This week we feature Craig Goodwin in our match day programme, ADLUNITE. To read the full piece, make sure you get a copy at #ADLvSYD!
Craig’s Winging It
In today’s football, where the most traditional of formations, the 4-4-2, is somewhat unused by the vast majority of the footballing world, natural wingers are a rarity.
At one stage, goals weren’t scored without a deadly striker partnership and many teams elected for a sweeper-stopper duo at the back, with two box-to-box midfielders rampaging through the middle of the park. Left and right full-backs remained just that – at the back – and all the running on the flanks was left to three-lunged gazelles that spent the full 90 minutes galloping forward, smacking as many balls into the box as possible.
Over time the roles of those out wide have, to a large extent, evolved the most out of any position on a football pitch.
These days the crux of your line-up is based upon the spine of your squad and extraordinary deep playmakers are the footballing world’s most prized players, as they sit in front of a back three, or four, pinging diagonal, long through balls forward with ridiculous accuracy.
Meanwhile, full-backs hardly ever stay back now and are often the most advanced in comparison to their initially structured position. Then, the traditional right or left midfielder is often played on the side opposing their preferred foot to enable them to cut inside, through the middle of the park, leaving the crossing for the overlapping full-backs or giving themselves the chance to curl an effort towards goal from the edge of the box.
Because those old fashioned natural wingers are so scarce these days, the sight of a high quality one, adapting his game to retain traditional methods, whilst still able to hone new skills and techniques that are imperative to the football of today, is truly refreshing.
They bomb down the flanks and pummel balls into forwards arriving in the box time, and time again, but still have the technique to cut inside if needed. And when Craig Goodwin signed for the Reds at the start of last season, United obtained one of the Hyundai A-League’s most prolific in this class.
Yet on top of what he brings to the squad in a tactical sense, Goodwin’s mind-set is always on his team, with any thought of personal improvement being assessed as to how it can best benefit his and his teammates’ chances at success.
“I’ve been reasonably happy with the way my season has played out so far and I’ve honestly given 110 per cent in all the games I’ve been involved in,” he said.
“But from here I want to score a few more goals and get a few more assists, and try and contribute to the team to get better results."
The full version of this feature is available exclusively in the ADLUNITE match day programme available at the game between Adelaide United FC and Sydney FC.
Adelaide United will face Sydney FC in Round 10 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season at Coopers Stadium on Friday, 11 December. Kick-off is at 7.10 pm.