What makes a really good midfield player?

There are different types of midfield players and I’m going to base these on their numbers, So let’s begin with the number 4 or the sitting midfield player. This player needs to not only defend a lot and break up the attacks they need to be disciplined while the attacking players do what they are good at. This type of player will be comfortable on the ball and be able to receive under pressure, have good movement to find space.

The next player is the number 8 or the dictator, I play this position so like to think I’m experienced enough to know what it takes to play that position. 1st thing that spring into my mind when thinking of the number 8 position is 1. Receiving under pressure, 2. Breaking lines, 3. Body movement & shapes,  4. Defending, 5. Finishing.

Along with these attributes this player needs to be box to box and have the confidence to control the play & pace of the game. Being able to control the tempo of the game with different Types of passes and staying on the ball to make key forward passes is key.

The last position is the number 10 again I have played this position in a number of good teams and thoroughly enjoy this position, for this player it is very important to try to break lines and take risks penetrating through the opposition to create chances for others and themselves. I like a number 10 who can dribble and be exciting on the ball. I see a lot of mangers who want this player to work incredibly hard and the typical hard-working player in England would run around a lot which may seem good to someone who doesn’t understand the game, but I see this player being clever and picking the ball up in between the lines and making the team tick going forwards. Lastly this player definitely needs to be able to finish as they will find themselves in great positions to score.

The 5 key attributes a midfield player must have are:

1.       Receiving under pressure

At the highest level of the game you have to be able to receive the ball under pressure.

2.       Breaking Lines

The best players can break lines with the ball at their feet… exploiting space and dominating 1 v1 in central areas.

3.       Body movement & shapes

How you move your body efficiently with and without the ball to maximize impact with balance and coordination.

4.       Defending

Winning the ball back quickly has become a key part of Midfielders games, knowing the triggers to defence are key.

5.       Finishing

Bending it into the top corner or timing a run into the box for a tap in, goal scoring midfielders are always at the top of their game.

Who are your favourite number 4, 8 & 10 players in the Premier League? Can you copy & learn from these players and model your game from these?