How to be a better defensive midfielder

How to be a better defensive midfielder

Are you a defensive midfielder?Your aim: to stop the opposition from scoring or force them to make a mistake. We have some tips for you on how to improve your defensive skills and excel in the position.

Protect one's own defence, carry out the team's game plan, dictate the game's tempo, etc. The central defender's job has many facets. A brief summary of the qualities required of a good number 6.

How to be a better defensive midfielder

Vision - survey the scene

The most important skill to acquire: vision. “Head up!” is one of the most frequently heard exhortations that you'll hear at the club's training sessions, and for good reason - it rarely comes naturally. Very often, you feel the need to look at the ball, as if to reassure yourself that it's still at your feet, etc.

There's only one solution: keep training, practising, until you no longer have the desire to look at your feet. Slowly but surely you'll find it works and, when it does, you'll wonder why you didn't do it before!

The result of this change in your habits is simple, but very effective: the scope of your possibilities for action is widened considerably, which means you get one step ahead of your opponents.

How to be a better defensive midfielder

Develop the busquets technique

I should say this up front - I am not at all a fan of this player's mentality. But he has a quite exceptional technique, based around simplicity, clarity and effectiveness. You will rarely see him do something imprecise or in a hurry, and when you do it is to get his team out of a delicate situation. All his passes are accurate and successful, whether it's just 5 yards or a fully cross-field 50 yards.

So simplify your game as much as possible and concentrate on the basics:

> I touch the ball as little as possible

> I make my pass and then take up a position offering a solution to my colleague

> I favour playing in triangles, with calls and counter calls

How to be a better defensive midfielder

Managing effort to the final metre

One thing is certain, as a midfielder, you'll be doing a lot of running! But if, after 20 mins, you are exhausted, the rest of the match will be very difficult.

Thus, everything plays out in the head. You'll need to learn to sprint, engage in determined contact with your opponent, then to trot or even walk at the right moment.

In addition, avoid getting drawn into all areas of the pitch, although you will sometimes need to cover for team-mates who have moved up into attack or been drawn out of position. Your number 1 action area is the space between the two penalty areas.

How to be a better defensive midfielder

Bonus: positioning

Let's end with a little bonus: positioning. I consider this as a bonus because, if you possess good vision and have an impeccable technique, you will find yourself in the optimum place on the pitch most times quite naturally. And this will be extremely useful in all situations:

> IN DEFENCE where you will be able to block opponents' passes coming from all angles

> IN ATTACK in order to shake off your marker and offer possibilities for your team-mates' passes

I even feel like saying that, if you are not the greatest at managing your physical exertions (just like me), it's in your interests to know where to position yourself to minimise the intensity and/or repetition of such exertions.


So, you now have all the cards in your hand to become your team's favourite central defender!

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