Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders

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As a soccer player, I have had the opportunity to play with so many soccer stars who have risen above the ranks and so I had to bring this topic, “Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders” to our notice since this is a role that I’ve have come to develop likeness for in recent years.

They’re are different positions scattered all around the football pitch but this position is very important because it acts as the base of the midfield, while also serving as a link between the attack and defence; helping in quick transitions in a soccer game.

Holding Midfielders

If I should ask you of midfielders of choice, you would mention so many with attacking flares, while disregarding those who acts as the shock absorbers from attacking teams because the help in cushioning the effect of opponent’s attack.

While talking of excellent midfielders, we won’t forget to add names like Dunga, Roy Keane, Patrick Viera, Daniele De Rossi, Xabi Alonso, Claude Makelele, Sergio Busquet, Nemanja Matic that possess Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders.

Furthermore, in our modern day, we have names like that have Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders, such as N’golo Kante, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Partey, Rodri, Declan Rice, Moises Caicedo, Yves Bissouma, Casemiro, Oriol Romeu, Douglas Luiz, Fabinho, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Kavin Philips, Joao Palhinha, Marcelo Brosovic, etc,.

Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders

Below are some of the Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders. Some soccer players call or see themselves as good holding midfielders but I wish to let them know that being a good holding midfielder when you’re with the ball, and lacking positional awareness when off the ball or when defending against opponents  makes you useless in the field of play.

Moreso, I regard players who are useful when the ball is on their feet and when the ball is off their feet.

Tactical Intelligence

You must have the ability to properly read and anticipate opponent’s next move, while also communicating effectively to other teammates on where to stand to plug any loophole you think can come out as a result of poor positioning.

Players like Busquet, Rodri, Rice, and Kimmich have proven to other midfielders why tactical intelligence is of essence. Here, the holding midfielders, quietly and intelligently anticipates what the opponent will do.

Most times, they come out victorious in stealing balls and breaking plays quickly, while also transitioning to help their teams to counter opponents.

Also, you can check: Key Strategies and Techniques in Soccer Prediction

Strong Tackling

Being a strong and a reliable holding midfielder entails that you must have a strong tackling ability. Being weak or feeble isn’t an attribute of one who can comfortably occupy this position.

Their ability to tackle opponents should be in a way that they can successfully retain possession for their team. This tackle should in a way that it should be clean and precise, thereby keeping the tackler free from dangerous cards that might ensue after such tackles.

Furthermore, make most tackles while on your feet, and make sliding tackles when you’re sure to avoid the risks that might come afterwards. As red cards or a yellow card can lessen your effect, thereby affecting your input in your team.

You can see players  like Kante, Joao Palhinha, Emile Hojbjerg, Douglas Luiz, Patrick Viera, and Roy Keane, Fernandinho, and Yves Bissouma are good and tough tacklers you can always look at.

Excellent Passing Skills

Another attribute listed among the Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders is possessing an Excellent Passing Skills. This is a very good quality that most teams use to manouvre opponents because their holding midfielders can switch passes to any wing, while also having the ability to do one or two short passes that can help escape opponent’s press, while also retaining possession.

Also, we should know that passing isn’t about just hitting the ball, but hitting it in such a way that it meets the opponent in the most suitable or comfortable position. Jorginho, Joshua Kimmich, Xabi Alonso, Declan Rice.

Physical and Mental Toughness

Physical and Mental Toughness is an important quality of a holding midfielder. They should be able to collect the ball from opponents calmly, while also maintaining their cool under intense pressure. He should also have the stamina to stand the test of time while covering grounds for his team.

That is why we always have players like N’golo Kante and Sergio Busquet as standards because they’ve shown that they can cover ground and also keep their cool under pressure.

Leadership Qualities

A great defensive midfielder must have great leadership. They must have the ability to effectively communicate with their teammates on loopholes to plug and also moves to make while in the field of play; also, he should have the ability to motivate his teammates and lift their spirits while pushing them to victory.

SEE NOW: Managerial Impact on Soccer Predictions: Evaluating Coaches’ Strategies and Tactics

Improving Your Quality As a Holding Midfielders Using Training

In improving your quality as a holding midfielder, it is paramount to train your self in the technical part of the game because in times when strength doesn’t win, technicality wins; and that is the most important.

Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders When In Possession

  • Ability to provide passing lanes for the GK or defenders to play out from the back to break the opposition forward line or escape opponent’s press.
  • Drop deep and play a one-two pass, so as to drag the opposition player out of position while also creating space in the middle.
  • Retain possession by switching the play out wide or recycle the ball back to the defensive line.
  • Checking  your shoulders to assess how much space you have when receiving a pass from a teammate; alertness is needed since it’s always dangerous for you to lose possession in the middle of the park.
  • The main role in possession is to help in transitioning.

In the situation where the full-backs have forwards who are high up the pitch, and therefore need for full-backs to support the attack, it may be necessary to drop into the defence to provide cover in should possession changes hands.

Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders When Out Of Possession

This is when scouts properly look out for their player of choice should they want the addition of a defensive midfielders to their ranks. How well do you look when out of possession? Do you look useful or useless? You should have the ability to read and plug holes, while anticipating opponent’s next move.

  • Just like a sunscreen, you should also act as a screen in front of the back four to protect them from any impending danger.
  • When defending in wide areas, shuffle over to keep that screen in front of the full back and the centre back
  • Discipline is key – As rightly pointed out, avoid getting pulled out wide thereby leaving the defence exposed to opposition midfield runs.
  • Try and press the space not the player, cut off the passing angles for the player in possession, while also intercepting balls.

Finally, when looking at the Top Qualities of Excellent Holding Midfielders, you should always take cognisance of some of these qualities mentioned as development or mastery in Tactical Intelligence, Excellent Passing Skills, Strong Tackling, Physical and Mental Toughness, and Leadership Qualities.

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