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Scouting a perfect wide midfielder

Scouting a perfect wide midfielder
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Football: Player Profile – Identifying / Scouting a perfect football wide midfielder. e.g Ngom Mbekeli Jerome, Conor Gallagher, Neymar, Salah

With advancement in technology and coaching and the desire for players to stick more to a coach’s tactics rather than primarily on their gifted skills, it is not surprising that one can actually create a perfect wide midfielder.

However as long as football is concerned with human beings, it does not just take training (Improvement) to create the such a player.

MUST READ: Identifying / Scouting a perfect Attacking Midfielder

Here I quote “Skills FIRST before anything else”

It is why scouting or identifying football talents [wide midfielder] will always be the primary means of creating a perfect wide midfielder. It is just like saying without a good idea, one cannot gather the rightful resources to produce the right and perfect output.

But what do i mean by a perfect wide midfielder?

The role of a Wide Midfielder in football

A Wide midfielder (Left midfielder or Right midfielder) is a midfield player who has a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned on the side of the field, closer to the touchlines of the pitch.

Wide midfielders roles are to control the ball on the side of the bitch, cross the ball into opponent’s penalty box and make goal scoring opportunities for their forwards.

Wide midfielders are also asked to help in defending. Usually, Wide midfielders are positioned on the pitch based on their preferred foot – Left-footed midfielders to be positioned as Left midfielders, and right-footed as Right midfielders.

Must Read: Scouting a perfect goalkeeper – modern goalkeeper

It is important to note that a wide midfielder is not the same as a winger.

The difference between wide midfielder and a winger

A wide midfielder is usually considered a part of the midfield, rather than an outright forward or attacker. Therefore, the wide midfielder is expected to serve a dual function in games. He will hold the width for his team in midfield and provide support at both ends [attack and defence] of the pitch. Meanwhile, a winger is primarily an attacker whose main role is to provide goals and assists for his side.

Position of wide midfielder and a winger on the pitch

A winger is primarily stationed in front of the midfield or alongside the striker. Some of the formations that use a winger include: 4-3-3, 4-2-4, 3-4-3 etc.

For the wide midfielder, they are stationed alongside the midfielders at the halfway line. They can also be slightly further forward depending on the type of formation, for example 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 4-1-4-1, 4-4-1-1 etc.

EDITOR’S PICK

The question that is left is, so how then do we scout or identify a perfect wide midfielder before taking them into training?

This brings us to the idea of Player Profiles of a perfect wide midfielder.

We all know a player’s profile must include their technical, physical, Psychological and tactical mentalities or qualities.

Player Profile: Wide Midfielder. e.g Ngom Mbekeli Jerome, Mohamed Salah

TECHNICAL ABILITY

  • Excels in 1v1 scenarios
  • Seeks to combine with teammates
  • Effective at dribbling and running with the ball
  • Will go outside and inside at various times during the game
  • Ability to cross the ball in a number of ways, and from different angles
  • Attempts to shoot when opportunity presents
  • Passing and receiving skills

PHYSICAL ABILITY

  • Acceleration
  • High energy
  • Defensive capabilities
  • Individual mobility
  • Rapid in transition
  • Balance
  • Stamina
  • Nutrition and lifestyle

TACTICAL ABILITY

  • Good relationship with full back
  • Recognizes overloads and how to exploit them
  • Assists defensively as the modern game demands
  • Uses individual mobility to effect defenders
  • Recognition and awareness of space
  • Effective decision making and when to penetrate by way of a pass, run, dribble
  • Alert to moments of transition
  • Will spot and react to triggers, knowing when to move and into which space

PSYCHOSOCIAL ABILITY

  • Confidence to attack the opposition 1v1
  • Willingness to assist others by way of crosses Open to shooting from distance
  • Delivers goals and assists when it matters
  • Seeks to go/play forward at every opportunity
  • Composed enough to execute under pressure
  • Not afraid of making mistakes
  • Embraces the need to work off the ball, including defensively

MUST READ: Football Remodeled: The Basics of Scouting

Conclusion

As a scout, just try following all the aforementioned qualities of a perfect wide midfielder and you are very sure to give birth to the next Neymar Junior, Jay Jay Okocha, Salomon Olembe, Mohamed Salah, Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo or the likes of youngsters like Cameroonian wide midfielder in Ngom Mbekeli Jerome, and Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher etc.

As a football talent willing to improve yourself as a wide midfielder to catch the eyes of scouts, follow our aforementioned qualities and the rest will be history.

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