Adam Lawton                Evaluation of Football

Football is a demanding sport and each player has different jobs, as there are many different positions. Each player in a different position needs particular skills that make him or her effective at playing in their chosen role. If players were to be played in a position that didn’t use their skills to their full potential, then that player would not perform at a high level.

As a centre midfielder, I need to do the job that ensures that my team either regains possession of the ball before the opposition can shoot on goal, or keeps the ball in order to try and create a goal-scoring opportunity. I also have specific skills that make me effective at playing as a centre midfielder. Like me, anybody who else plays in the same position needs specific skills and qualities that will help them perform at a high level. The essential skills and qualities are listed along with why each one is important.

  • Awareness of Position- if a midfielder is out of position then the opposing team will be able to exploit that area in which the midfielder has left and possibly create a goal-scoring opportunity. But if the midfielder is aware of his position he will not wander out of position and add stability to the team’s formation.
  • Balance- when being approached by an attacking player, balance is needed to force the player away from goal and to be able to tackle when the opposition attempts to beat me with the ball. Balance is also important when attempting to head the ball as good balance keeps the player steady.
  • Tackling- this skill enables you to be able to dispossess the opposition of the ball. As a midfielder, tackling is needed to stop the opposition from creating goal-scoring opportunities. By tackling an opponent a midfielder then regains possession for his or her team, this can lead to an attack been made which could lead to a goal scoring opportunity. Tackling is an extremely important skill and can also be very effective.
  • Anticipation- when an attacking opposition player is approaching, good anticipation tells us when to tackle and at what time. By having good anticipation players can tackle effectively and prevent themselves from committing fouls. Also when the ball has been played either on the floor or in the air, good anticipation allows us to intercept the pass or to judge when to head the ball.
  • Heading- this skill can be very effective in both attacking and defending areas. If the ball is in the air heading is the best skill to use. Heading allows players to clear the ball from near their own area, to intercept an airborne pass, to pass to another player, or to head at goal and attempt to score. Like tackling heading is very effective and important for a midfielder.
  • Passing- passing is probably the most important skill in football. Every player needs to be able to pass a ball. If a player cannot pass a ball properly then he or she puts their team at risk as they will most probably give away possession to the other team. As a midfielder, I need to be able to pass with both feet, as when I am under pressure my weaker foot may be the only to relieve myself of the ball. Being able to pass also increases the chances of getting the ball to the strikers who then have the opportunity to score. As a midfielder my passing needs to be both varied and accurate. Short and long passing needs to be a confident part of my game.
  • Teamwork- this is more a quality than a skill. However it is extremely important in all team games, not just football. Being able to work as team plays a major role in winning football matches. When a team works together they communicate well and this communication causes the team to be well organised and disciplined.
  • Strength- football is a contact sport and the physical strength of a player is essential. Especially for a midfielder. It is this strength that midfielders use to tackle, to battle with opposition players when in pursuit of the ball and to shield the ball from opposition players. As a midfielder I need this strength to dispossess the opposing team and stop them from creating a chance to setup a goal scoring opportunity and also I need strength to hold of opposition players when I try myself to setup goal scoring opportunities.
  • Agility- agility is important for a midfielder when turning or twisting when in pursuit of the ball. If the ball is played past me then I need good agility to turn quickly and chase the ball in order to clear the ball from danger. To have good agility also enables me to adjust my body position quickly in order to try and force an opposing player in to a tackling position and also to quickly control a pass which has been misdirected.
  • Jumping- this skill is most helpful for when attempting to head the ball. Heading and jumping can be seen as a sort of pair and each is important for the other. Good jumping allows us to head the ball when challenging with an opposition player and good heading is very useful when in the air after a player has jumped.
  • Bravery- this is more of a mental attribute, but it is equally as important as physical skills. To be brave when playing football means that a player is not worried by the outcome of a decision or challenge. By going in for a tackle with an opposition player requires bravery and as a midfielder bravery is important. A midfielder constantly needs to make decisions and crucial tackles and interventions, and, depending on his or her bravery these vary in how effective they are. Foe example a player who is brave will have no worries about going in for a tackle, but somebody who is not as brave may back out at the last minute.
  • Aggression- this, like bravery is also more of a mental attribute rather than a physical one. A midfielder needs to be aggressive in order to perform the necessary defensive duties such as tackling. If a player is aggressive then his tackling ability will increase, as he or she will put all of their effort into a tackle, which increases the chances of the tackle being successful. However too much aggression can be a downfall as a player may tackle too hard and possibly get him or herself either cautioned or even sent-off.
  • Marking- to be able to mark the opposition requires good awareness and good positioning. A midfielder is needed to mark opposition players in every game and by doing so the midfielder is preventing the opposition from getting into a good position with the ball. A midfielder always needs to be aware of where his man is and the midfielder also needs to take up the correct position (goal side). This can be effective in preventing that opponent from getting into troublesome positions, with or without the ball. If I as a midfielder lost my man and was not able to mark him closely he may be able to create a goal scoring opportunity or score a goal himself.
  • Technique- technique is basically the ability that the player has when in possession of the ball e.g. His or her touch and control. When a player receives the ball they need to have good technique in order get the ball in the position that they want. As a midfielder, I need good technique in order to keep possession of the ball. If a player, especially a midfielder, does not have good technique then that player is putting their team at risk as their control is not good and they risk giving the ball away.
  • Stamina- Stamina is mostly needed in football for midfield players. If a midfielder is attacking and his or her team loses possession then the midfielder must retreat to his or her goal in order to try and prevent a goal from being scored. To have good stamina allows a midfielder to attack quite often throughout the match as they are then able to get back and defend quicker.
  • Pace- pace can be useful to a midfielder when either running with the ball or when chasing the ball. If a midfielder has a lot of pace then he or she can run past slower players with ball, and they  also has more chance of catching an attacking player if they are in pursuit of him or her
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Skills and Techniques

As a midfielder passing is an essential part of my game. I would consider passing as a strength which I poses. I feel that I am competent with the two main passing techniques. I feel that the pass with the side of my foot “the push pass” is carried out with sufficient accuracy and power. This allows me to play a pass in a game over a small or average size distance with ease and also with a high degree of accuracy.

The technique I use shows similarities to the “model” ...

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