Football Champions

Midfielders

Traditionally the position of right-sided midfielder is an offensively minded, technically-gifted footballer. Often, the right midfielder will neglect defensive duties in favour of showing skills and pace and attacking the opposition left back. Right midfielders can also be called right wingers or wide rights.

The main aim of the right midfielder is to beat the opponent and deliver crosses or through-balls to create goal-scoring opportunities. Some of the best in history have included Stanley Matthews, Jairzinho and Eddie McGoldrick. Their speed, skill and ability to create chances from nothing helped their teams to greatness.

In the past thirty years, the… Continue reading

The left midfielder will traditionally be a left footed wide player with pace and skill to beat the opposition right back. Some of the greatest crowd-pleasing soccer players have been left midfielders including George Best, Rivelino and John Salako. Since I began watching the game, there have been enough decent left midfielders to fill every team in the football league.

The England national team has recently struggled to find a great left midfielder and have opted to move right and central midfielders to the left. This problem highlighted the importance of having a naturally left sided midfielder to give the… Continue reading

THE BIG PICTURE Japan coach Takeshi Okada was close to laughing stock status coming into World Cup 2010. Not least because he made the seemingly insane claim that Japan would reach the semi-finals at a time when Japan was unable to make ball meet net. But then Okada made one inspired decision: Playing attacking midfielder Keisuke Honda as the lone striker in 4-1-4-1 formation. Sounds all kinds of wrong, but Honda has scored twice in Japan’s first three games and done a sterling job of leading the attack. Honda and teammate Yasuhito Endo have also done their geometry homework, both… Continue reading

THE BIG PICTURE South Africa 2010 is Slovakia’s first World Cup as an independent nation, and only New Zealand’s second ever trip to the big stage (they were last seen in 1982). Slovakia have realistic expectations of maybe taking second place in Group F, and so a win here is essential if that’s going to happen. Slovakia will attack with quick and talented midfielders like Marek Hamsik, Miroslav Stoch and Vladimir Weiss Jnr. (his dad is the coach). New Zealand will defend with big captain Ryan Nelsen of Blackburn Rovers, but will be without vice-captain Tim Brown who didn’t recover… Continue reading

Team of the Day: South Korea – and by some margin. They were dynamic, skillful, disciplined and prepared. Floating around the pitch cutting angles and making intelligent runs with the occasional pass to match while staying strong defensively despite charging fullbacks (Cha Du-Ri was particularly impressive – largely because he was being urged on by bikini-clad fans), it wasn’t quite the ‘70 Brazil, but they were shining brightly and have easily become the early candidate for surprise, and perhaps Cinderella, of the tournament.

Next up: Argentina. There’s only one thing left to do.

Who’s hungry?

Player of the Day: Vincent… Continue reading

Soccer field diagram

When a soccer field diagram is used to teach the kids soccer formations and various positions, the job of planning and execution becomes very simple. When your kids are young, somewhere between 4 to 6 years of age, what works best is to have them play in small sided soccer like a 3 v 3 or a 4 v 4 not including the goalies.

With the kids growing up, they can move to a 5 v 5 together with a goalkeeper. This has tremendous benefits. They enjoy the game much more; get maximum contacts with the ball,… Continue reading

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