Become a Pro Outside Midfielder

outside midfielder, soccer positions, soccer formations, midfield

Every Outside Midfielder should have the same mindset, take him on, take him on, take him on. Taking players on is a key aspect of being a dangerous outside mid.

Got some skills do ya? Moves too? well well look at you. Being an effective outside mid is about much more then the fancy bells and whistles, it is the most selfless position on the field, constant work with little credit. It's like spending all day building up the courage to talk to the girl of your dreams. So you go and make the perfect gift and card to go along with it.

Then you go to the can for one second and poof your best pal swoops in and gives it to her, all you get is to see is them hug and rejoice. Welcome to the wonderful world of an outside mid. Still interested in playing on the wing? If not don't worry you're not the first to not be able to handle it, if you are, keep reading.

Should Right Footed Players Play on the Left So They Can Cut In and Shoot?

It's a comfort thing to be honest. Some players feel much more comfortable playing on the opposite side of their dominant foot so they can hit the ball on goal on the run. If you get to a high enough level in your development you should be able to strike and serve the ball with both of your feet effectively.

Whichever side you do end up playing on remember to work like a dog on the weakness of your game whether it be the service with the non dominant foot or the striking of the ball.

How Much Defence Does A Winger Play?

Well a below average winger will play very little. A great winger will play plenty. Easy enough? What many players that play in wide areas don't understand even at the pro level that so much of their offensive success depends on their defensive work. Tracking back, intercepting a ball and being in great defensive position gives you opportunities to continually catch the defending team on their back foot. Not only are you more engaged in the game playing both ways but you also are helping your outside back be more successful and your overall defence. An average outside mid plays one way but a great outside midfielder is one that plays both sides of the ball, which one are you?

Top 5 Attributes A Professional Outside Mid Should Have

1. Tremendous Conditioning and Work Rate

2. Excellent 1v1 Attacking

3. Quality Varied Service (early balls, driven crosses and through balls)

4. Willing to do the work nobody sees (selfless)

5. Ability to dot the “i” in the final third

Not Getting the Ball Enough Out On the Flank?

The position can get quite frustrating at times when it seems the play is all on the opposite side. No matter what side you play it seems the ball is always a mile away from you.

This is where the patience and selflessness comes in. Trust in your teammates to get you the ball and trust that all the runs you are making will get rewarded eventually. On the other hand, there are days where it seems like the ball is constantly on your side so it goes both ways.

Technical Attributes of A Great Outside Midfielder:

-Technically Sound Footwork (receiving, opening up and sprinting with the ball) -Excellent Varied Service (able to pick out a player in the box with varied service such as crosses, early balls, through balls etc) -Technically Sound Receiving and First Touch (receiving the ball on the side line and using your first touch effectively can make up for so much on the wing) 

Physical Attributes of A Great Outside Midfielder:

In this position although an asset, it is not mandatory to have out of this world speed, the key though is taking players on AT SPEED. What you lack in some areas on the wing such as pace or quickness need to be made up in other aspects such as your ability to play quickly or high level of technical ability. Oh and one more thing, nothing replaces hard work, especially in this position.

-Good Lungs (able to play in the most fitness demanding position on the pitch, having great anaerobic fitness)

-Quick Lateral Agility (most of the game the player is facing side on) 

-Quick First Step (beating a defender is all about that first explosive step)

-Quick Acceleration (With and without the ball an outside mid needs to fly down the wing)

Essential Foundational Attributes of A Great Outside Mid:

-A tremendous work rate

-Physical Fitness the highest or among the highest on the team

-Selfless (you won't always get the credit for the tireless work you do, the unsung hero)

-Able to take players on 1v1 and exploit the areas behind the outside backs of the opposing team

-Ability for a variation of service (crosses, through balls, early crosses etc)

An Outside Midfielder is a position that is generally played by the hardest worker on your team because of its tremendous physical demands. Now that you know what it takes, do you have what it takes?

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