Midfielder Line Fundamentals
It is very important to be clear about the basics of the Midfielder Line Fundamentals, in order to maintain the balance of the spaces cleared by the player’s movements. When we analyze or compare behaviors from different teams, we always have to take into account both the model of our own game (principles and sub principles in each phase and moment of the game), as well as the opponent strategy because, of course, it will affect those decisions.
Let’s put ourselves in a very specific situation: If a player from the front line enters the midfielders line, how should the midfielders already located in that inner zone organise?
Now is when the Midfielder Line Fundamentals appear: balancing the game spaces made by players moving towards the center of different positions. That is: the front line player appears descending towards the midfield area. At this moment the Fundamental is activated, and the decision-making of the players that already started in the center half, begins. They have to start evaluating what to do, if they continue to maintain the same preset position, placing themselves in intervals, gaining breadth, giving depth after perceiving a free space …
We could also introduce a concept in the Line Fundmentals, such as perception. The ‘inside’ player should be constantly looking 360º to improve the decision making, always based on a game model preset by the coach.
We will analyze 3 isolated situations of 3 different teams such as FC Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool. In order to make a clear comparison and to observe different behaviors, we have chosen these teams that share the same game system, 1-4-3-3.
We can see in the image that Griezmann loses height to support Jordi Alba, who has the ball (Red circle would be the position that the French player starts). Both Rakitić and De Jong are holding their position. For what? Surely to have a pass line, to find close support, and to activate the 3rd man with the game in front of him.
Perhaps to be able to have players behind the ball and after the possible loss be sheltered and be able to activate the pressure from back to front.
Similar image to the previous one, where it starts from the left zone. The Center Forward descends and, besides being able to play the game using the concept of the 3rd man, De Bruyne in the lower part of the image (marked in green) is generating amplitude, where it is surely placed in an interval to be able to break opponent lines if he receives the ball or simply makes a change of position.
Third situation: Salah. Starting from the right wing position, fills an interior area offering support to the ball holder. We observe how he gets too close to the striker. If it is right or wrong, it’s up to the coach’s decision, based on his game model.