Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Left Backs & Right Wingers (soccer)

Conventional wisdom holds that the best wingers play on the right side of midfield on a soccer team. To combat this, the left back position has required higher skill. Thus has arisen the left back's prominence.

Maybe it's all backward and for a subtle reason...
Assistant referees (ARs) roam half the touchline, but do not cross midfield. They always stay on the right half of the field, from the perspective of one facing the field. Thus, the ARs are often very near the left back and far away from the right back. The right back then has more license to practice the dark arts of harsher play. The left back has no such leeway, so must have a superior mix of athleticism and technique. This would be true at all ages and levels of competition. So growing up, a right winger would face better defensive competition and enjoy the benefits of faster development.

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