4 Tips on How to Create the Ultimate Outside Back
Every team needs solid right and left outside backs, these key members of your team are required to mark speedy wingers, be tactically astute, and also be tough and athletic enough to deal with strong center forwards that drift into the wide channels, while also being tasked with getting forward and involved in your team's attack.
Let's look at 4 tips for developing your team's No. 2 and No. 3 players.
1. Speed Kills
Your outside backs must posses great speed on and off the ball. If your outside back doesn't have the pace to keep up with your opposition's wingers, they will get left for dead when they are isolated in 1v1's, or in foot races for through passes and long-diagonal passes hit to the corner flags.
Conversely, if your outside back has rockets in their boots, they will be incredible effective getting forward and into your attack to provide critical width to your squad: where the can swing in crosses, make overlapping runs, and get into the opponents penalty box.
Here's a great examples of how speed is critical in defense and attack:
2. Press and Press Again
Great outside backs, and most great teams in general, press their opponents and force them into mistakes. They don't hesitate, shadow, or give time and space to their opposition. They harass, hurry, and pester, they flog the all living daylights out of their opponents.
Check out the masters of the press, FC Barcelona doing the press:
3. Crossing and Technical Ability Must be Cultivated
Your winger can have all the pace in the world, but if all it took was pace to make a world class outside back then more coaches would be recruiting track and field stars.
Ball striking, and particularly crossing, must be cultivated along with technical ability. Pace will get your outside back into a good position, but good crossers and producers of a final ball make all the difference.
Took a look at Barcelona's Dani Alves playing in pinpoint crosses in this match verse Deportivo:
4. Ability to beat players 1v1
The best outside backs can get into the box with pace, cross with great ball striking ability and pinpoint accuracy, but also have the ability to beat their opponents with 1v1 moves and dribbles.
If your outside back poses a threat in these situations, it creates nightmares for the team your up against as your opponent will have to be cautious with how many players they commit forward, fearing the might be susceptive to the brilliance of your outside back on the break.
There might be no better, or more complete, outside back in all of world football than Bayern Munich's David Alaba:
There are many elements and ingredients that go into the creation of an ultimate outside back. Finding the right player to mold, and help develop is crucial, and if you follow these four tips for your team will be well on it's way to creating an ultimate outside back.