John Giles picks out the few m...

Soccer

John Giles picks out the few midfielders who truly master the art of "positional play"

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

08:25 28 Jan 2016


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On tonight's Off The Ball, John Giles talked us through the concept of positional play - the vital task of being in the right place to impact play on and off the ball. 

But he says it is something he "seldom" sees done exceptionally well by modern midfielders. 

However, there are a few players who do it well according to John.

"Cazorla has it. He gets into good positions to receive the ball," said John. "But he'd be one of the few"

Explaining why Manchester United's Michael Carrick does not fit the bill in that regard, John also cited West Germany and Bayern Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer as a positive example, stating that, "Beckenbauer, like all great players gave you two choices: a bad choice and a terrible choice".

But John also highlighted that the mesmerising brilliance of Italy great Andrea Pirlo at his peak.

"Pirlo had it. He became a master at it. People used to say, 'Pirlo, look at all the space he has'. It didn't happen by accident. He always looked like he was strolling around. Now, I've no doubt that if any players did get tight on him, a little one-two and he'd be gone," he said.  

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