When people first start to play soccer they all want to be the striker: they all want to score the goals and get the glory! But people forget that if you miss then you’re the villain. And strikers have a lot more to do than just kick the ball in the back of the net. We’ll take you through just what the job of the attackers entails.
The Job of the Striker
It is the job of the forwards to score goals for the team. They are the players at the very front of the line up on paper, so in practice play further forward than any other players. That’s why at the end of any soccer season you’ll normally see the team’s forwards being the top scorers.
But what do they have to do to score these goals? There are a number of ways in which a forward can get in the right places and do the right things to score. For example if a team attacking, the centre forward can position himself around the edge of the penalty area with his back to goal and get the ball delivered into him. A talented forward might then be able to turn the defender and shoot. Otherwise he could play a 1-2 with his partner and then shoot.
Another method of getting to the goal is to make diagonal runs in behind the defence. If the midfielder with the ball has enough vision he might play an accurate through ball to the attacker who is then in on goal, one on one with the keeper and favourite to score. Some forwards might have excellent dribbling ability. If this is the case you will often see them getting the ball in between the centre circle and the penalty area and dribbling it to try and find the space to get a shot in.
At other times, there may be a cross or pass into the box from the wing and then it is the forward’s task to get himself in the area to get something on the ball and score a not-so-glamorous tap-in. From open play you will see talented forwards making all sorts of moves and these are just a few examples.
Strikers also have a role in set plays. You will often see them taking the free kicks and penalties themselves. From corners, however, it is more likely that the centre forwards will be inside the penalty area and attacking the ball. This gives the opportunity to get a good head on it and score a goal.
But don’t get too carried away with all the goals you could be scoring as a striker. There are at least some defensive responsibilities as well. For example when the opposition have the ball in their own half you will often see the strikers running and chasing to close them down. Forwards may also have to come back to defend corners. So the job of the forward is many fold and not as simple as it may first seem.
Here are the names of some forwards you may wish to emulate:
- Thierry Henry
- Lionel Messi
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Robin van Persie
- Didier Drogba
- Wayne Rooney
- Fernando Torres
Now that you’ve read through the job description, why not learn about the soccer skills for a striker?