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The best modern-day managers are known for their innovation. Even when a soccer formation looks fairly simple when written down on paper, top-level coaches will regularly invert certain positions and tweak things tactically to outwit the opposition and push their players to the next level. This kind of innovative, forward-thinking positional play can be developed from a number of different starting points. However, whatever approach a...
For modern managers and the vast teams of assistant coaches and analysts that assist their preparations each week, the options are almost endless when it comes to tactics. The evolution of the game over the course of the last few decades means there are countless different ways to set up a team to try and win in any given match. Probably the most important tactical component for a head coach to get right is the formation, which dictates...
Sport never stands still for long. The game of soccer is constantly evolving, as coaches, tacticians, and players seek to find new ways to gain an edge over their rivals. One of the key areas in which soccer teams look to gain advantages is by trying out new formations and tactical systems. Soccer formations can vary massively; shapes such as 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 are built on a strong, compact back line, while other formations like...
In football, matches are won and lost in midfield. The battles and conflicts that take place between central midfielders make up some of the defining moments in any game, as the two teams tussle for possession of the ball, and action switches repeatedly between one end of the pitch and the other. Taking charge during these key moments is the defensive midfielder: combative, dominant, and forming the linchpin of their side's core unit in...
Picture the scene: a tense, focused defender is stationed out wide, jockeying an attacker by the bright white touchline. But in a flash, the speedy, technical forward they're up against conjures a moment of magic and skill, and their clever footwork takes them past the defender and into a dangerous position. As a supporter of the attacking team, it can be one of the most exciting moments in football. And there's one pivotal player behind it...
Football is a global sport, played by millions of people across the planet. And whether you're on the beaches of Brazil, the streets of Spain, or the muddy fields of England, there's one thing that you can always expect to find amongst young people playing the game: an adoration for world-class attackers. Strikers are often the most beloved players on a team, grabbing the headlines and inspiring fans in a way that many players in other...
Midfielders pride themselves on being the heartbeat of a team. They occupy the central areas of the pitch, typically dominate possession, and also tend to cover more distance during a match than players in any other position. The best midfielders of all time are capable of dictating the tempo of a match and generally bossing things all over the park. In this article, we'll be providing you with a list of players who are particularly...
Center back is one of the most important positions on the soccer pitch. Players in this role offer solidity and protection, and will often be relied upon for their leadership skills and talismanic qualities, as well as significant in-possession contributions. As a result, there have been a large number of hugely influential professional players to have made a name for themselves in this position over the years. In this article, we'll be...
The physical demands of being an elite soccer player are extreme. The implementation of GPS technology in soccer means analysts and sports scientists are now able to calculate that the average professional player will run around 11 kilometres in a match , a seriously impressive figure that highlights the sport's stresses and strains. Fitness levels need to be top-notch wherever you play, but there are certain positions that require...
Goalkeeper is a unique position on the football pitch. There are a whole host of things that goalkeepers need to capable of doing that would never even cross the mind of a midfielder or attacker. It's often said that you need to be a slightly eccentric character to want to play between the sticks, and it's not difficult to see why. But the fact that the goalkeeper is such a standout figure also has its benefits; for example, it means that...
Jose Mourinho famously once said "Players don't win you trophies, teams win trophies" , and at the core of any great team is a rock-solid defence. While those at the back don't tend to get the glory that world-class attacking talents are showered with, defenders provide an essential foundation for any good soccer team. In the modern day, the role of the defender has evolved significantly. Coaches can set up their defensive line in a wide...
The video game FIFA — recently rebranded as EA Sports FC — is generally seen as just a bit of fun, but it's also been used as a powerful educational tool by many football fans across the world. When it comes to defining and explaining soccer positions in particular, the game has introduced a number of people to certain useful terms and titles. Recently, we dived into the history and key responsibilities of one of those roles,...