The forward (10, red) is past the defence (16, white) and is about to take ashotat the goal. Thegoalkeeperwill attempt to stop the forward from scoring a goal by preventing the ball from passing the goal line.
Forwardsare the players on anassociation footballteam who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoringgoals.
Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players.
Modernteam formationsgenerally include one to three forwards; for example, the common4231formation includes one forward.Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none.
The traditional role of a centre-forward is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. The player may also be used to winlong ballsor receive passes and retain possession of the ball with their back to goal asteammatesadvance, in order to provide depth for their team or help teammates score by providing a pass (through ball into thebox); the latter variation usually requiring quicker pace and good movement. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the second strikers or central attacking midfielders, and do the majority of the ball handling outside the box. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of anattacking midfielder, especially in the 4312 or 41212 formations. The termtarget manis often used to describe a particular type of striker whose main role is to win high balls in the air and create chances for other members of the team (not necessarily scoring many goals themselves).These players are usually tall and physically strong, being adept at heading the ball. The term centre-forward is taken from the early football playingformationin which there were fiveforwardplayers: twooutside forwards, twoinside forwards, and one centre-forward.
When numbers were introduced in the 1933English FA Cup final, one of the two centre-forwards that day wore the number nine a strong, powerful forward who had set the record for the most goals scored in a season inEnglish footballduring the 192728 season. The number would then become synonymous with the centre-forward position (only worn that day because one team was numbered 111 whilst the other was numbered 1222).
The role of a striker is rather different from that of a traditional centre-forward, although the terms centre-forward and striker are used interchangeably at times, as both play further up the field than other players, while tall, heavy and technical players, likeZlatan Ibrahimović, have qualities which are suited to both positions.Like the centre-forward, the traditional role of a striker is to score goals; strikers are therefore known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the blind side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position, as typified byRonaldo.They are typically fast players with good ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers likeMichael Owenhave an advantage over taller defenders due to their short bursts of speed. A good striker should be able toshootconfidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to link-up with teammates and pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. While many strikers also wear the number 9 shirt, the position is also associated with thenumber 10, which is frequently worn by more creative deep-lying forwards such asPel, and occasionally with numbers 7 and 11, which are often associated with wingers.
Deep-lying forwards have a long history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards. More recently, two more variations of this old type of player have developed: the second, or shadow, or support, or auxiliary striker and, in what is in fact a distinct position unto its own, the number 10,exemplified byDiego Maradona, who is often described as anattacking midfielderor theplaymaker.
The second striker position is a loosely defined and most often misapplied description of a player positioned somewhere between the out-and-out striker, whether he is a target-man or more of a poacher, and the Number 10 or attacking midfielder, while possibly showing some of the characteristics of both. In fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position.Conceivably, a Number 10 can alternate as a second-striker provided that he or she is also a prolific goalscorer; otherwise, a mobile forward with good technical ability (dribblingskills and ball control) and link-up play, who can both score andcreate opportunitiesfor a less versatile centre-forward, is more suited. Second or support strikers do not tend to get as involved in the orchestration of attacks as the Number 10, nor do they bring as many other players into play, since they do not share the burden of responsibility, functioning predominantly asassistproviders.In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta,whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacanteor ponta-de-lança.
The position ofinside forwardwas popularly used in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. The inside forwards would support the centre-forward, running and making space in the opposition defence, and, as the passing game developed, supporting him or her with passes. The role is broadly analogous to theholeorsecond strikerposition in the modern game, although here there were two such players, known asinside rightandinside left.
In early235 formationsthe inside-forwards would flank the centre-forward on both sides. With the advent of theWM formation, the inside forwards were brought back to become attacking midfielders, supplying balls to the centre-forward and the two attackingOutside forwards known as theoutside rightandoutside left.
In the modern game, inside forwards have either been pushed up front to become out-and-out attackers (in433 formations) or one has been switched back into midfield and the other up front (in442). Many teams, however, still employ one of their strikers in a withdrawn role as a support forward for the main striker, in a role broadly similar to the inside forward.
Anoutside forwardplays as the advanced forward on the right or left wing as anoutside rightoroutside left, typically as part of a235 formationor one of its variants. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to becomemidfielders, the terminology has changed and outside forward has become a historical term. Many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left.
The responsibilities of an outside forward include but are not limited to:
Scoring: their first option should be to shoot, while their second option should be to find another way to create a goal opportunity for the team.
Passing: when they run into a shooting angle that is unlikely to become a goal, they must find a way to pass the ball to the middle of the penalty box area allowing the centre-forwards to finish the job.
Due to these responsibilities some of the most important attributes include:
Awingeris an attacking player who is stationed in a wide position near the touchlines. They can be classified as forwards, considering their origin as the old outside-forward position, and continue to be termed as such in most parts of the world, especially in Latin and Dutch footballing cultures. However, in the British game (in which the 442 formation and its variants are most commonly used) they are usually counted as part of the midfield.
It is a wingers duty to beat opposingfull-backs, deliver cut-backs orcrossesfrom wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders and score from close range. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team and usually have good dribbling skills as well. In their Dutch, Spanish andPortugueseusage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball. Otherwise, a winger will drop closer to the midfield to make himself available, should his team win back the ball.
In British and other northern European styles of football, the wide-midfielder is expected to track back all the way to his own corner flag should his full-back require help, and also to track back his marker, as well as tucking into the midfield when the more central players are trying to pressure the opposition for the ball, a large responsibility for attack-oriented players, and particularly those likeJoaqun(winger/wide midfielder),Cristiano Ronaldo(winger/striker) orRyan GiggsandJohn Barnes(winger/central midfielder) who lack the physical attributes of a wing-back or of a more orthodox midfield player. As these players grow older and lose their natural pace, they are frequently redeployed as Number 10s between the midfield and the forward line, where their innate ball control and improved reading of the game in the final third can serve to improve their teams attacking options in tight spaces. An example isInternazionales use of veteranLus Figobehind one or two other attackers, as a second striker or attacking midfielder.
In recent years there has been a trend of playinginverted wingers wide men stationed on the wrong side of the pitch, in order to enable them to cut inside andshooton their stronger foot and sometimes provide in-swinging crosses. This tactic was used byFrank Rijkaard, who whilst atBarcelona, movedLionel Messifrom the left flank onto the right wing, initially against the players wishes, allowing him to cut into the centre and shoot or cross with his left foot.
The false 9, in some ways similar to a more advanced attacking midfielder/playmaker role, is an unconventional lone striker or centre-forward, who drops deep into midfield. The purpose of this is that it creates a problem for opposingcentre-backswho can either follow the false 9, leaving space behind them for onrushing midfielders, forwards or wingers to exploit, or leaving the false 9 to have time and space to dribble or pick out a pass.
The term comes from the traditional number for center-forwards (nine), and the fact that normally a centre-forward traditionally stayed near the line ofdefendersuntil they got an opportunity to move past them toward goal.
Key attributes for a false 9 are similar to those of a deep-lying striker; dribbling ability to take advantage of space between the lines, good short passing ability to link up with the midfield and vision to play through teammates making runs from deep to goal.
The first false 9 in a World Cup wasJuan Peregrino Anselmoin theUruguay national team, although he could not play the match againstArgentinain the1930 World Cupdue to injury.Matthias Sindelarwas the false 9 of theWunderteam, theAustria national team, in 1934.A false 9 was also utilized byHungaryduring the beginning of the 1950s, with strikerNndor Hidegkutiacting in the role.
Romaunder managerLuciano SpallettiusedFrancesco Totti, nominally an attacking midfielder ortrequartista, up-front in an innovative 460 formation;this was met with a run of 11 consecutive victories.
ArsenalunderArsne WengerutilisedRobin van Persieas a false 9, often partnering withTheo Walcottwho would move into the box from the flanks, in a false 4231.
AtEuro 2012SpainmanagerVicente del Bosque, although sometimes using a typical striker inFernando Torres, used a false 9 inCesc Fbregasin several matches, includingthe final. By the end of 2012, the False 9 had gone mainstream with many clubs employing a version of the system.BarcelonaLionel Messihas been an exponent of the false 9 position to much success in recent years, first under coachPep Guardiola, then underTito Vilanovaand later underErnesto Valverde
One approach to stop false 9s has been to create congestion in the midfield by bringing several players back into a more defensive role in an attempt to deny them space needed to create plays, notably inJos Mourinhos parking the bus strategy.
Alex Morgan(13) andAbby Wambach(14)Morgan and Wambach combined for 55 goals in 2012 matching a 21-year-old record set in 1991 byMichelle Akers(39 goals) andCarin Jennings(16 goals) as the most goals scored by any duo in U.S. WNT history.
A strike team is two or more strikers who work together. The history of football has been filled with many effective combinations. Three-man teams often operate in triangles, giving a wealth of attacking options. Four-man packages expand options even more.
Strikers must also be flexible, and be able to switch roles at a moments notice, between the first (advanced penetrator position), second (deep-lying manoeuvre) and third (support and expansion, e.g. wings) attacker roles.
Another example was theTotal Footballplayed by the Dutch team in the 1970s, where the ability of their players, and in particularJohan Cruyff, to swap positions allowed a flexible attacking approach which opposition teams found difficult to effectively mark.
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This page was last edited on 25 March 2018, at 20:45.