A thing on this site, that does not necessarily annoy me but makes me wonder is the the amount of people, who just seem to be stuck on duties in a position.
Some example of this are question like:
Should i do cover this amount of space, or should i postion myself here?
How can i be like this player?
First of all guys, you are who you are. Improve on your game in all aspects, but i see alot of people focusing to much on particular things and aspects of dribbling or touch, that they dont just play their game. I like to encourage people via mentor system, with mentors being current or former players that share, positional sense, physique, weaknesses and strengths to the person who wants to learn or to see how to play or become a better player. I believe seeing world class players at their greatest can both encourage and visually teach people who want to grasp a firm understanding of their duty as a footballer playing the game, and the more like a player you are, the more you can further relate and see how they partake in game situation.
So today im starting with the central midfield position. I will list and describe several players who are different in quite a few ways, but for you guys at home that want to compare and contrast and grasp a more indepth knowledge on how players like you play.
(Be warned. Im a Liverpool fan. So there is some bias in my posts. There are so many brilliant players for each position but im just using examples so bare with me)
THE BLESSED STRIKERS:
Scorer of many, many easy goals. Ruud Van Nistelrooy is my sides poacher.
A poacher is usually blessed with a great centre of gravity, and usually small in stature. Ruud is not, yet has the balance and ability to sniff out opportunities in every team he plays for.
Whether it is with his head, either foot or…any body part really, Ruud bags so many goals just by being at the right place at the right time. It can’t be taught, but it also is not luck. It’s a skill that only some people possess.
Let’s not take this away from Ruud’s ability. He is a brilliant footballer, but for some players most goals are ones that hang around the 6 yard box ready to be popped away.
Players who achieve using this style of goal scoring, will score more goals than most other strikers, yet the gloss is taken off them based on prevalent scrappiness.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0rmQYf8mrI - GOALS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS4ZGRdzJfg - OF LATE
Assists may be a part of your game that does not feature. Your job is to progress play through the centre and be really effective close to the goal.
Are you a Ruud Van Nistelrooy?
-Are you conveniently in the right place at the right time?
-Is the 6 yard box where you score most goals? And a lot of them?!
-Is your attacking awareness strong (offside trap awareness)?
-Do you lack physical attributes?
Thierry Henry has my sides need for speed.
Henry was brilliant to watch at Arsenal. He had a great shot, and contributed to many of his teams goals, but his electric speed allowed techniques like dribbling to not be as big of a necessity.
If you’ve got the will power and the pace, you don’t have to have played football for long to be a success upfront. Like Henry, many speedsters up top were bound to be athletes as kids.
Like in this goal against Liverpool, Henry could pick up the ball around the half way line and bolt at defences. With a mix of grace and speed he could glide all over the park and pop them away. Henry was the last man. He would sit on the offside line and when a player from midfield played the killer ball he would be onto it in a flash.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWT7f_YI8t0 - SPEED
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWT7f_YI8t0 - GOALS
Henry had brilliant skill and finishing ability, that a lot of speedy players lack. Players like Djbril Cisse, who have similar speed rates as Thierry, do not have a lot more to their game, which can let them down against good defences.
So are you like Thierry Henry?
-Is your acceleration the thing that gives you the upper hand?
-Can you pull out wider to assist oncoming players?
-Do defences see you as a threat? Do they play a deep back line?
-Does your game lack, close control or consistency?
THE IDEAL PARTNERS:
The Target Man:
Dwayne Johnson? Nooo, for the target man representative I have chosen Emile Heskey.
The target man is sometimes mentioned in football to be the perfect partner for a superstriker. Heskey was, in his peak one of the best around. Although constantly slated for his poor goal record at international level, some of the things he did in his prime are what managers melt over.
A prerequisite for a target man is really 6’1 + and smaller you are the more managers are rely on your strength aswell as your height. Emile was blessed with immense power. A player of his style could also help in defense off set pieces if need be.
Built like an American footballer, Heskey’s strength, speed and unselfishness made him an absolutely superb partner during his Leicester, Liverpool years, and for England as you can see when he tees up Steven Gerrard for England’s first goal in the FIFA World Cup.
In the air, and on the floor Heskey, could fend off opponents, lay off the ball, or turn and go for it himself. Taller players such as Peter Crouch, do not possess the strength and power Heskey does and is why he could score goals like this against Derby.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3XZXOQZD_k -vs. DERBY
When two strikers up front, the Target man is a brilliant option and Emile is a perfect example.
Are you like Emile Heskey?
-Do you bring others into the attack?
-Do possess strength and/or considerable height
-Are you better at scoring and assisting rather than defending?
-Do you sometimes lack the quick feet of a smaller player?
The Second striker:
I was going to pick Bergkamp, but we just had Henry, and hence why I made the King, Kenny Dalglish my second striker.
Arguably Britain’s greatest footballer. Kenny Dalglish played as a second striker, scoring plenty of goals and setting up just as many.
The difference between a second striker and an attacking midfielder, is that an attacking midfielder plays with defensive midfielders, who start attacks in midfield, and usually pop the ball around from all angles, starting the attack from a bit deeper.
Your second striker is very much like a target man, in terms of bringing players into a game, and doing their main attacking damage in the box, rather than just outside it. A second striker will mostly be present if only one striker is on your game sheet.
Kenny had better vision than most. He could spot a goal scoring opportunity from a mile away and wriggle through most defences. Kenny was not blessed with insane speed, or vicious strength but was always one step ahead of his opponents.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB2nwwFgZy4 - ASSISTS
Kenny brought other players into the game aswell and scored many goals at the edge of the box.
The perfect attacking partner, more so than a target man.
Are you like the King?
-Does your game feature a brilliant touch which can give you time to attack?
-Do you have skills that kill?
-Do you lack lightning pace, that doesn’t allow you to be a front line man?
-Can you both score and assist?
The Number 9
He could do nearly everything. My number 9 is Ronnnnnnaaaaalllldoooooo.
Ronaldo was truly a great number 9, as was Alan Shearer and today Fernando Torres. Number 9’s are your main striker. The most deadly form of striker (bar my next position).
Ronaldo had the lot, speed, strength, technique, balance, aerial ability, but for any Number 9, his main asset was his finishing. He could score from anywhere. As seen in this compilation.
Ronaldo was part of a dominant Brazil side in the late 90’s early 00’s. This team nurtured a talent that went on to be one of the greats. Ronaldo could sit on the last line of defence and with a mixture of power and finesse made opportunity after opportunity for him to score.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2NHqSXftzU - GOALS
A team that consists of a superb number 9, and a supporting striker will wreak havoc on teams defences.
So are you like Ronaldo?
-Is the best thing about your style your finishing ability?
-Do you also have strength, speed or aerial ability in your armoury?
-Does your versatility let you down?
-Do you score A LOT of goals?
The Deep lying forward:
For this extremely rare position I chose the inventor, Johan Cruyff as my deep lying forward.
Whatever level you play at, you may be a player that is key to most attacking achievement in your team and take on this position. *Note this is a very rare position.
Johan invented this style. He was the centre forward in a total footballing side. Put it this way, Andy Carroll is a centre forward and you do not see him doing what Johan did.
Johan had brilliant close control and dribbling skill. He was able to drop deep, collect the ball, turn and either burst into the defence or help the team build up an attack. When the play was close to the goal line he would take up his centre forward position.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhVe7OapVwQ - vs. ARGENTINA
Lionel Messi takes up this position for Barcelona at the moment. You really need to be the key figure on your side, and assists need to be a big part of your game.
So are you like Johan Cruyff?
-Are you a big focus point on your team? Are you involved in a lot of their achievement in attack?
-Does your dribbling and ball work match your poaching instinct?
-Are you usually the centre forward in a 433 formation?
-Do you really possess no significant weaknesses?