Unknown Positions by The Prof

Hi elite managers from The Prof 👋🏿
Time to continue the discussion about ‘ match reading ‘
Today i will start a discussion about ” unknown psitions “, positions that can be important to know in order to counter them during your matches or during match preparation.
The discussion will be divided in some parts :
  • Part 1 : The sweeper
  • Part 2 : The defensive wide midfielders
  • Part 3 : The Attacking wide midfielders
  • Part 4 : The ‘ Central Wingers ‘ ( aka second
    strikers or shadow strikers )
  • Part 5 : The Wide strikers ( aka 3 St combination )
The Sweeper
( story part )
The Sweeper ( also called half-back or ‘Libero’ ) was a role introduced during the 1960-70′, when the defensive tactic ‘Catenaccio’ and Man- marking were widely used in football. Initially it was a pure defensive role, a DC that was free from marking tasks and his job was to clear and help in case the opposiotion players managed to escape the other players marking . So a free man in defence as a emergency weapon in case was needed.
Some years later , ( late 60′ -early 70′ ) some teams started to give him also ” playmaking tasks “, one great example was Hellenio Herrera’s Grande Inter that played a fluid counter attack football , with long balls launched by the sweeper once the recovered the ball deep in their half.
A master in this role was for sure Franz Beckenbauer , a defender that was able to play like a midfielder , that won the WC in 1974 with Germany.
After the Dutch ‘ total football ‘ introduced the Zonal system of marking + a aggressive offside trap , the role died for some time, cause playing with a libero don’t allow the defence to stay in line and this ruin any attempt to perform the trap. ( you can see an image below to understand better )
The role came back in mordern days but with some tweaks to make it effective for the offside rule ( that change 2 times after 1980 ).
So When playing vs a 3-DC system , you should consider to play wide. Playing in the middle , unless you have far superior players there, will be like going into a Wall🚧. The aim will be to exploit the space on the flanks ( unless they are covered by the DL/DR, in that case you will need more players in front to brake that 5 man defence ). While playing a 3-DC vs a system that have only central strikers ( 2sts for example ) could be a good solution cause of the numerical superiority that will help in both phases.
So whatchout for oppo formation , and make the right decision.
Ty for reading 🙂, next part 2 with ML & MR that act like ”fullbacks”


  1. Hi Khris,
    I’m a fresh manager from Taiwan and I like your posts about TE, special about the position and tactics setting.
    I read a lot of others & your posts and try to translate them into Chinese for our TE FB fans page for sharing with our manager.
    Please try to keep updating these kinds of news if you are free:)

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