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Right/left-sided midfielder: how to get your positioning right on the pitch

"Move up, move up, moooove up!"
"Go, go, acceleraaaaaaate, goooo for it!"
"Croossssss"
"Fall back, fall back!"

Right/left-sided midfielder: how to get your positioning right on the pitch?

Have you ever heard your coach or one of your team-mates say at least one of these sentences to you, calmly (while shouting)?

If so, then, without a doubt, you must be a wide midfielder! Read on to find out about the role, and the qualities and skills you need to play in this position in 11-a-side football.

Right/left-sided midfielder: how to get your positioning right on the pitch?

Their role in the team

The wide midfielder is at the heart of the game, along with the other midfielders in their team, and they take an active role in the team's equilibrium, whether it's during constructive phases or while trying to contain the opponent. They are a vital element in "maintaining the pack" by acting as a link between attack and defence.

Depending on the phases of the game, the tactic used by the coach and the context of the match, the contribution of a player in this position to offensive and defensive tasks varies. In one single match, they can act as attacking midfielder and/or full-back. They are known for their versatility and their ability to keep running up and down the line.  

The qualities required

A wide midfielder needs to know how to attack, defend, build and cross. Is that all! Put simply, they must be versatile and enduring in order to contribute during their team's offensive and defensive phases, while also participating in its equilibrium.

They're not an attacking midfielder, BUT they need to be able to attack in order to speed up the game and provoke an overrun to cross the ball! Playing on one side also means being able to play on your position to influence the opposing team when the game develops on the other side of the pitch. The wide midfielder must enable the opponents' lines to be widened in order to create offensive spaces and contexts favourable for their team-mates.

They're not an attacking midfielder, BUT they need to be able to cut opposing passes on the wings to enable their team to regulate dangerous adverse situations on their side. They are on the front line when it comes to preventing the build-up of opposing attacks.

Right/left-sided midfielder: how to get your positioning right on the pitch?
Right/left-sided midfielder: how to get your positioning right on the pitch?

"I'm right-footed but I play on the left", so what?

We've all been on the receiving end of jokes because of a bad strike, a rubbish pass or a cross struck off the wrong foot, haven't we? (or even off the right foot). I strongly advise you to work on this point. Firstly, this would potentially enable you to increase the time you spend playing, as you'd be able to play effectively on the left or on the right. And above all, it would enable you to make quality crosses, while also being able to vary your game by getting the ball back in line so you can try your luck striking with your other foot (a curled shot in the opposing top corner, obviously).

The skills to work on

We recommend working on the three following skills to help you play well again and again in this position:

Your VERSATILITY, to contribute to defensive and offensive phases

Your ENDURANCE, to manage going backwards and forwards on your side

Your POSITIONING without the ball at your feet... your patience will be put to the test!

Right/left-sided midfielder: how to get your positioning right on the pitch?

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