where on the field can I play a slow player

where on the field can I play a slow player

where on the field can I play a slow player

Football CoachCoach
Dave HallCoach, Australia

Hi Tom

This is a hard question to answer. I would tend to play a slower player up front and have some of your quicker/better players play around them for support.

Hope this helps!!!

Football CoachCoach

In goal is usually the answer but perhaps the player doesn't feel like being in goal. Like Dave said, it sometimes works to post a slow player up front as a target man but involving him in such a role means you'll rarely see him in front of goal. After all, he'd be too slow to catch up.

Is he good on the ball? If so, perhaps you could position him in midfield instead. Slower players sometimes have a knack of being in the right spot at the right time. Ronald Koeman was probably the slowest defender I have ever seen but his positioning was exceptional.

In other words, look at his compensating skills. Carles Puyol is very small for a centre-back but has the best timing in the game. If your player is good on the ball, midfield might work. If he's good at positioning, centre back might work (especially, if your team is in possession more than the opposition). Good luck!

DavidOther, United States of America

Hi Tom, this is David from SoccerHelp. As Remco said, a slow player can be a good Goalkeeper if he or she has good hands, decent movement in the goal and can clear the ball on punts, and a slow player who is skillful and brave and who positions well can be good a Center Mid. A slow player can also be a good fullback if he is brave (not scared of the ball or of contact) and IF you don't Push Up your Fullbacks when you attack (if you Push Up a slow Fullback against a team that has a fast attack you will give up a lot of goals). In Recreational soccer I think the best place for a slow player who is also timid or unskilled is at left or right midfield or Goalkeeper (if he has good hands and decent movement in the goal). You must stay strong in the Center positions (between the goals such as Center Midfielder) but in Rec soccer you can give up the wings if you have to.

Hope this helps.

Football CoachCoach

I have, in both competitive and rec. and with both boys and girls, had some success (such as it is) putting the slow player as the attacking mid.  I tell them to just try dominate and win everything in the central circle and when we're on defense, don't go back farther than the circle so as to win balls comming out of the defense.  And then in transition and the attack, to stay tied to the circle but not be afraid to leave it to get in position for a pass or to win the ball.  I have the rest of the team play mostly up the sidelines and use the attacking mid for wall passes in transition.

I have also tried putting that player as one of the defensive mids/stoppers in a 3-5-2 formation with varying degrees of success.  I have also tried forward.  With two forwards it's tough to play the slow player there. 

But if you run say, a 4-3-3. you could try the slow player at the central forward.  That tempts the other team's central defenders to leave the middle to support the sides and the slow player can potentially get open for a shot before the backside defender slides over.  In that case, perhaps you also create isolation on the backside wing or wing forward with central or covering outside defenders wasted on the "slow" player.  When you think about it, it's almost the same as putting that player at attacking mid.

I have also made them run the wing.  If their conditioning is not good, I have them concentrate on the offensive or defensive portion of the wing position, not both.  I encourage them to try and dominate at just that part and perhaps over time and practice, their conditioning and speed will allow them to play well doing both aspects of the wing position.  I have to make other assignments in the formation to compensate of course.

I actually have seen some of the slowest and worst players at u10 or u12 become some of the greatest by high school.  I don't mind taking one or two such players competitively IF their attitude is really good and they realize game time is limited until they blossom.

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