Playing Out of Position: How it can elevate your game
You might think your coach doesn’t rate you, but perhaps he’s doing you a favour?
There are some exceptional examples of players who have thrived from playing out of position. For most of them, they’re probably in the same position you might find yourself in – There are already clear and stable options in your position of choice, but theres an opening in a different area of the team.
Don’t ever take being asked to play out of position as an insult. If anything, it’s actually a firm example of how much your coach and respects you. When asked to play out of position, it means your coach rates your potential and adaptability to thrive in a new or unfamiliar role. This is a huge vote of confidence, for your coach to be so eager to have you involved that he is willing to risk playing you in an unfamiliar role.
RIO FERDINAND: Started out his footballing career as a midfielder. Had his coach not converted him into a defender, he may have never become the outstanding professional that he has been since he broke onto the scene in English football. Ferdinand owes his composure and ability to remain calm on the ball to his beginnings as a Midfielder, which has been a key part of his game as one of the most dominant and technically sound defenders in English football.
GILBERTO SILVA: This World Cup winning defensive midfielder was once slated for his ‘inconsistency’ as a Centre Back. However, the difficult stint in a role that was knew and unknown to Gilberto Silva allowed him to add a whole new dynamic to his playing style.
NACHO MONREAL: Is often deployed as Centre Back at Arsenal when options are short. In 2014, after struggling to keep his place to Keiron Gibbs, Monreal had a pro-longed stint at Centre Back which raised his defensive game to a whole new level. Once he returned to his favoured left back position, Monreal has held his own as Arsenals number one choice.
ASHLEY COLE: Widely regarding as one of the greatest left-backs of all time, Ashley Cole spent a majority of his youth as a wingman.
Ross Barkley: One of England’s brightest talents still believes that his best position is as a Centre Forward. Barkley has yet to be given the opportunity to showcase his talents as a number 9, however his current performances in Central Midfield have got the whole world talking.
Solo Soccer explores the top flight soccer players who have benefited from being deployed out of position during their playing careers.