When it comes to achieving footballing success, each player on a team must work in harmony, co-existing to bring out the best in one another. The task of any manager is then to not only create an environment in which players feel that they belong within a greater scheme, but to give each and every player a clearly defined role that suits their assets. A player’s role can change by the match to suit the opposition or the particular game-plan, but modern day footballers will each have their own over-arching style of play and role within a team that suits their strengths, or even in many cases, erases their weaknesses. This is where our brand new Role Continuity Evaluation System enters the scene, identifying the various roles that players adopt on the pitch, and using that as a key metric to evaluate performance.Embed from Getty Images
Back when this process began, we identified thirty-two different roles that a footballer could adopt over the course of a football match, working to develop a more accurate system for assessing performance and over-arching team tactics, rather than utilizing a pure statistical approach. We have since updated that list to a narrowed-down twenty-six unique player types that best describe the modern trends of football. This series breaks down each of those roles, contextualizing the tasks, function and job description within each – that can allow us to better measure their performance, without solely relying on statistics.Embed from Getty Images
Defensive midfielders are not always the flashiest of players, nor do they garner the greatest attention, even despite their importance to structuring and shaping the entire organization of the team. That is precisely why a system like our Role Continuity Evaluation System works on so many levels, as we are able to adequately assess the important characteristics to a player’s performance, while minimizing the scrutinization over less important facets of the player’s game. Within the system, we break down our central midfielders into three broad categories: the well-known ‘Box-to-Box Midfielder’, the ‘Tempo Setter’, and the topic of today’s article – the ‘Shuttler’. Shuttlers are generally more or less also qualified as ‘defensive midfielders’ due to the specificities surrounding their role. So with that, let’s jump right into the job description of the modern day ‘Shuttler’.
JOB DESCRIPTIONEmbed from Getty Images
Shuttlers are defensively-minded central midfielders, typically of the ‘box-to-box’ mould. They hold a vital role in ‘shuttling’ and shuffling with the play, both laterally and vertically up the field, whilst maintaining some level of responsibility in attack. Given their defensive role, you may be forgiven for confusing them with our ‘Midfield Destroyers’. However, they differ from the ‘Midfield Destroyer’ type in two distinct ways. First, ‘Mid-Destroyers’ tend to be true ‘defensive midfielders’ tasked with breaking up the play in central channels as a single pivot. Secondly, our ‘Destroyers’ not only prioritize the defensive side of the game, but contribute very little to the attack. ‘Shuttlers’ on the other hand must be capable of covering ground all over the pitch, and contributing in all phases of the game. They work well in either possession-based teams, like England’s use of Kalvin Phillips alongside more of a ‘DLP’ in Declan Rice. But they can also work in teams that prioritize the defensive side of the game, such as Tomas Soucek’s shuffling alongside the same player – Declan Rice.Embed from Getty Images
Rather than excelling in possession (such as a ‘DLP’) or in screening centrally (such as an ‘Anchor’), the shuttler does an exceptional amount of work in the half-spaces, and relies on their endurance, game awareness and defensive work rate to win the hearts and minds of onlookers. They should therefore not only possess a phenomenal physical work ethic and aptitude, but an astute awareness of how to cover space – whether that be wide, in the half-spaces or centrally. Think Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who seemingly never stops moving both in and out of possession. He could possess all the qualities to be a sound ‘DLP’, or even a great ‘Midfield Destroyer’, but you would not want to limit him in defensive responsibility, especially due to his exceptional ability to cover ground and apply pressure right from the front. In fact, no midfielder applied more pressure to their opposition than the Great Dane in the 2020-21 Premier League season.Embed from Getty Images
Given their vast skillsets, ‘Shuttlers’ don’t tend to exist in isolation (such as a lone ‘6’). Instead, they always co-exist alongside a player of a different midfield type, such as a ‘Deep-Lying-Playmaker’ who can spray long-passes, or an ‘Anchor’ who can hold down the gauntlet in central channels. Due to their defensive role, they are typically not paired with ‘Midfield Destroyers’, but they may find themselves alongside a ‘Box-to-Box Midfielder’ who holds a similar but more attack-minded, adventurous role in the team. In our research, we have also found that many of the ‘Shuttlers’ tend to be paired up with ‘Tempo Setters’ – a slightly more possession-oriented player who tends to do more of the work in spraying progressive passes forward.Embed from Getty Images
Højbjerg’s partnership with Rodrigo Bentancur is again an excellent example of this phenomenon. The Uruguayan fulfills a box-ticking, game-ticking, chance creation role without being heavily involved in build-up as a ‘DLP’. Hojbjerg on the other hand has the role of going box to box, supporting the back-line, dropping in to receive the ball, and doing the work that nobody else would dare to do. He is a perfect example of our “jack of all trades” mindset, wonderfully making up for all the areas that others in Antonio Conte’s side may lack.
But beyond examples like Højbjerg who always play in the same position, ‘Shuttlers’ can be quite versatile in positioning due to their broad skillset. They may play some games as a midfield destroying ‘number 6′ and then the next as a defensively-minded ’10’. This variability makes the ‘Shuttler’ quite a unique player type. They may even be ‘utility’ players, who can provide a unique cutting edge to the team in random moments – such as Souček’s aerial prowess from set-pieces.Embed from Getty Images
But again, this does not mean that all are ‘utility’ players. As you’ll come to see, they can be incredibly talented, and their versatility tends to be seen as a strength rather than a weakness. But the key is that they exist to bring out the best in balancing out other players, and do the bulk of their best work laterally, in the half-spaces, and in the defensive side of the game.
QUINTESSENTIAL SHUTTLERSEmbed from Getty Images
We’ve already mentioned quite a few ‘Shuttlers’ in our opening segment, so let’s first break down the few that we only casually dropped in the previous section. We’ll end the Pierre-Emile Højbjerg discussion by saying that he often plays in a midfield two for both club and country, which means he shares defensive and attacking responsibilities, covering more ground laterally than he might if he played as a ‘6’ in a midfield three. Kalvin Phillips meanwhile works to support Declan Rice as a ‘DLP’ and Mount as a ‘Creative Ten’, where he can be the anti-specialist, picking up the slack in areas where the other two lack. He does most of his defensive work laterally and in the half-spaces, and holds a defensively-minded role in breaking up the play and stunting attacks. Then when joining attacks, he rarely ventures forward outside the half-spaces, allowing him to maintain that defensive stance if his team lose the ball. We are however excluding Phillips from our rankings until we fully capture his role for Manchester City, as he played as more of a ‘Midfield Destroyer’ in the ‘number 6’ slot for Leeds United.Embed from Getty Images
Tomas Soucek of West Ham United is quite similar in that regard, but he operates in a defensively-minded team. His job is to shuffle with the play in defensive phases of the game, and then time his runs forward to support the movement of Declan Rice, ensuring only one goes at a time. Vanessa DiBernardo, captain of Chicago Red Stars, is another one of my favourite shuttlers. She’s a defensive warrior, absolutely starving for the ball whenever her team don’t have possession. But most of that work comes higher up the pitch than you might expect from a defensive midfielder, and often in the half-spaces. She’s not just waiting centrally and then throwing herself into tackles. Instead, she’s actively involved in pressing phases, and even frequently plays higher up the pitch as an attacking midfielder – where she’s intentionally used for her defensive work rate.Embed from Getty Images
Then you have Jackie Groenen of Manchester United and Netherlands, who is everything I would personally want in a ‘Shuttler’. I even dubbed a voice note on my phone ‘The Groenen Effect’ after her fantastic display for the Netherlands against Sweden in their opening match of Euro 2022. She has all the tools to be a progressive passer and exceptional ‘box-to-box’ attacker, but she instead spends her time working tirelessly for the betterment of her team out of possession off the ball, doing the dirty work that no one else is capable of covering from left to right. She’s been exceptional at the Euros in not only winning the ball back for her team alongside an ‘Anchoring’ presence in Sherida Spitse, but exceptional in winning fouls for her team, sometimes both in tandem.Embed from Getty Images
Here’s another great example that I bet you never thought about: Moussa Sissoko. At the height of his career, Sissoko was an exceptional box-to-box midfielder, who even fulfilled a myriad of positions for both club and country. But he was never an outstanding attacking presence, and you could say that he lacked quite a bit of quality in the final third. It was never his role to be a goal-scorer or a playmaker, or even to set the tempo of the match. Instead, his role was to ‘shuttle’. He covered spaces laterally both in and out of possession, and held a predominantly defensive role for his team in helping them win back possession and allow the more ‘attack-minded’ stars to work their magic. But he still ventured from box-to-box, carrying the ball forward through his powerful frame.Embed from Getty Images
For a modern day example that you may not know too well, Robert Andrich is another player of the ‘Soucek’-esque defensive mold, who wonderfully covers spaces for Bayer Leverkusen. He operates alongside a ‘DLP’ who can also dovetail as somewhat of a ‘Creative Ten’ – Kerem Demirbay. Andrich’s role has almost nothing to do with the ball as a result, since Demirbay runs the show, dictates the tempo, and pulls the strings. Andrich’s there to clean up any messes in case something goes wrong, protecting both his midfield partner and the entire defense, but also to combine in the final third by making late runs into the box.Embed from Getty Images
The Bundesliga is littered with exceptional examples due to the high-pressing nature of the league, and Denis Zakaria made himself one of the most sought after footballers on the planet through offering expert defensive quality, but also box-to-box mobility. Following in the footsteps of Zakaria, Kouadio Koné performed admirably in his first season with Borussia Monchengladbach in 2021-22. Koné’s an incredibly intriguing player who could easily transform into something entirely different in the years to come. But for now, he perfectly exemplifies the warrior mentality of a ‘Shuttler’, better than any other player type. When he puts his effort into something, he puts his full effort into the task – going tough as nails into the opposition with his hair flopping about and smacking the opposition in the face.Embed from Getty Images
I also admired Vitaly Janelt‘s role as a ‘Shuttler’ for Brentford this past season, operating in a defensively-minded role alongside a ‘Destroyer’ in Norgaard and a ‘DLP’ in Eriksen. Janelt was the most ‘box-to-box’ of all three, evidently possessing the energy and enthusiasm to turn on the jets whenever required. He showed that wonderfully well in their surprise 4-1 away win over Chelsea. But he rarely showcased that ability in full flow, due to the defensive role he often held for his team.Embed from Getty Images
In the Canadian Premier League, there is no better emblem for the artwork than Valour’s Diego Gutierrez, who possesses a magnificent engine to go ‘box-to-box’. But he uses that engine for defensive purposes far more than he ever gallivants into the attack, again making himself the one to break up the play alongside more of a ‘Tempo Setting’ ‘DLP’ in Daryl Fordyce. The Valour midfielder is actually quite similar to Manchester United’s Fred, just with a frame more similar to that of Janelt or Andrich. Fred for that matter could be a great example in a different system, but has predominantly played as more of the ‘Midfield Destroyer’ for the Red Devils, holding an important stance in both pressing from the front, and defending closer to goal. He instead plays alongside a man who more perfectly exemplifies our player type, Scott McTominay.
Embed from Getty Images
Another versatile footballer who can spend the afternoon at centre-back and then play the next week in central midfield, McTominay fails to excel at any one specific aspect of the game. But more positively, he is instead quite good at nearly all aspects of the game combined. He can go box-to-box, spray long passes from side to side, shuffle with the play both in and out of possession, and he has a mighty physicality that allows him to hold his own in defensive phases. He’s no Højbjerg, but he’s underratedly valuable as an all-round midfielder for Manchester United.Embed from Getty Images
Naby Keita at Leipzig would have been described within this player type due to his versatility in skillset, but has now passed on the torch to be more of a ‘Box-to-Box’ midfielder, playing in a more attack-minded role in a more attack-minded system. To give a more modern day Bundesliga example that perfectly exemplifies the spirit of Naby Keita, I have heaped the praise on Djibril Sow many a time in my writing. He is a wonderful, defensively-minded player, that holds next to no remarkabilities, but next to no flaws. His interception and dribbling numbers are the only facets of his game that drastically stand out above other central midfielders, perfectly helping him qualify for this role as someone who is astutely aware of how to cover spaces both laterally and vertically, predominantly in the half-spaces. He’s also quite high on ‘defensive actions that lead to a shot’, which speaks volumes to what we are trying to accomplish with our ‘Shuttling’ types.Embed from Getty Images
Finally, we have to look no further than one of the best at the art in compiling a defensive structure and system. Atletico Madrid are always bound to have a pair of shuttlers somewhere in the mix, often times even deploying those ‘shuttling’ central midfielders out wide. Saul Niguez serves as the best example – a versatile player who can play in four to five different positions. The Spaniard almost always prioritizes the defensive side of the game, but it’s never the only task he’s required to do, acting instead as a ‘box-to-box’ engine.Embed from Getty Images
At this point, you may be thinking…’Hey…doesn’t that describe N’Golo Kante?’ You bet your life it does. He’s exceptional at covering ground at more ends of the pitch than ever imaginable, yet demonstratively better defensively. He’s somehow a ‘Midfield Destroyer’, ‘Tempo Setter’ and ‘Box-to-Box Midfielder’ wrapped up in one. So his role as a ‘Shuttler’ seems like the perfect home. And you know what, you’re right! Even in his Leicester Days, Kanté made himself a ‘box-to-box’ influence, operating alongside a more possession-oriented player in Danny Drinkwater.Embed from Getty Images
Sorry to be in your head again, but I’m sure you’re now wondering: ‘But wait! Tomas Soucek and N’Golo Kanté are completely different players!’. Here’s where I’ll challenge you on that. Yes, it’s true. One of them is incredibly tall, and one of them is N’Golo Kanté. One of them bangs in set-piece headers like they’re playing for Sam Allardyce, and the other is N’Golo Kanté. That’s all true. But think about what areas of the pitch they cover (centrally, half-spaces or wide), what phases of the game they prioritize along the spectrum; and the vast skillsets they provide to help their teams excel in a variety of different categories. The answers to those questions are as follows: half-spaces, defensive phases, and many.
So then you might ask, ‘Well, if not Kante, then who are the Midfield Destroyers of this world?!’. Those my friends are your Ndidi types. The Casemiro’s of this world. They don’t tend to cover quite as much ground box-to-box or left to right, instead holding a defensive role within central channels of midfield.Embed from Getty Images
We can therefore move other ‘Destroyer’ types you might think of like Denis Zakaria, Idrissa Gueye, Fulham’s Harrison Reed or even legend of the game Arturo Vidal into our ‘Shuttler’ persona. Starting to get the picture? We think so too.
So with that, let’s take a quick break to ask you a question rather than giving you all the answers. We want you to name one yourself!
Remember to keep in mind players that edge toward the defensive side of the game, excellently cover spaces laterally and vertically through their intense physical fitness and endurance, hold some level of box-to-box attacking potency, and excel in a variety of technical and tactical aspects of the game rather than being specialists in one specific realm.
MEASURING ShuttlersEmbed from Getty Images
Within our Role Continuity Player Evaluation System, players are first measured by what they are expected to do in their position and role first, accompanied by a secondary role. We utilize statistics to help measure performance, but go far beyond that to incorporate the eye test in analyzing player IQ, awareness and tactical understanding. We can then congregate data to more adequately assess their player positioning and movement around the pitch, the areas in which they make defensive actions, and the success at which they win back possession for their team. So with that, here is how we measure ‘Shuttlers’.
1. DEFENSIVE IQEmbed from Getty Images
As opposed to other ‘number 8’ midfield types, ‘Shuttlers’ prioritize the defensive side of the game. We therefore measure their ‘Defensive IQ’ as the preeminent factor to evaluating performance. That extends beyond just sheer numbers, to include their timing of challenges, timing of movement, and how and when they cover spaces on the field. Within ‘Defensive IQ’, we give a score in each of the following categories…
- Tackle % and decision making when tackling
- Pressure % and decision making when pressuring
- Dominance in midfield battles + combined % of duels won across thirds
- Positional awareness and positional discipline
- Awareness of own strengths vs. strengths of teammates
- Discipline (e.g. fouls, bookings, and positional discipline)
From the above categories, you can see a mix of statistical metrics, and seemingly non-quantifiable metrics that may require bias and personal opinion. But it’s important to note that even the so-called ‘non-quantifiable metrics’ utilize statistics as a basis, helping to reduce bias where possible, without discouraging the use of the eye test to assess performance. A player is given a score out of 10 in each ‘IQ’ category, which is then averaged together to create an overall ‘IQ’ score.
2. DEFENSIVE CONTRIBUTIONEmbed from Getty Images
After we get IQ out of the way, sheer statistical numbers are still important to helping us assess player performance, especially given that we expect ‘Shuttlers’ to be highly engaged in defensive phases. This may include their number of…
- Aerial duels won + Aerial %
- Accumulation of a clean sheet
Again, it’s worth noting that we hold ‘IQ’ and percentage-points in a higher regard. But sheer statistics carry weight in establishing players who were particularly active on the day. They can also bring to light some essential facets of IQ, such as ‘interceptions’ or ‘recoveries’ which help to tell a partial story in uncovering a player’s anticipation and awareness when defending covering laterally and defending the half-spaces.
3. attacking threat & contribution
When it comes to ‘Shuttlers’, we want their energy and intensity to not only be used in defensive phases, but also spring to life in attack. ‘Shuttlers’ can be incredibly useful in making vertical runs, arriving late into the penalty area, and adding a bit of attacking pizzaz to their teams. As a result, we measure ‘Attacking Threat’ as a third factor here. This includes…
- Number of attacking runs box to box, and timing of those runs
- Passes and carries into the final third
- Key passes + passes into the penalty area
- Goal and shot-creating-actions
- Dribbles + dribble %
- Shots + shot on target %
- Progressive passes received
- Decision making in attacking phases
- Fouls won + fouls won to fouls conceded percentage
Again, the sheer number is often less important than the player’s success and/or timing of decision making when it comes to the attacking side of the game. In most cases, both are measured to better understand a player’s ‘IQ’ and ‘Contribution’ within the overall umbrella of ‘Attacking Threat’.
4. POSSESSION & DISTRIBUTIONEmbed from Getty Images
‘Shuttlers’ don’t necessarily have to be outstanding in possession of the ball, and they may not even need to be that progressive when they receive. They can instead just keep the game ticking, and do more hard work off the ball instead. But all modern footballers must be capable of making a variety of short and long passes and contributing positively to their team’s possession. In consequence, we measure…
- Passing %
- Decision making in supporting the build-up and progression.
- Progressiveness (i.e. prog. passes and prog. carries).
- Control (touches, miscontrols, dispossessed, passes received %)
As the fourth most important set of traits and characteristics, a player who wins every challenge and performs their defensive tasks to remarkable heights will still accumulate a high player score even if their in-possession stats and IQ lack. Nevertheless, we’ve added a new facet to our ‘possession’ metrics – which we dub ‘control’. This aims to measure the degree of activity in contributing to their team’s possession, and how well they dealt with circumstances around their time on the ball (i.e. how many times they either successfully completed a subsequent action or gave the ball away). For ‘Shuttlers’, this score ends up being a nice cherry on top, rather than a significant detractor or enhancer.
5. ABNORMALITIESEmbed from Getty Images
Shuttlers may also be given additional boosts or retractions for any abnormalities that they perform in a match, including the following…
- Defensive contributions leading to a goal (GCA-Def.)
- Penalty kicks won, or given away
- Errors leading to shots or goals
- Own goals
- Red cards
While these metrics may affect a player’s rating in a given match, they don’t tend to change a player’s score over the course of a season, unless repeatedly conducted (such as Souček’s knack for scoring headed goals).
So with that, based on the five key evaluation metrics, let’s jump into what you’ve been waiting for – the very best ‘Shuttlers’ in the world of men’s football as of 2022.
TOP 20 SHUTTLERSEmbed from Getty Images
When assessing ‘Shuttlers’, we’re searching for midfielders who perform a defensive role for their teams, particularly through physical willpower and excellence in timing of challenges all across the pitch. In the table below, we’ve chosen to include three essential statistical categories that bring to light some of the best at the art.
It’s worth noting that this list does not encapsulate the players best at being ‘Shuttlers’; but instead, the best of those who fall under this category based on our evaluation.
So after scouring the databases, and scrutinizing over statistics from both the 2021-22 season, these are the best ‘Shuttlers’ in the world at this time.
|Rank #||Player||Team||Tkl + Int.||Press %||Prog. C|
|2||Pierre-Emile Højbjerg||Tottenham Hotspur||4.34||26.3||4.06|
|3||Tomáš Souček||West Ham United||3.86||26.7||2.44|
|4||Saúl Ñíguez||Atletico Madrid||5.00||30.1||2.76|
|5||Idrissa Gueye||Paris Saint Germain||5.38||28.2||5.44|
|7||Djibril Sow||Eintracht Frankfurt||5.19||31.4||3.73|
|9||Amadou Haidara||RB Leipzig||3.20||37.6||4.90|
|10||Kouadio Koné||B. Monchengladbach||5.56||38.2||4.69|
|11||Emre Can||Borussia Dortmund||4.95||35.5||4.47|
|12||Ander Herrera||Paris Saint Germain||4.21||28.7||6.36|
|13||Scott McTominay||Manchester United||4.38||26.9||4.73|
|16||Youssouf Fofana||AS Monaco||4.77||32.6||5.43|
|17||Robert Andrich||Bayer Leverkusen||4.36||33.9||3.12|
|18||Kristijan Jakić||Eintracht Frankfurt||3.62||35.4||3.16|
Like any of our ‘Player Roles’ so far, you can see the discrepancies between individuals that hold the same over-arching player type we describe.Embed from Getty Images
Midfielders like Remo Freuler, Ander Herrera and Amadou Haidara perform a magnificent, almost attack-minded role for their teams in going box to box and contributing positively to build-up. But you could still argue that they prioritize the defensive side of the game above all else. Then you have defensively-minded ‘Shuttlers’ who rarely venture forward into the attack like Djibril Sow or Joshua Brownhill, who don’t have the Kanté-esque gold-standard defensive wherewithal, or the typical ‘single pivot’ role to be classified as a ‘Midfield Destroyer’. Thus, we make no attempt to create a one-size-fits-all persona to our ‘Shuttlers’, but to instead broadly categorize and group players together based on their unique attributes.
That said, in creating a one-size-fits-all ‘Shuttler’ persona, here are the best of the art that may be worth scrutinization.
PERFECT PROTOTYPESEmbed from Getty Images
Among the twenty names listed above, these are the ten most prototypical ‘Shuttlers’. To rank high on this list, a player should boast a high influence out of possession, particularly in covering ground laterally and vertically. They should test lower on the traits associated with other midfield personality types, such as being an attack-minded ‘box-to-box midfielder’ or the player that keeps the team ticking in possession. Here are the names…
|Rank #||Player||Team||Blocks||Press.||Prog. P Rec.|
|2||Tomáš Souček||West Ham United||1.44||14.2||1.71|
|4||Youssouf Fofana||AS Monaco||1.48||20.2||2.80|
|5||Djibril Sow||Eintracht Frankfurt||1.83||20.4||1.16|
|6||Scott McTominay||Manchester United||1.81||18.5||1.43|
|7||Kristijan Jakić||Eintracht Frankfurt||1.96||21.2||1.96|
|8||Robert Andrich||Union Berlin||1.63||17.7||1.19|
|9||Kouadio Koné||B. Monchengladbach||1.48||20.6||1.60|
Within our search, we’ve chosen ‘Progressive Passes Received’ as a metric to demonstrate that our ‘Shuttlers’ should have some level of attacking intent, but not drastic dynamism in contributing at every opportunity. Kanté is the only one that differs among the pack in that regard, yet we’ve still included the Frenchman for obvious reasons. We’ve also gone for total pressures and blocks to demonstrate defensive influence at all ends of the pitch, and the amount of tireless energy they devote to helping their teams keep the ball out of the back of the net.Embed from Getty Images
It’s worth noting that far more metrics have gone into this ranking than listed above, perhaps most notably the statistical inputs developed in the previous section. When thinking of our ‘Shuttlers’, Kanté is the perfect emblem of what we are trying to achieve. He’s incredibly dynamic and durable, always up for a challenge, and times his tackles to perfection, whilst still being an ever-present box-to-box presence. Jackie Groenen on the women’s side is the most similar comparison, especially in her role for the Netherlands as a tireless engine out of possession. But we’ve also chosen to include ‘defensively-minded’ players who make fewer defensive actions than the obvious ones like Zakaria and Gueye, such as Tomas Soucek and Djibril Sow. You can understand why, given that they evidently perform a box-to-box role, while prioritizing the defensive side of the game.
CONCLUSIONEmbed from Getty Images
Not all ‘Shuttlers’ get the credit they deserve, even despite being absolute engines and noisy motorcyclists for their teams. They respond brilliantly at all ends of the pitch through that tireless energy and appetite for the game, whilst prioritizing a defensive approach to life in football. But ‘Shuttlers’ never exist in isolation, instead working to bring out the best in their mates. Their job description typically works best when paired with either a holding midfielder or a more adventurous one, doing their best work in covering space laterally and winning back possession for their team. N’Golo Kante serves as a perfect reminder of what ‘Shuttlers’ should strive to be – a player who wonderfully goes box-to-box with ease and admiration, without mitigating their defensive responsibilities.
So there it is! Explaining our ‘Shuttler’ player type within our Role Evaluation System. Be sure to check out more from this series as we detail all twenty-six roles, and follow on social media @mastermindsite to never miss an update. Thanks for reading and see you soon!
More in this series…
-> Explaining the Shot Stopper – Player Role Analysis
-> Explaining the Sweeper Keeper – Player Role Analysis
-> Explaining the Wide Warrior – Player Role Analysis
-> Explaining the Inverted Fullback – Player Role Analysis
-> Explaining the Wing-Back – Player Role Analysis
-> Explaining the Ball-Playing-Centre-Half – Player Role Analysis
-> Explaining the Stopper – Player Role Analysis
-> Explaining the Sweeper – Player Role Analysis
-> Explaining the Midfield Destroyer – Player Role Analysis
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22 thoughts on “Explaining the Shuttler – Player Role Analysis”
Hi. You put Oriol Romeu as one of the Shuttlers. I’m a bit confused, because he mostly played as destroyer and sitting deeper frequently, rarely going up to attack.