What is an inverted winger?


Creating and exploiting space is the key to any successful football tactic. Be it via keeping the ball and stretching the opposition until holes appear, or immediately counter-attacking into the open space, every single successful tactic exploits space in different ways. Over the past few months, I’ve been focusing on something I’d previously never even thought about – the Inverse Wing Back.

The full-back is an often neglected position in football, particularly in a four-man defense. Because of this, I’ve always been interested in tactics that bring the full-backs into play more effectively. So when this thread popped up, I accepted the challenge.

What is the Inverse Wing Back?

On a basic level, the inverse Wing Back refers to a player who plays at left-back, and is predominantly right footed, or vice versa. They need to be talented all-rounders, with the physical ability to make strenuous runs forward and also ensure they are not caught out of position, and...

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A few seasons back, Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola made the False 9 a household name, as they dominated the Europe and won the Champions League in style. Here, Patrick Mills looks at the next probable revolution, the False 10.

In recent seasons, and particularly at the beginning of the current campaign, a trend is emerging which could eventually see the extinction of the no.10 in its traditional role. Many have written about what they perceive to be the false no.10 position. Most of these pieces claim that the role comprises of a player who starts just off the main striker but ends up in the box to score. My argument is that this is either a mere misinterpretation of the second striker role or else it is simply a false nine playing behind a striker that drifts wide or drops off to create space for the false nine. The false nine position is based on the principle that it is better to arrive in a location of threat to the opposition than to start in it. My...

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There were MANY aircraft with inverted gull-wing designs.

Here are the 2 main reasons for the inverted gull wing design.

Drag reduction: the wing-fuselage connection was diagonal (oblique) and, thus, had inherently lower drag than any other connection. Also, in fixed landing gear aircraft, the drag produced by the landing gear is reduced as the length of the landing gear is reduced. Increase ground clearance: allows you to mount bombs and/or drop tanks under the fuselage. Also includes the fact that now the propeller is further away from the ground.

Apart from the corsair (already discussed at length in other answers), which used the design to keep the propeller clearance without having to rely on longer landing gear legs (which are weaker, heavier, and bulkier, making them not appropriate for carrier use), other aircraft also used the inverted gull wing design. These include:

Junkers Ju-87 Stuka:

Used for 2 reasons. First, to increase clearance...

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1. Association football positions – In the sport of association football, each of the 11 players on a team is assigned to a particular position on the field of play. A team is made up of one goalkeeper and ten outfield players who fill various defensive, midfield, attacking positions depending on the formation deployed. These positions describe both the player's main role and their area of operation on the pitch. In the early development of the game, formations were much more offensively aggressive, with the 1-2-7 being prominent in the late 1800s. In the latter part of the 19th century, the 2–3–5 formation became widely used and the position names became more refined to reflect this. The fluid nature of the modern game means that positions in football are as rigidly defined in sports such as rugby or American football. Footballers who are able to play comfortably in a number of positions are referred to as "utility players". However, in Total Football tactics, the players are...

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New soccer writer Stefan Hanley will be writing about all parts of The Beautiful Game from team and player profiles to on field play and tactics. Here’s his first piece for Hard Foul Sports on how the game is changing tactically.

Lionel Messi is the perfect example of the inverted winger (Getty Images)

Soccer has changed more in the last decade than in the four that preceded it. With growing importance placed on athleticism, and the lucrative rewards that come with European qualification, the stakes have never been higher for players, coaches, owners, and of course, fans.

Gone are the days of throwing your best eleven out there and trying to score one more than the opponent. Match film, massive scouting networks, and superior tactical awareness have all contributed to a game that’s far more cerebral than it used to be. That’s a tough pill to swallow for a lot of ex-players and pundits, particularly in England, some of whom just cannot seem to accept that their...

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Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid's enthralling two-legged Champions League semifinal Tuesday was one of the most fascinating tactical battles European football has seen for years. It was a wonderful clash between the two best-organized club sides in the world, teams that have mastered entirely different playing styles.

Atletico have become renowned for their deep defensive block; Bayern Munich were forced to find a way around it. Pep Guardiola is always experimenting to find innovative ways to cause opponents problems. He took that challenge literally and focused heavily upon width, trying two completely different approaches down the flanks. The results were very interesting.

Guardiola understood that Atletico remain extremely narrow when the opposition have possession in central positions, preventing teams from passing through them. Therefore, to exploit the space out wide Guardiola decided to use two outright wingers on their "natural" flanks in the first leg,...

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FredT, XFS and


-KCT* have it.

Conventionally configured aircraft, as mentioned above, are set up so that there is always a (hopefully) slight downforce created by the horizontal stab. If the aircraft was loaded so that the c of g was exactly under the c of lift, there would theoretically be no stabiliser input needed, but this is impractical, c of lift being mobile fore and aft during different phases of the flight. It would be unstable in pitch.

This negative lift consequently produces induced drag, so its a bad thing, but inevitable. If the tail's downforce can be kept to a minimum by adjusting the c of g as far aft as its safe to go, thats a good thing. On a long haul transport this will produce fuel savings of a couple of percent, and/or a couple of knots extra speed.

Given that a horiz. stab. needs to produce a downforce, a symmetrical one must be set at a certain angle of attack to achieve this. An asymmetric stab. will produce the same force...

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‘TheHardTackle Whiteboard’ is a semi-regular column which anatomises the tactical development/non-development in the game. So if chalkboard, formations, FM series and Herbert Chapman arouse you, then you are looking at the right page. Today we focus on how in order to counter the ever-growing dominance of 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 formations in football, in recent times, specially teams with minimal resource, have used a narrow and defensive 4-4-2/4-4-1-1. In an age of ‘Inverted wingers’, this new tactics can fuel the resurrection of more ‘traditional wingers’ as teams pursuit more width in order to break down this dogged defense.

Necessity leads to invention

Evolution of tactics in football has always been reactive; reactive to the strength and weakness of its predecessors.

The need to adapt to the new offside rule and provide a defensive cover initiated the change to Football’s first formation, the pyramid (2-3-5). This resulted in the invention of Herbert...

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The answer LifeHacks gave is correct but somewhat incomplete. What you are asking is a winger that plays on the "wrong" side judging by the foot preference.

Typically you'd want a left-footed player to play on the left side and a right footed player to be on the right side. Mainly because you would typically use the inside of the foot to cross the ball, as the inside of the foot gives more control on the flight path of the ball. If this does not make sense to you right away, consider the following:

how does the ball path look like when a crossball is "cut" with the inside (here are two nice examples by beckham: ex1 ex2) or outside (here's one such cross and one shot from Queresma) of the foot? In short, the flight path of the ball is towards the goalkeeper if you cross with the outside of your foot (assuming right foot, right wing or left foot left wing).

Can you pass/cross the ball in, with the outside of the boot, whilst running at high pace? The answer is...

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An inverted winger is a modern tactical development of the traditional winger position used in the sport of association football. As with most midfielder positions, a winger plays between the defenders and the forwards, assuming both a wide attacking and defensive role along the left or right flanks of the pitch. In addition to demonstrating exceptional ball-handling skills, a winger should possess pace, endurance, and the ability to cross the ball towards the centre of the field or near the opponent's goal.[1] As such, most wingers are assigned to either side of the field based on their footedness, with right-footed players on the right and left-footed players on the left.[2] This assumes that assigning a player to their natural side ensures a more powerful cross as well as greater ball-protection along the touch-lines. However, when the position is inverted and a winger instead plays inside-out on the opposite flank (i.e., a right-footed player as a left inverted winger), they...

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Determining the best use of wide players has always been one of a manager’s toughest tactical decisions. The earliest wingers – attackers who played on their natural flank – stayed close to the touchline and rarely ventured into their own half, but Alf Ramsey, manager of England’s victorious 1966 World Cup squad, withdrew his wingers closer to the middle of the pitch, forming the first 4-4-2. Even as early as the...

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The midfield positions highlighted in relation to other positions in association football

A midfielder is an association football position.[1] Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their team's defenders and forwards. Some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being more mobile and efficient in passing: they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box, or holding midfielders. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the team's formation; the collective group of these players on the field is sometimes referred to as the midfield.

Most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing team's attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest...

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Inverted wingers have established themselves as the latest and hottest trend in football. The Europa League final featured two sides who both adhered to fielding inverted wingers (Fulham with Simon Davies and Damien Duff and Atletico Madrid with Simao and Jose Reyes) while the Champions League final had a side playing with inverted wingers (Bayern Munich with Hamit Altintop and Arjen Robben) and another that deployed two natural strikers in wide areas (Inter Milan with Goran Pandev and Samuel Eto’o) which leads to many of the same phenomena associated with inverted wingers. On the international stage World Cup runners up Holland played with the aforementioned Robben on the right and Liverpool workhorse Dirk Kuyt on the left while winners Spain often had a right footed player on the left side in the form of David Villa, Pedro, or Andres Iniesta.

The definition of an inverted winger is simple; it is the playing of a winger on the side of his weaker foot. Prominent examples in...

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In the previous article we tackled the false 9. Now lets head on to another tactical staple of the modern era, the dangerous “Inverted Wingers”. If Messi epitomizes the false 9, then his challenger for the best player of the world Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the finest inverted wingers out there.

Before we go to inverted wingers, lets first understand what a winger is. Wide midfielders play generally about mid-way between the strikers and defenders. They are stationed on their stronger foot. Right midfielders will have a strong right foot and vice versa. They use their stamina to both help out in defense and then run up the pitch to cross in the balls for the strikers.

Wingers on the other hand play much further up the field. Closer to the strikers and often just in front of the opposing full backs. They are generally faster, better dribblers and often try to go past their marker and get behind the opposition defense allowing strikers to run into...

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Football used to be an easy game. The big lads played at centre-half and centre-forward, the hard lads played at full-back, the bright lads played at inside forward, the hard lads who were a bit bright and the bright lads who were a bit hard played at wing-half, and the little, quick lads played on the wing. Left-footers played on the left and right-footers played on the right. And the one with no mates went in goal.

Eight decades on, and it's all rather more complicated, and not just because not all goalkeepers these days are entirely socially dysfunctional. Wingers disappeared for a while, and became a luxury item, almost a museum piece, but now they're back, all over the place, and the tendency is for them to play on the opposite flank.

There have always been a handful who did that. Tom Finney, for instance, played as a right-footed left-wing in the greatest English forward line there has ever been – along with Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen, Tommy Lawton and...

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