How Indispensable Are Midfielders To Soccer?

By Toby T July 11, 2022

In the game of soccer, each team has 11 players, each with their various positions. The positions are that of the attackers, midfielders, defenders, and goalkeepers.

Each position has one or more players playing simultaneously, depending on the formation. While the attackers attack, the defenders defend, and the goalkeepers keep the ball out of the goalposts, what exactly do the midfielders do?

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Midfielders, as their name implies, are players who play in the middle of the pitch between the defenders and the attackers. This wasn’t always the case, though. Before the creation of the 4:4:2 formation, players who played in the lower part of the midfield were called “half-backs.” In contrast, those who played behind the attackers were called Inside forwards.

The balance of the 4:4:2 formation made the midfielder’s role more concrete. Modern football has evolved various kinds of midfielders who play differently. This ranges from the box-to-box midfielder, who has to be an all-around midfielder, to the playmaker, whose job includes controlling the flow of passes in the game. 

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A good midfielder must have a couple of technical abilities, including dribbling, positional awareness, and pass predictions, and they should be reasonably good at tackling. They also need stamina because they cover most of the pitch of all the positions.

Midfielders are essential to soccer as they determine the game’s pace. The stronger the team’s midfield, the more control they have over the game.