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Friday, February 10, 2012

What To Look For In A Player WINGERS


Technical Attributes

Crossing: Arguably the primary job of a winger is to provide service for his forwards. Being on the wing means supplying the ball aerially, if he can get to the byline (good Dribbling) and do it then great, it's more dangerous, and the forward is less likely to be offside. Having that killer cross is a requirement for anyone on the wing.

Dribbling: To get around and behind defenders, dribbling is a skill that should be mastered. Someone who can dribble is a threat anywhere. Defenders don't like it. With Pace, Acceleration and Crossing, it can work wonders. With a bit of Flair, Creativity and Technique, it dazzles defenders and excites fans.

Technique: Footballing skill is a requirement of this position. Just look at the two best players in the world (by popular opinion) at the moment. Ronaldo and Messi are both wingers. They have awesome skill and the ball is their slave. Knowing what you can do with the ball and actually doing it is an excellent quality.

First Touch: With a bit of good Anticipation, the winger needs to bring down the ball. Centre-backs, goalkeepers, central midfielders, forwards alll look to the wing. Bringing it down effectively is something wingers need to learn. What he does after, is dependant on good Technique.

Passing: A winger generally counts as a midfielder. So passing is a part of his game. Having a good range is a bonus, but even quick short passes to a fullback on the overlap is a trick.

Long Shots/Finishing: Chipping in with several goals a season is almost a requirement for the modern day winger. You don't have to do a Ronaldo and score 20-25, but cutting in and smashing it at goal, or calmly placing it across the goal is great support for a striker.

Corners/Free kicks: Since their usually the most skilful players on a team, and the ones who provide that service, it makes sense for them to have set piece responsibility. Beckham, Juninho, Ronaldinho a few examples. Of course any one with that ability is a useful player to have on a team.

Mental attributes

Creativity/Flair: Making something out of nothing can sometimes be in the job description. But going past defenders is definitely there. Stepovers, dummies, feints, backheels, Marseille 360s, Cruyff turns... moves made famous in football and some of which a winger must have in their locker. Flair is what fans like to see.

Anticipation: For the First Touch to be good, wingers need to be prepared. Where to touch the ball, and how to bring it down, adjusting to the situation each time. Sometimes this can directly lead to a goal.

Off The Ball: Unmarked runs. Something defenders have to keep their eye on. Wingers need to be clever even without the ball on their feet, staying that step ahead. A killer ball from a Pirlo or an Alonso is just waiting for that slick movement.

Decisions: What to do, when to do. Is there a striker in the box? Is there a space behind the fullback I can run onto? Should I cut inside? Should I shoot? Often, you also need good Teamwork as a winger. Making good Decisions consistently comes with experience, or intuition.

Determination/Work Rate: Going up and down the wing, from attack to defence, and defence to attack you need to be bothered. Giving up doesn't help and fullbacks get frustrated when their wingers don't track back. Rooney often makes tackles near the penalty area when he's played out on the wing. Not that it's always a good idea.

Physical attributes

Pace/Acceleration: Getting to the end of a long ball, having bursts of pace to continually beat players, running with the ball away from pursuing players all need speed, and bursts of speed. Probably a big requirement on the wing.

Agility/Balance: Moving quickly, subtly, whilst keeping on your feet, with the ball at your feet is a tough ask. Great if you can do that however. A smooth twist of a shoulder can completely baffle defenders leaving them in no-man's land, as Kaka has sometimes displayed while out on the wing.

Stamina: If a player on the wing is determined enough to continually commit himself to being up and down the field, he needs to be physically capable of that.