Unlike their name might imply, 'Inverted Wingers' are far more than just wingers that cut or drift inside. That is only one small part of an overarching role that prioritizes playmaking in the final third, and dynamically linking play between the other members of the front-line. The best of the art will often post high numbers in goals and assists, but 'Inverted Wingers' need to be so much more than just creative goal-scorers - generally tasked with creating space, rotating with teammates, and moving off the ball to exploit the half-spaces at the right moments.
When we say 'Creative Ten', I'm sure you immediately conjure up an image of a classical painter of a player, who wonderfully creates art with their passing and incisiveness in the final third. But as has been well documented over the past few years, that type of player does not tend to exist in the modern game. The Mesut Ozil's, David Silva's and Cesc Fabregas's of this world no longer tend to exist as they once did, or play in the same positions that they once held. Nowadays, 'number ten's' must not only be capable contributors in the final third, but highly active in pressing from the front, and contributing to rotations that spread the width of the pitch.
As the ball-dominant magic-wand sorcerers in central midfield, 'Midfield Maestros' accomplish feats that few other players would be capable of showcasing to the world. They ooze class every time they touch the ball, always looking dangerous as they dribble, carry or skillfully dance their way around the opposition. But beyond technical precision and pizzazz, 'Midfield Maestros' might be some of the most tactically adept out there, possessing the awareness of space that very few have mastered. Here is our analysis of the Midfield Maestro.
In our latest analysis series: Game of Numbers, we break down the various tactical undertones of the modern game, most notably the roles that individual players hold on the pitch to help their teams explore avenues for greatness. Positions are often broken down into 'numbers' to describe the areas of the field that a player may operate. This series aims to illustrate the ever-changing, fluid nature of those roles, and the ways in which various footballing teams may use the same players in the same roles to completely different effect. This is Issue No. 1, featuring the following: Lucas Paquetá & The 'Bernardo Silva Role', Joachim Andersen's 'Quarterback' Role vs. Arsenal, and Musiala's Masterclass vs. Eintracht Frankfurt.
Israel's sparkling light in a golden generation, Oscar Gloukh is now one of the most sought after teenagers in the world of football following his stunning performances at the U19 Euros. Gloukh plays week in, week out in the Israeli first division for Maccabi Tel Aviv, but on international turf against some of Europe's brightest young stars, the 18-year-old showed that he is more than capable of competing with the best. The Israelian talisman now has a plethora of clubs chasing after his signature for the upcoming campaign, and if he finds the right fit, he could go on to become one of the best playmakers of the next generation. Here is our analysis of Oscar Gloukh after his summer of success.
Following a Premier League campaign that featured his first two starts for Aston Villa, the young Lion has utilised the UEFA Under-19 European Championships as an opportunity to stake his claim for a spot in Steven Gerrard's first team squad next season. If not for Gerrard's team, there may even be a chance for a loan move to develop his trade, before the inevitable moment in which he will become an elite level Premier League midfielder.
A rollercoaster of a year for Yusuf Demir can end with his head held high after a tournament full of pride with Austria's Under-19's. Not reaching the semi-finals will feel like a major disappointment for Das Team, but the Wien local boy looks to have found the reinvigorating form that earned him a move to Barcelona at the start of last season. Things never quite panned out for Demir at Barca, and his contract was terminated after just six months. Since returning to Rapid, his performances have been up and down, but his evident technical quality still brings promise for what could become of the 19-year-old in the future. This Euros tournament has been all about regaining the confidence that sent Yusuf Demir to Camp Nou in the first place, and many top European sides will now be on red alert for his signature. Here is our analysis of Demir at this summer's U19 European Championship.
Out of all the midfielders in the Premier League, very few stand out when it comes to as many attributes as Conor Gallagher. The Chelsea loanee has been on fire all season long at Crystal Palace - bagging 8 goals with 3 assists in 33 matches, alongside some of the best pressing and tackling numbers of players in his position. With his late arriving goal-scoring form and top-tier pressing intensity, Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea are bound to steal Gallagher back into their team, and give him regular minutes next season. A quintessential box-to-box midfielder who can also dovetail as a number ten, Gallagher will be a massive miss for the Eagles next season. So with that, we examine who could possibly come in to replace the 22-year-old midfielder at Crystal Palace next season.
Currently in the process of chasing down a fourth Premier League title under Pep Guardiola, Kevin de Bruyne has taken charge of Manchester City's dominance in the last few months, rising above the rest as a completely untouchable figurehead in the team. Last night saw the Belgian score four goals in a single match, taking his tally up to 15 for the season - his most in a single Premier League campaign. With that, we break down the tactical elements of Kevin de Bruyne's masterclass against a normally stern Wolves defense, and how the Belgian led his team to a smashing 5-1 victory.
After turning a few heads during his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion last season, Conor Gallagher has turned several heads in 2021-22, with his stunning displays for Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace. Gallagher fits into Vieira's 4-3-3 like a fever dream, and has become the most important player in a normally Zaha-reliant set-up. So with that, today we take a look at why Conor Gallagher has been so effective for Crystal Palace, after his first 19 appearances for the Eagles. Here is our latest tactical analysis.
The end of year is almost here, and that means it's time for our annual Top 100 Footballers list. This year, you, the readers of our website, will get to have your say. Just simply see the list of nominees below, and rearrange the list to suit your preference of first to last in each position. When we rank the Top 100 Footballers of the Year, we take into consideration a player's form throughout 2021, their club and national team success, difficulty of league, and their reputation + performances in the year prior. You can rank based on any criteria you desire! Below is our poll ranking the best attacking midfielders in 2021.
In the past two years, Bernardo Silva has gone from a very talented footballer that occasionally would come on and make a difference for Manchester City, to one of the best players on the planet. Silva does the simple things very well while simultaneously making the complex look very, very easy. The decisions he makes on a football pitch are absolutely brilliant and he's even grown into a player capable of playing not only on the wing but in central midfield as well. This is a tactical analysis of Manchester City's supreme star, Bernardo Silva.