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.
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.
Since taking over for Marcel Keizer in December 2017, Erik Ten Hag has been a revelation at AFC Ajax. In fact, it would have been difficult for anyone to do a better job. The Dutch manager scraped Ajax back into the title race in his first season in charge, only missing out by four points, and since then has won the Eredivisie, gotten his team to the UEFA Champions League semi-final and now looks set to win the league all over again. That has all culminated in an outrageous 74% of his matches won since the tail-end of 2017. This season they're up to 81% of their matches won, sitting eleven points clear at the top of the league. So with their fantastic performances and intriguing tactics along the way, here is RDF's Tactical Analysis of Erik Ten Hag's Ajax in 2020-21.