The Different Faces of the Center Mid in Soccer
Soccer: The Different Faces of the Center Mid
Since I grew up the majority of the time playing as a center mid, I got to live and play with the magic of creativity, and a whole lot of running.
However, despite what you may have heard before—there is more to midfield than just running around. Here are the very different and versatile faces that a center mid can have:
The No. 6—The Playmaker
You can also call this position the defensive midfielder. It usually works either in a staggered midfield position (one defensive, one offensive) or in a triangular/square formation, where the No. 6 is either the one pivot or one of the two positioned players that receive the ball from the defense and then transition the play into attack.
A player held in this position usually holds deep but doesn't just play defensively. The responsibility involved in this player’s role is making key tackles, using tactical intelligence, honing in on technical quality, and controlling the game.
The No. 8—The Converted Attacking Mid
The No. 8 plays as an interior in a midfield with just three players and is usually not alone when they are playing as a defensive center mid. They are often encouraged to go forward and not hold so far back like the No. 6 does.
This type of player, differentiating from the No. 6 isn't usually a more defensive player. Although they are responsible for tracking back and tackling opponents, it isn't their main duty.
They are the best of both worlds—good on defense and can control, create, and score goals, as well.
There are also many faces of the No. 8, with some who are more creative minded and want to move the ball from one side to the other and those who are more goal-oriented and want to always covert plays towards goal.
The No. 10—The Attacking Mid
If you know anything about soccer or have heard anything, you've probably heard the reference to the number ten. On the field, this can be seen as usually one of the best players on the field. Some of the most technically gifted players are usually granted the number ten. Filled with agility, vision, the ability to cross, dribble, shoot, and pass, these players can really do it all. Most of the No. 10s are usually located smack dab in the middle of the field—with an attacking persuasion.
The No. 10 is creative and creates situations for goals and assists. They need to be the best at what they do because they are often met with a lot of pressure from the other team, often playing with their back to goal. They are creative and mainly attacking but have a defensive responsibility, as well.