On Italian defenders, the talented younger brother phenomenon, and defending as an art


Great article in The Guardian, please read.

Most who have only played the game in passing, but are passionate about watching the game, miss the fine art of defending, and have very lttle understanding of the defensive midfielder. Being a defender is a great art, possibly second to only that of being a goal-poacher….

I had been a defender all my life, preferably at the left hand side, or sometimes reluctantly in the center (where of course my lack of height would come in the way of heading away crosses from the wing. Had developed my left foot, shooting and close control mostly (I cannot dribble with the left foot), after the broken right toe, which made life difficult for a full year…. played as a left sided midfielder during most of the serious matched I have played.

It’s vital for the full back to have a good turn of speed and a never-give-up attitude to succeed (and a reasonable ball sense and a good shot help). While most often in our games, holding a position was important (and I played 3-4-3 all my life), I was blessed almost all the time in my school football career in having a quick and unselfish wing-half (Hembram, thanks). I loved taking free kicks and corners and had a good long throw-in, thus contributed to set pieces. It was important for the wing-half to fall back and help in defence….

Okay, I just got bored post the previous statement. How much can you tolerate an average old-timer footballer’s rambling? I couldn’t , any further.

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