A wing-back, as the name suggests, is a full-back that operates up and down the wing, holding particular importance in attacking phases. They may contribute to the defensive side of the game, and they may even invert into central areas. But wing-backs do their best work down the by-line, where they can deliver crosses into the box, utilize their trickery and skill to go 1v1, and surge up the field through their dynamic pace and timing of movement into dangerous areas. Here is our latest Player Role Analysis.
After an electric start to the 2022 Canadian Premier League season, Diyaeddine Abzi has officially been transferred from York United all the way to Ligue 2's Pau FC in France. After finishing 10th in Ligue 2 last season, Pau FC were in the market for reinforcements to their team, and Diyaeddine Abzi provides an excellent overall package to excel at his new club. We examine why Pau FC took a chance on the Canadian youngster, and the potential for Abzi to excel at his new club.
Fullbacks are not always the flashiest of players, nor do they garner the greatest attention, even despite their importance to creating and generating chances in the modern game. 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 full-backs into three broad categories: 'Wide Warriors', 'Wing-Backs', and the topic of today's article - the 'Inverted Fullback'. So with that, we explain the tasks, functions and role of an 'Inverted Fullback' and outline some of the very best in the position in 2022.
A 'Wide Warrior' is a full-back who hasn't quite kept up with the modern trends associated with their position. Rather than relying on attacking threat and potency to make their name, the 'Wide Warrior' continues to be an ever-present at the back, doing their best work closer to goal. They excel at the defensive side of the game above all else, even if they may offer certain advantages going forward (like a wing-back), or in half-spaces (like an inverted fullback). Further, not only do they excel at the defensive side of the game, their manager has made clear intentions for that to be the most important facet of their role within the team, restricting their attacking height.
After a fantastic end to the 2020-21 season in which the Black & Yellows won the DFB-Pokal and climbed into third, Lukasz Piszczek officially retired from football. The Polish defender was a stalwart at Dortmund for over a decade, and the task to replace him was always going to be impossible. To make matters more difficult, Mateu Morey tore his ACL in the team's run to the cup final, and Achraf Hakimi left the team for Inter Milan the season before, reducing Rose's options all the more come the 2021-22 season. While Thomas Meunier has improved under Marco Rose's influence, a replacement in the position is still evidently needed. So with that, we take a look at the very best options to replace Piszczek, as Dortmund attempt to put their right-back concerns to rest.
Over the past decade, the emphasis on attacking play in the beautiful game has grown and grown. Coaches and fans are increasingly more excited about the attacking moments of the game, rather than defensive moments. Defending has become an afterthought, and teams that set up to defend are often deemed "boring" and "dinosaurs" by fans around the world. But defending remains an integral component to the modern game, and often it can be seen that teams with the better defense structures (Atletico, Manchester City, etc.) often win more football matches.
Players engage in 1v1 battles just about as much as anything else in the game. So, to help players defend their 1v1's to the best of their ability, we provide eight tips for success when defending 1v1 situations.
In a team full of superstars, 22-year old Oleksandr Zinchenko often does not get the credit he deserves in Manchester City's back-line. This is in part due to simply not being a big name player, having come from the academy at Shakhtar Donestk rather than one of Europe's more illustrious outfits. But the Ukrainian left-back has been a key component to Manchester City's success with little recognition.
Starting out as a powerful right-winger at Wigan Athletic, since moving to Manchester United Antonio Valencia has gradually become one of the Premier League's best right backs. This is a transformation that few would have seen coming when he left Wigan Athletic for the then title holders Manchester United but thanks to something Louis Van … Continue reading How Antonio Valencia Became One of the Premier League’s Best Right Backs