles to other players such as goalkeepers and deep-lying midfielders to start attacks from the back.
Soccer Position: Fullbacks
There are two types of full backs the right and left full backs. They are mostly functional for a team that uses four defenders at the back. They have taken the football world by a storm. Their work rate is always higher than most of the players.
This is because they have a higher role. They are required to attack and defend. In fact per match day analysis, fullbacks are always with the highest distance run. It’s a high-intensity position.
Roles Of The Fullbacks
Characteristics of fullback
Soccer Position: Wingbacks
They are fullbacks who are more attacking minded. They are relieved of defensive duties. They are common for a team with a formation with three centre-backs.
Roles Of A Wingback
A wingbacks role is rather like to contribute a little to the defense and a little to the attack. They are like wingers but are not accomplished, wingers. They have good control of the ball. They are also used in throw-ins.
Characteristics Of A Good Wingback
What Differentiates A Wingback From A Fullback?
As you are reading this you might discover that the roles of a wingback are nearly similar to that of a fullback. In fact, in modern football, their functions are nearly equal. The modern football demands a lot from players. So what differentiates the two?
Importance Of Wingbacks
Wingbacks are wingers who have more defensive responsibilities. And are very important to a team in a team. Modern football has attached a lot of importance to defending. In fact, defending starts with the striker. Wingbacks are an additional cover for the defense. Having wingbacks helps to stretch the field and adds value to the attack.
Soccer Position: Midfield
Defense does not end with the center-backs, fullbacks and wingbacks it extends up to the midfielders. The midfield is always referred to as the engine of the team. The midfield players are holding midfielders center midfielders, attacking midfielders and wide midfielders.
Holding midfielders and center midfielders are the ones who are involved with most of the defensive works. Attacking midfielders and wide midfielders contribute mostly to the attack though most are allowed to track back on the time the team is under pressure.
Holding midfielders: Also referred to as defensive midfielders.
Roles Of A Defensive Midfielder
A defensive midfielder will always stay close to the defenders. Their main role is to protect the goal. They also take the positions of fullbacks and wingbacks when they move to the attack.
It’s wise to say that they rarely move to the attack. Otherwise, this is a risky movement it might leave the defense open. They will normally have a low goal tally compared to wingbacks and fullbacks.
Due to defensive midfielders having low awareness about the attack chemistry, it’s easier for a center back to take up the defensive role or a defensive midfielder to take up a center back role if need be. There is no big difference between the two.
Qualities Of A Good Defensive Midfielder
Importance Of Holding Midfielders
Unlike the other midfielder less attention is given to the holding midfielders this is because most people like the attacking minded players. Holding midfielders are therefore very important if a team is to win and keep clean sheets.
A holding midfielder breaks the opposition’s attacks as soon as it starts. This is vital and makes defending easy. Sometimes they have to press high up which requires a lot of effort. For this, they still have to be appreciated for this wonderful work rate.
They are sometimes referred to as box-to-box midfielders. Because they are always at the heart of everything they help out the defense and the attack. In layman’s terms, they are always in each box wherever the ball is.
Roles Of A Central Midfielder
Through their energy in moving high up the field, they are able to offset the opponents passing. This will also disrupt the opposition’s game plan.
They are also the distributors of passes to their team through their vision they are able to identify the unmarked players. Due to this all central midfielder are always good with ball control, can shield the ball and even dribble.
They generally have a lot of stamina and work tirelessly. This position too requires discipline and the ability to read the game effectively.
Qualities Of A Good Midfielder
They play close to the striker and up ahead of the central midfielder. Some of the best attacking midfielders are Mesut Ozil and Kevin Be Bruyne. The great Lionel Messi also plays this position.
Role Of The Attacking Midfielders
Attacking midfielders are the players that command the attacking of your team. They are the ones that offer the killer pass. Though it’s still not an offense for them to score. They rarely feature when the team is defending. This could explain why they are often referred to as lazy players.
They are a great asset for a team that wants to attack. Often the creative responsibilities are left for them. They are the thinkers of the team when the team is attacking. An attacking midfielder has to be very good at their job. Most, if a team is found to not score the criticism, will fall under these players.
They take the set pieces for the team due to their attacking-minded nature, good vision and good control of the ball most teams use them to take set pieces such as corners and free kicks. In some teams, they can take the penalty that is awarded during play.
What Are The Qualities Of A Good Attacking Midfielder?
It always takes a special player to play this role. They have to ensure that every touch they make always leads to creating pressure for the opponents. Also being an attacking player needs to have good control and a pass of the ball. It’s never easy at this position that is why it needs a very special person.
Soccer Position: Wingers
A winger is always an attacking midfielder in the wide positions. There two wingers in every team the left and right wingers. These are the playing positions that you would have wanted to play when you were young.
Wingers are very well known in football history. In fact, most of the great footballers were wingers. A good example of a famous football who is a winger is Gareth Bale.
Roles Of Wingers
While the traditional was strict on each player’s position, modern soccer requires that each player should also help out in defense or in the attack. That is the team attacks and defends as a unit. The same goes for a winger they should be able to link up well with a fullback.
That is when the fullback is in advance positions the winger should fall slightly behind. A good understanding is key for a team. Even if they are involved with defensive duties their main role still remains to support the attack.
Qualities Of A Good Winger
Soccer Position: Strikers
The main role of the team for scoring falls on the striker. They are among the most recognized players in a football team. So many forms of strikers are used by different teams, for instance, others will opt for a center forward while some would prefer the use of a false 9. But the scoring responsibility does not change with either of the two chosen but it’s a little bit easier for the false 9.
This player’s main role is to score a goal. They, therefore, are involved with aerial duels with most of the defenders. They are normally upfield and if they drop to defend they are the first line of defense. The role of a striker is never an easy one. Defenders always target the strikers and will do everything to deny the striker the ball.
They do this by tackling the ball or stopping the supply of the ball to the striker. It’s for this reason that some teams require a center forward who has a very strong physical body and tall to be able to win aerial balls and protect the ball. This type of striker can hold up the ball and link up well with the wingers.
This big center forwards is common for teams which don’t expect to catch their team’s off-guard. A speedy striker will signal a change in the attacking plan such teams with speedy wingers use counter-attacks more often.
A good striker should be able to shoot more often and should never shy away. Their finishing needs to be great if they are to be appreciated. In fact, the measure of how good a striker is is always in term of how many goals they have scored. Good dribbling and positioning is also an advantage for them.
These strikers are common in a system using three attackers. They normally do not function as a striker. They are like an attacking midfielder or playmaker. They are therefore creators of most of the team’s goals. The goal scoring burden is normally shared among the three attackers.
This position confuses defenders as they struggle to know who to pick up or who to mark. Thus they can easily create space in the opposition’s defense. A good false 9 should also have a good dribbling skill to get out of tricky situations, a shot, and a good vision to be able to create chances for the other players.
We have taken a look at various soccer positions in this article. You should note that these positions are not static. Players can shift to any position depending on the circumstances. Pep Guardiola has always been known to preferring to play players who are so versatile.
That is a defender can be a striker and a striker can be a defender. This show how the football world is being revolutionized. But we agree that all the positions require a player who is very athletic and with the ability to read the game wisely. The modern football is so demanding.
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