Friday, 22 July 2011

A Brief History of Tactics - Positional Terminology Part Two

Half-back: Generic term to cover all of the midfield line under the pyramid and WM formations. This terminology continued into the sixties, well beyond the use of the formations that went with it.

Centre-half: Although the term has now been bastardised to mean a central defender, it originally meant the central player in the half-back line. They acted as the key link between the defence and attack, and as such played an instrumental playmaking role. (Example: Ernst Ocwirk)

Centre-half: Ernst Ocwirk

Right or left-half: In the pyramid the lateral members of the half-back line, who would be charged with marking the opposing wingers as well as providing a link to the attack. Under the WM these were generic terms to refer to central midfielders. (Example: Jose Leandro Andrade)

Right-half: Jose Leandro Andrade

Central midfielder: Generic term to cover all central midfielders. In these lists a term to cover an all round midfielder who has elements of each of the other central midfield positions. (Example: Michael Ballack)

Central Midfielder: Michael Ballack

Anchor: A defensive minded midfielder who often sits deep and looks to break up the opponents’ play. Likely to act as a holding midfielder and look to incept passes, and cut off passing lines. (Example: Claude Makelele)

Anchor: Claude Makelele

Destroyer: A defensive midfielder who plays at a high tempo and actively seeks to break up play by hunting down opponents and making tackles. They are likely to have limited attacking responsibilities and will normally look for more talented players once they have won the ball. (Example: Gennaro Gattuso)

Destroyer: Gennaro Gattuso

Box to box midfielder: A midfielder who covers the length of the pitch and is as likely to be found in the opposing box as his own. They require great energy and stamina to cover every blade of grass (Example: Michael Essien)

Box to box midfielder: Michael Essien

Deep lying playmaker: A withdrawn midfielder who sits in a deep position to dictate the play. They will commonly pick up the ball from the defence and distribute it with long raking passes. (Example: Andrea Pirlo)

Deep lying playmaker: Andrea Pirlo

Playmaker: An attacking central midfielder, who dictates the style of play of his team. Normally a significant amount of the team’s play will go through them, and they will be responsible for controlling the tempo of the team and generating assists. (Example: Juan Roman Riquelme)

Playmaker: Juan Roman Riquelme

Offensive midfielder: A central midfielder who will look to surge from deep into goalscoring positions. They will often not start as high up the pitch as a playmaker or winger, but will either shoot from long range or use their movement to get into the box unmarked and will typically be a (relatively) heavy scorer. (Example: Frank Lampard)

Offensive midfielder: Frank Lampard

Lateral midfielder: A midfielder who plays on the flanks but is likely to play slightly infield from the touchline and in a deeper position than a winger. They will rarely look to dribble past players and are more likely to play crosses from deep or drift further infield to link play. (Example: David Beckham)

Lateral Midfielder: David Beckham

Winger: A midfielder who hugs the touchline and looks to beat his marker through a combination of pace and trickery. They will be responsible for supplying crosses for the centre forwards to attack. (Example: Ryan Giggs)

Left-winger: Ryan Giggs

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