The good central midfielder not only controls the game but also monitors each play and passes. He is the one who controls the pace of the game. He works as a bridge between the defence and attack. If the CM is having a tough time on the field, his team could struggle to win the game. It is a must that the CM makes himself available for the other players to pass him. A CM must have the ability to make passes in any given situation to link the whole team together. His passing ability must be very sharp. He should also have a good vision on the field which will help him to pass the ball to the correct member which may create chances for the team. He should be aware of his teammates’ movement without even looking at them. He should be fit with good stamina.
Players like Iniesta showed the world how a CM should be positioned. He used his proper midfield ability to create many chances for the team. His vision was spot on. Having a good accuracy in passing the ball can lead the team to create many attacking opportunities. Iniesta’s game reading ability was such that it helped the team not only in attacking but also in defence. He was able to get into positions where he could break the opposition’s gameplay and use the ball possession to create counterattacks.
An attacking midfielder plays a quite similar role as a CM. The AM plays in an offensive position and helps the team to create a number of chances. As an AM gets into the offensive position frequently he can use his ability and also score for the team just like the striker. This gives the freedom to the AM to make runs past the strikers which will allow them to have a go on the goal. In my opinion, an AM should have a better passing accuracy with good ball control compared to a CM. An AM mostly plays in the attacking position which brings the whole team together in attack. Loss of ball possession in such an area can not only put a stop to their attack but also give an opportunity to the opponents to make an attempt on goal.
Kevin De Bruyne at present is known as the best-attacking midfielder. He shows the qualities of a proper AM. Immaculate vision in spotting the players and players run. When not on the ball he creates space for himself which allows him to have a shot on goal.
The Defensive Midfielder also plays in the central area of the field. Just like a normal midfielder he makes passes and controls the ball possession. He is positioned in the defensive side, right ahead of the defence. A DM should have the quality to make tackles in the defence which stops the opponents from getting into their defence. He should have the ability to gain possession of the loose balls in the midfield which can help the team in having the majority of the ball possession. A DM should be able to cope with the opponent’s attack and their attacking plays. He should help the defenders in breaking the play and regaining control over the ball.
Sergio Busquets has been a perfect example for this role. He was very sharp in passing the ball and defending as well. He dominated the midfield by controlling the ball and made simple passes to his team members which led to scoring opportunities. He was good at spotting the runs of the opponent’s players and marked them well. This made the defender’s job easy.
Suggest some more skills which you think can help a midfielder improve.