Despite the fact that football is a team game, there is a chance of one weak link causing the team to win, or sometimes even the entire tournament. There might be some accidents like one misplaced pass or single lapse of concentration by any player, even by the main man of any team. Just take the legendary miscontrol of a routine pass and the slip followed by while trying to recover the ball afterward by the iconic Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in April 2014 as an example. This unfortunate event eventually led the All-red to miss the chance of lifting up the EPL trophy for the first time in their club history. These are the whims of fate, and you might not have any control over them.
But what can a manager do if the team has one or two below average players? Almost every soccer team has a player or two who are below average and lack particular skill-set, physical strength, or body fitness. A single weakest youth player is enough to end all the good works of the manager and teammates in vain over the course of a weekday match or the entire season. It can eventually doom the chances of the team winning and lifting up the trophy.
You might be thinking what is there to be bothered so much when the coach can easily sub the weaker player to get over the issue. Any coach of a professional team would also probably bench the weaker player if he’s got a backup player. But, things aren’t easy for any youth soccer team. It’s also not a good strategy for developing the skills and passions of any young player’s mindset. The weakest youth soccer player needs to get better, without hurting the entire team. So, finding a perfect position where the weakest youth soccer player can easily fit in while doing any damage to the team strength should be the first and foremost priority by any soccer team coach. Let’s find out more details about it.
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Where Do You Put Your Weakest Soccer Player?
There are some factors that the coach needs to analyze before putting his/her weakest soccer player in a particular position. The team formation and their style of play are the first two factors that need proper analysis at first. Apart from them, the player’s weaknesses and relative strengths should also be in consideration. While analyzing the player’s weakness, you would find some fundamental arenas where the soccer player usually struggles including fitness & body strength, passing accuracy, speed, dribbling, powerful & precise shooting ability, defending, ball controlling, tactics, and finishing. Placing the weakest soccer player is based upon what specific areas the player struggles.
For example, if any youth player struggles with long passes and ball handling, then forward or midfield shouldn’t be the perfect places for him. Again, in modern football center-backs play more important roles rather than only protecting the team from conceding goals. Sometimes they play the pivot role, sometimes their long pass and through make the differentials. Due to these roles, the center-back position isn’t ideal for the weakest player as well. Considering all of the facts, outside back/full-back is a good spot for the weakest player to showcase their strengths while also protecting the team.
What Is The Least Important Position In Soccer?
If it’s simply put, there is no easy or least significant position in soccer. In modern football, every position is important. Your defenders need to be solid, same goes for the central midfielders. Forwards should be the clinical ones, wingers have to be the fastest, and the keeper needs to be precise. Yet, there are some positions that are less risky compared to the other crucial ones. Examples of such safe positions include full backs, wing backs, second striker, or wide midfield positions. Soccer players with certain weaknesses fit better in these positions than the others. The worst soccer player of any team should play in one of these positions so that there’s no exposure to the team. Among all of these spots, the safest one for your weakest player is the full-back as there are relatively lower responsibilities and expectations in this position. The ball contact of the full-backs is also minimal compared to other players.
Why is the full-back position the easiest in soccer?
As said earlier, no spot in a soccer game is an easy one. Full-back is also a tough position and can put significant impact on a game. But if any player doesn’t feel best on some days during any game, the coach can certainly put him/her in as a full-back. So, what makes this position an easier one?
- Full-backs have the least contact with the ball: As per many researches, the full-backs need to make less contact with the ball than all other positions in a soccer team. Less contact means there are less decisions to make, fewer actions to take, and also minimal chances of errors; which eventually make the full-back position a safer one.
- Full-backs run less than most soccer players on the pitch: Full-backs for sure have to run more than the goalkeepers, but still they need to cover a relatively smaller area from the right or left of the central defense position to a little before the halfway line. You may wonder how full-backs run less than the centre-backs. Centre-backs frequently have to reach the opposite d-box region every time a set-piece or corner is taken, whereas the full-backs remain in their own half.
- The responsibilities upon the full-backs are smaller than others: The full-back isn’t expected to score goals like forwards, control the game like central midfielder, make pinpoint crosses for the headers like wingers, maintain the last line of defense like the central defenders, or keep the clean-shit like the goalkeepers. Full-back is absolutely the position that holds the least responsibilities.
Soccer is a game that can be played with different ideas, strategies, styles, and formations. Likely, where to play the weakest youth soccer player is ultimately a subjective opinion. There’s actually no solid way to prove one position easier than another. But if you’re a coach, comparatively analyzing the threats and challenges of other positions, the full-back is the ideal position to put your weakest youth soccer player and save your team.