Saturday, 23 July 2011

A Brief History of Tactics - Positional Terminology Part Three

ForwardsCentre forward: Clasically used to refer to the central forward in the pyramid and WM formations, regardless of their style of play. Later a generic term to describe all central forwards, now commonly used to refer to a target man. (Example: Tommy Lawton)

Centre Forward: Tommy Lawton
 Striker: Often used generically to refer to all forwards, specifically a clinical finisher whose primary purpose it to score goals. (Example: Michael Owen)

Striker: Michael Owen
 Withdrawn centre-forward: Prior to the Danubian school of football all centre-forwards were out and out goal scorers who led the line. Following the example of Matthias Sindelaar some centre-forwards dropped deeper in order to confuse their opponents and retrieve the ball. In modern parlance often referred to as the "false nine". (Example: Nandor Hidegkuti)

Withdrawn Centre Forward: Nandor Hidegkuti
 Outside left or right: In a four or five man attack, the widest players on the pitch. Essentially wingers with even greater license to attack, and no defensive responsibilities. Rarely heavy goalscorers these were primarily creative players who would stick to their flanks. (Example: Garrincha)

Outside-right: Garrincha
 Wing forward: The outside forwards of an attacking trio. Often very attacking wingers who will cut inside to shoot or seek to dribble past their markers, they can be heavy scorers but will also act as creators for a central striker. (Example: Pedro)

Wing-forward: Pedro
 Target man: Centre forward of a more physical nature. Normally they will be tall, strong and good in the air, allowing long balls and crosses to be played in their direction. Sometimes prolific scorers they are often used more to lead the line and allow others to play off them (Example: Jan Koller)

Target Man: Jan Koller
 Support striker: A forward who plays off the main striker, but in front of the midfield (commonly said to be “in the hole”). They are primarily providers and link men for the team, but in some cases can be prolific goalscorers as well. Often they will play in a very similar style to the playmaker, but in a slightly more advanced position. (Example: Alessandro Del Piero)

Support Striker: Alessandro Del Piero

Inside left or right: In the pyramid and WM the forwards who played in between the outside left and right, and the centre-forward. These were traditionally goalscorers themselves until Alex James dropped into the midfield in the 1930s and acted as another creator. Later a generic term to describe any central forward, though the inside left tended to operate deeper than the inside right. (Example: Omar Sivori)

Inside-left: Omar Sivori

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