Just before the turn of the millennium, ‘Football Teams’ don’t necessarily need a ‘Wing-Back’ who could defend as well as lunch an attacking threat on opposing teams.
But now, the game has evolved drastically, with the game now going in the direction of the new trend of having a player who could attack as well as defend in a team. As such, that now makes players playing that position the most sought after as the game is swiftly moving away from the conventional old styles of defending alone and not necessarily bump forward to attack.
Before now, the best and well-known formation in football is the conventional 4-4-2 formation , but in recent years there has been a huge decline in the number of teams playing the 4-4-2 formation, as it’s swiftly becoming an outdated concept of the game.
The 4-4-2 formation usually features, two centre defenders, two wing-backs, two centre midfielders, two wide midfielders, and further up the pitch lie two forwards that sums up the formation.
However, while the 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3 have now become the norm or trend of modern-day football which the transitional managers now opted for.
With gaffers such as Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte to mention a few, are now paying more attention to that position as well as knowing how versatile they are in all-round play, in terms of defending which is their primary assignment, as well as attacking which is now the norm which strengthens the team attacking wise.
2020/21 summer transfer market is the most elongated transfer business in the history of the game, due to damages the pandemic inflicted on the football world. We saw 25 whopping full-backs been signed in the English Premier League, while other top five European leagues also brought in one or two to strengthen their team.
Among all of the players that were signed this summer, in the Premier League, over 25 full-backs were brought in which makes it the highest number in the last six years and equalled 22% of the Premier League’s overall 112 new arrivals in all positions.
Ironically, the second-highest ratio in that period was just 17% of players playing that position were signed during the summer, prior to the 2017-18 campaign. While the just-concluded transfers window comes with a 9% increase in the number of players signed this year compared to the signings made last year.
As it stands, the transitional managers of modern-day football now see the position as the most significant position they must address in their team, as such with the new trend in football, managers want to possess a fantastic player in their ranks that could go back and forth brilliantly in the team.
As pointed out above, before the turn of the millennium, players in that position are usually not in high demand unlike now.
Meanwhile, in the Premier League, £37m or more were spent on centre defenders with that position also calling for attention on players who could play from behind, while the businesses made for players in the department are the most frequently recruited in this summer enjoyed the largest total money spent which is ‘£245m’.
To further buttress the reason why they’ve been a huge demand, almost every top side in the top five leagues in Europe signed at least one this summer, except for Real Madrid who didn’t sign any players in the transfer market.
However, the rate in which they were brought in the Premier League was a testament to how much that position has revolutionised under the transitional managers. Albeit, some of the team may not necessarily sign players in that position, to instantly walk into the team, some acquired them for the future, while some signed them to straightly walk into the team.
The Premier League could comfortably boost of the top-three player in that department that was signed this summer that would walk straight into any team in Europe.
Nelson Semedo was signed by Wolverhampton from Barcelona, Sergio Reguilon by Tottenham from Real Madrid, and Ben Chilwell to Chelsea from Leicester City. While Inter Milan also brought in Achraf Hakimi, Sevilla secured the service of Acuna from Sporting Lisbon, Barcelona brought in Sergino Dest and some other top team in Europe.
Why has there been such a huge demand for wing-back this summer?
It’s simple, it is without a doubt that the position has seen or experienced the most transition in recent years especially with the obsession of managers wanting to play the gengen-pressing style of play, and also want to have a player who could defend and likewise attack, just like what
Trent Alexander Arnold, Robertson, Marcelo ,
Dani Carvajal, Sergio Reguilon, Alphonse Davies, and Alaba brings to the table for their respective teams attacking wise.
With what the players bring in, it is safe to say they’ve now become a very essential and significant player at the high level of the game, unlike before when they weren’t seen as much of a significant player in a team.
However, with the ways managers set up their team tactically, specifically with the obsession of managers wanting to play with fast and attacking-minded players, it’s now a position much attention is been paid to and also a position that gulps a lot of money to secure the preferred player who would fit in seamlessly into the manager’s philosophy.
Having explains why wing-backs have seemingly gained or become significant in football and now in the transfer market, it still doesn’t say they also don’t come with their flaws.
Although they come with a lot of athleticism, they bump forward and support the attacking setup of the team depending on how the team set up, and when they fail to do their job as expected their flaws usually come to the fore.
Defending Or Attacking Weaknesses
First off, let start with their defensive capabilities, right since the game of football was invented, footballers playing wing-back could either be to defend or attack, but then their primary assignment in a team is to defend.
However as the game started evolving, we saw players such as Marcelo, Dani Alves, Dani Carvajal, Trent, Robertson, and a whole lot of them attack further up the pitch.
But when their team comes against a team that could also press high up the pitch, the weaknesses of that position become evident and the team becomes imbalance and open to danger from the opposing team, due to how high the player has stayed up or attack up the field.
Failing to track back to help the team defensively which is the primary assignment of all defenders generally in football could spell doom for the team.
Interestingly, with the new generation of modern-day players emerging, the weaknesses are gradually disappearing, because they can neither be called defensive nor attacking. But as a player that could do both on the pitch, tracks back to help the team, and also help the team in the attacking third.
We’ve known about the quick growth of players playing that position for some time now, but this year’s summer transfer across Europe’s topflight leagues tells how well they’ve become important and instrumental in defining the balance of a team tactically.
As a football enthusiast, we should also note that footballing philosophies and tactics operate in cycles, whatever advancement the round-leather games brings to us we should accept and also enjoys it.
As a manager or a football enthusiast, the question we should ask is which position would probably be the next to unfold and also go on to be the most sought-after in the nearest future?
Content created and supplied by: Abdulameed105a (via Opera News )