Center Attacking Midfielders are the creative engine of their teams. This requires a player with great technical ability and intelligence.
CAM's are players who the rest of the team looks to for inspiration when trying to break down an opponent’s defense.
They normally act as a link between the midfield and the forwards. Since they play a major role in controlling the offensive play, the attacking midfielder must be mobile, creative, and extremely skillful.
Kevin De Bruyne is a prime example of a player with the ability and intelligence to be the spark for his team. He is regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world.
De Bruyne has been a key figure tallying loads of goals and assists for Manchester City over the last few years. Winning three Premier League titles, five league cups, and one FA Cup.
"He's the best midfielder in the world, I don't think anyone is near him in terms of ability" -Rio Ferdinand
In this blog, we are going to be using De Bruyne as an example of the key traits and abilities needed to be a creative spark for a team.
1. Great Technical Ability
First things first, the fundamentals have to be there. That means the most important thing is the first touch and passing. Can you take a good first touch under pressure while being aware of where your teammates are?
It may be "boring" to practice your first touch. It might be more fun to shoot free kicks or long shots. However, long-term working on your first touch and passing will improve your game drastically.
If you ever watch a training video of any professional club on Youtube you will see how easy they make certain touches look. That's because they have mastered the fundamentals after years and years of practice.
2. High Game Intelligence
So much of this position is making the right attacking play, whether it's you taking players on, slipping in the striker on goal with a through ball, or just plain and simple keeping possession. That is intelligence and that comes with experience. Ways to gain this experience are obviously by training, watching games, and playing in games. Over time as players get older, they understand the game more which increases intelligence.
3. Leadership/Team Chemistry
Good chemistry is crucial for team success and also for this position. Since an attacking midfielder is the team’s attacking pivot, they need to be on the same page with every teammate at all times.
Things like timing of the runs, how much pace to put on a pass, and the height of the pass are all different factors that vary teammate by teammate.
Knowing how teammates want the ball played to them will help them play so much faster which will lead to success.
This comes from practicing together and after a while it becomes instinctive.
3. Vision and Passing
Learning the proper technique for passing and putting the right weight on those passes is one of the biggest keys. Once the passing ability is there, then comes the most important part.
That means you know where your players are, you know their movements, you know where your opponents are, and you know how to exploit space. Making a pass that the defense doesn't expect is what allows players to create chances that help get those assists goals.
Yes, the main role of an attacking midfielder is to create scoring chances. But it shouldn't be forgotten the role can also be kind of like a second striker.
There will be times when the striker makes a run which opens up an opportunity to shoot outside of the box. For this situation, a midfielder should be primed and ready to unleash a shot. One chance like this can be the difference in a game.
For anyone interested in drills and tips to become a midfielder check our Youtube video out! In this video, we work on all of the things that were mentioned in this blog that can help any aspiring center midfielder improve their techniques.
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