Some contend that the striker is the most crucial member of a soccer team because they prevent goals from being scored by the opposition. The same kind of people could make similar statements regarding defenders.
However, since scoring goals is what soccer is all about, you need strikers to score goals. Additionally, there must be a reason why strikers make the biggest salary in soccer teams.
The player who plays closest to the opposition goal is called a striker. His main responsibility is to score. In addition to being called forward, it is also known as false 9, target man, and poacher in the field, among other names.
What characteristics make a good striker?
Numerous outstanding strikers with diverse, even opposing traits have graced the soccer field.
- Ball control – Strikers typically get the ball within the box, where they must operate quickly because there is little time. A striker should, in ideal circumstances, control the ball with direction and then shoot toward the goal in two motions.
- Precision – Teams typically only have a few scoring opportunities in a soccer match. A striker may only have three or four legitimate chances to score. Therefore, accuracy is essential while taking shots on goal and passing the ball to a teammate in a better position.
- Positioning: A skilled striker must accurately analyze the game and anticipate where the ball may go. For instance, the striker must rush to the goal and grab the goalkeeper’s rebound if a teammate makes a long-range shot.
- Strength and balance – Although a striker doesn’t necessarily need to be large, they must be able to handle the techniques used by defenders. A proficient striker shouldn’t be deterred from controlling the ball and scoring by shoves, casual shirt grabs, or stomps.
Speed, technique, and heading merit mention. Even without these qualities, a skilled striker can still score many goals, but possessing them is preferable.
The appropriate striker is the one that fits best with the style of play preferred by the squad. Soccer has a long-standing debate over the field position and player attributes.
1. Target guy
Their teammates in the opposing box are referred to as the target man, also known as “number 9.” Target men are often tall, stout, muscular, not overly fast, and skilled in the air.
To overcome defenders, these players rely on their physicality. A team launches long passes to the striker with a reliable target man, and the “second ball” tactic refers to the teammates who receive the rebound after the striker heads it.
A team with fewer resources than its opponent will pack midfielders and defenders into their half, leaving the forward with just one guy to retain the ball and attempt a miracle, draw a foul, or at the very least, keep the ball for a short period.
2. Shadow forward
Teams with two forwards are most often utilized with a shadow striker. Because it plays a little behind the other forward, it is often known as the “second striker.”
Shadow attackers typically attack from outside the box into it and are swift and light. When the team is not in possession, they frequently press the opponent’s defense.
Coming from behind, shadow strikers can either help the other forward or score on their own. Because they “can’t find it,” these forwards are very difficult for full-backs to handle.
Since the second striker primarily operates outside the penalty area, defenders are forced to use zonal marking, which is risky when facing a speedy, cunning forward
3. Deep Lying Forward
This type of striker in soccer enjoys moving outside the penalty area to pass with the more advanced midfielders and set up scoring opportunities for both themselves and their teammates.
When they get the ball, deep-lying forwards can face the goalie or search for an open teammate. They play a lot toward the opposing goal. This striker typically exits the box to receive and switch the game to the other side when a team needs to switch the attack’s side.
4. Moving Forward
The advanced forward is the player that chases the final defensive line to find a gap and receive a pass between the lines while standing face-to-face with the goalie.
It is advantageous to press the competition, and it frequently departs the box in search of a gap. One of the drawbacks of such a striker is that it spends so much time and effort attempting to identify the opening in the defensive lines that their involvement in the creation is negligible or nonexistent.
This type of striker is the one that feels it the most when the team struggles to create opportunities.
Defenders must constantly be on guard against this kind of striker. The poacher won’t assist their teammates defensively or work to create opportunities for them.
These forward concentrates all of their focus on scoring goals. Poachers are frequently ferocious and quite skilled at reading the game.
They are often positioned strategically on the field, ready to push the ball into the goal. The best players can score many goals for their teams, even though they could be thought of as selfish (and generally are).
6. Defender in front
Even though its name seems paradoxical, it does exist. The purpose of defensive forwards is to annoy opposing defenders. In his marking zone, they run around like chickens without heads and won’t let any defender handle the ball unhindered.
Although they naturally want to score, they are not overly concerned about doing so and instead keep themselves occupied by blocking, halting, and generally being a pain in the foot.
These strikers frequently partner with an older, more seasoned, gifted, but unfit striker. It’s accurate to say that he and his attacking partner benefit from the defensive forward running. As one might expect, this striker typically has a modest goal rate.
7. Moving ahead
As its name suggests, the pressing forward’s primary responsibility to pursue and apply pressure on the opposing defensive line. The team’s strategies determine the line at which this player begins pressing.
They make mistakes that their rivals commit by covering the better pressure-handlers and passers while leaving the less skilled defender in possession of the ball.
Since the majority of teams in the globe prefer to start their plays with quick passes from the striker, this type of striker has recently gained popularity.
8. Completely Forward
This player is every coach’s fantasy, as the name suggests. It combines the technical advantages of the deep-lying forward, the cunning and trickery of the poacher, and the strength and physical characteristics of the target man.
Almost everything a full forward does is done well. It sticks to them to apply pressure and compel an error from the opposing defense, opening up space for it and its teammates to exit the box.
They typically have good strength, speed, and aerial skills. This kind of striker can pass, shoot, score, and dribble.
Strikers who play in wide positions are known as wingers. They must be quick and explosive and be able to dribble.
The primary duty of a winger is to run to the other end of the field and cross to the striker inside the penalty area. The best winger capitalizes on every one-on-one encounter with a defender.
Inverted wingers play with their left hand on their right and vice versa.
10. False Nine
After Barcelona’s 2011 Champions League final thrashing of Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, led by Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola, this job gained international fame. However, the tale of the bogus nine roles is exceptionally lengthy.
The teams that select these strikers typically use wingers in the so-called “positional game” to attack.
The false nine begins the offensive play inside the box to serve as a point of reference for opposing defenders but later exits the box and moves into the middle of the field to establish a number advantage.
Although it may sound monotonous, a player must frequently score, generate lots of chances, or assist their teammates in being considered a striker. A striker unable to perform the above tasks should think about switching positions. Strikers must have confidence in their skills and be upbeat about scoring prospects.