The left/right fullbacks (sidebacks) play along side the central defender on either the left or right side. The main role of this
position is to defend against attackers coming from the wide areas and track players making dangerous runs into deadly positions.
Playing in this position, not only do you have to defend but also help out a little in attack, making darting runs down the wider areas and overlapping the wingers. Playing this position requires good stamina and speed as you must also be able to track back.
Playing in this position you must have good:
- Tackling – It is important to win possession of the ball.
- Stamina – A lot of running is requires for attacking, defending and tracking players.
- Speed – Must be able to chase down opponents
- Covering – There may be times when you might have to run behind the central defence to cover,/li>
In modern day soccer today, many teams prefer to have an attacking sideback as it gives a lot more options for attacking and tends to make it easier to open up the opponents defence.
But because of the ability needed to attack then track back to defend, it is often quite difficult to find someone who is able to play this positon effectively. Some teams would prefer to have more defensive sidebacks.
A good example of a good sideback is Daniel Alves, Patrice Evra and Gianluca Zambrotta. This players are known for their attack as well as their defensive ability and speed.
Feints and Dummies are used to fool defenders to creat openings to give yourself more time. In short, you basically pretend to do one thing, but instead, you do another. This covers any movements which sends your opponents in one direction while you speed off in another.
Feints ,This is an important part of the dribblers art. It fooled opponents into thinking you are going to go one way, then moving off in a completely different direction.
Feinting can be done in alot of ways, but the common element in all cases is the use of exeggerated body movement. Defenders are suppose to concentrate on the ball, not on the movement of the body.
As you approach the defender, transfer your body weight to the left yo make it look like you are going to move in that direction.
An exaggerated drop of the shoulder fools the defender into thinking you plan to go that way.
As the defender reacts and fully commits themselves, swerve the other way and take off in the other direction.
Dummies Dummies are similar to feints and they both have the same purpose, to fool defenders to create time and space. One of the most used type of dummies in the soccer world it the step over.
To execute a step-over properly you need to make as if you are going to play the ball with the outside of your right foot.
Instead, swing your foot over the ball and plant it on the ground.
Push off this foot and go past your opponent on the lef, playing the ball with your left foot as you do so.
A defensive midfielder is similar to a central midfielder. They both play in the central area of midfield and both have the same role of passing and controlling the midfield area of the pitch.
The difference lies in the mentality. The defensive mid is more defensive in terms of play and acts like an extra defender, playing just in front of the back line. The main role of this position is to make tackle in midfield, win loose balls and help recover possession. Being a midfielder, once the ball is won back, they will have to help set off the attack as well for counter-attacks. Defensive mids must be good at:
- Tackling – It is important to win possession of the ball.
- Good awareness – Know your surroundings and options so you can react quicker when in possession
- Strong – The midfield area might get messy, you must be able to shrug off challenges.
- Stamina – It is important that you don’t run out of fuel at the most crucial of times, it can be costly!
Defensive mids however, have to try and stay in position. Straying too far forward could be costly if no one is covering and can often give the opponent a chance to score.
Nowadays, in modern day soccer, this position is used by nearly every team. Giving a team that extra defender really boosts defence and teams often concede less goals because of this. A good example of defensive mid player would be Patrick Viera, Gennaro Gattuso and Michael Essien.
The central midfielder not only controls the game but dicates every single bit of movement on the pitch. A good midfielder can control the pace of the game too give their team the advantage and the winning edge.
If a team struggles to control the pace of the game, they could struggle to win. Center mids are not necessary fast so they do not often take opponents on 1v1 but instead, they opt more too pass round players then to try and go through them. It is important for center mids to be able to string passes together in order to link the whole team together.
A good center Mid player should be good at:
- Passing – Sharp and accurate passes will always worry the oposisition defence.
- Vision – Must be able to spot athe pass that no one else can see
- Awareness – Must know where your team-mates and opponents at all times
- Stamina – Playing in this position takes up a lot of energy. A good set of lungs is recommended.
- Control – First touchs must be decent in order to make first time passes when it gets tight
A center mid player are usually a balance between attack and defence. Playing in this position, you need to be versatile and be able to do both. A good example of a Center Mid player would be Francesc Fabregas, Steven Gerrard and Deco.
The heart of the defense. The central defenders must be able to defend against attacks coming more directly at goal from the central positions.
A good central defender must be strong and be able to fend off attackers running directly at them. Don’t be afraid to get into scrambles and tackles too tidy up and regain possession of the ball.
When you can’t do this, of course, it is best too just clear the ball by knocking it as far away from the goal as possible then re-organizing the defense. Ideally, in my opinion, central defenders must be:
- Marking – Must be good at tracking danger players to neutralize the threat.
- Strong – They must be able to hold off strikers and win the ball.
- Tall – At least 6ft in height as you must be able too win aerial balls and head the ball out when it gets dangerous.
- Good at tackling – This is a must! If you can’t tackle, you’re not suited to be a defender
- Good awareness – Be able to read ahead of the game and predict the opponents movement patterns
Some center backs also have the ability to attack as well as defend. As soone as they win the ball, they are able to set off an attack by running up to midfield too support or passing it out fast for a swift counter-attack. This is very useful as teams are exposed only for a brief minute so counter-attacking must be quick.
A good central defender is important as some of the most threatening of attacks with come directly through the center. Without a decent central defender, it will be difficult to control the ball in your half of the pitch. An example of the good Central defender would be Rio Ferdinand, Carlos Puyol and Fabio Cannavaro. These players make a big impact on the team because of their defensive abilities, it can be very hard for a team to score against them. If a team can’t score goals, then they can’t win.