What is a Target Man in Soccer? A Comprehensive Guide
When it comes to soccer, there are many different positions, each with its own unique set of responsibilities. One position that is often discussed is the target man. The target man is a striker who is typically tall and physically strong, and is the intended target of passes from his teammates. They are responsible for holding up the ball, holding off defenders, and bringing their teammates into the play.
While the target man position is not new, it has become increasingly important in modern soccer. As teams have become more tactical and strategic in their play, the need for a strong target man has grown. Coaches often look for players who can play this role effectively, as it can give their team an edge on the field.
Despite the importance of the position, there is still some confusion about what exactly a target man is and what they do. In this article, we will take a closer look at the target man position, exploring what it is, what the responsibilities are, and how it fits into the larger context of soccer. By the end of this article, readers should have a clear understanding of this important position and how it can impact the game.
What is a Target Man?
A target man in soccer is a type of striker who is the intended recipient of passes from their teammates. They are usually tall, physically strong, and have good ball control skills. The target man’s primary role is to hold up the ball, bring teammates into the play, and create scoring opportunities for the team. The target man is often positioned at the center of the attacking line, and their primary responsibility is to receive passes from midfielders or wingers and then distribute the ball to other attacking players. They also play a crucial role in set-piece situations, where they use their height and physicality to challenge for aerial balls. According to SportsLingo, “The ideal target man is usually tall in stature, who also plays physically. They will also have enough strength to hold up the ball, hold off defenders when competing for the ball and for bringing teammates into the play.” In addition to their physical attributes, target men also need to have good communication and decision-making skills. They must be able to read the game, anticipate the movements of their teammates and opponents, and make quick decisions on the field.
|Attributes of a Target Man||Examples|
|Tall in stature||Peter Crouch, Zlatan Ibrahimovic|
|Physically strong||Didier Drogba, Christian Benteke|
|Good ball control skills||Harry Kane, Olivier Giroud|
|Excellent aerial ability||Andy Carroll, Marouane Fellaini|
Overall, the target man is a vital component of any attacking team. Their ability to hold up the ball, bring teammates into the play, and create scoring opportunities makes them a valuable asset on the field.
The Role of a Target Man in Soccer
A target man is a type of striker in soccer who is usually tall, strong, and physically imposing. They are often used as the focal point of a team’s attack, with other players looking to play the ball into them so that they can hold it up, bring others into play, and create goal-scoring opportunities. In essence, the target man is a player who can act as a pivot for the team’s attack, using their physical presence to dominate opposition defenders and create space for their teammates to exploit.
One of the key roles of a target man is to hold up the ball. This means that when the ball is played into them, they must be able to control it, shield it from defenders, and then lay it off to a teammate in a good position. This requires a combination of technical skill, strength, and spatial awareness, as the target man must be able to read the game and anticipate the movements of their teammates and opponents.
Another important role of a target man is to create space for their teammates. By occupying opposition defenders and drawing them out of position, the target man can create gaps in the defense that other players can exploit. This requires a good understanding of the game, as the target man must be able to read the movements of their teammates and make intelligent runs that pull defenders out of position.
Finally, a target man must be able to score goals. While they may not be the most prolific goal-scorers on the team, they are often called upon to provide a physical presence in the penalty area and to convert chances that come their way. This requires a combination of technical skill, composure, and a willingness to put their body on the line to get the ball into the back of the net.
|Key Skills||Key Attributes|
Overall, the role of a target man in soccer is a crucial one, requiring a combination of technical, physical, and mental attributes. They are often the focal point of a team’s attack, and their ability to hold up the ball, create space for their teammates, and score goals can make the difference between victory and defeat.
However, the target man is less popular now than it used to be – read more here.
Skills Required for a Target Man
A target man in soccer is a type of role that a coach will ask players to play. Typically a target man or woman is tall, strong on the ball, and has a great aerial presence. They are not put off by physical challenges and can be a real pain in the neck for defenders, especially center-backs! However, there is more to being a target man than just being tall and strong. Here are some of the skills required for a target man:
|Hold-up play||A target man must be able to hold up the ball and bring other players into the game. This requires good ball control, strength, and the ability to shield the ball from defenders.|
|Heading||A target man must be good in the air and able to win headers. This is particularly important in attacking situations, where the target man can knock the ball down for other players to score.|
|Passing||A target man must be able to pass the ball accurately and quickly. This is important for setting up other players and creating scoring opportunities.|
|Physicality||A target man must be strong and able to hold off defenders. They must also be able to withstand physical challenges and not be intimidated by aggressive play.|
|Teamwork||A target man must be a team player and work well with other players. They must be able to communicate effectively and understand their role within the team.|
Developing these skills takes time and practice. A target man must be willing to put in the effort to improve and work on their weaknesses. Here are some tips on how to develop these skills:
- Practice hold-up play with a partner or in small-sided games.
- Work on heading accuracy by practicing with a coach or using a rebound net.
- Practice passing drills with other players to improve accuracy and speed.
- Focus on strength and conditioning to build physicality and endurance.
- Watch and learn from professional target men to see how they play and what skills they use.
By developing these skills, a target man can become a valuable asset to their team and a force to be reckoned with on the field.
How to Play as a Target Man
Positioning on the Field
A target man in soccer is a player who is the focal point for the team’s attack. They are usually positioned as a center forward, but there are instances where a center back or other players may be asked to play as a target man depending on the situation of the game. The target man’s main responsibility is to receive the ball from teammates and hold it up while waiting for supporting players to join the attack.
Holding Up Play
To be an effective target man, a player must be able to hold up the ball under pressure and maintain possession. This requires good ball control skills, strength, and the ability to shield the ball from defenders. The target man must also be able to read the game and anticipate the movements of teammates to make quick, accurate passes.
Passing and Link-Up Play
Another important aspect of playing as a target man is the ability to pass the ball and link up play with teammates. The target man must be able to receive the ball and quickly distribute it to teammates in advantageous positions. They must also be able to create space for themselves and their teammates by making runs and dragging defenders out of position.
While the primary role of a target man is to hold up play and create scoring opportunities for teammates, they must also be able to score goals themselves. This requires good finishing skills and the ability to get into scoring positions. The target man must also be able to anticipate crosses and make well-timed runs into the box.
|Ball Control||Ability to control the ball with all parts of the body|
|Strength||Ability to hold off defenders and maintain possession|
|Passing||Ability to make accurate and quick passes|
|Link-Up Play||Ability to combine with teammates and create scoring opportunities|
|Finishing||Ability to score goals|
According to Soccer Coach Weekly, “The target man is the term used to describe a centre forward who is able to hold the ball under pressure and then pass back to supporting players. This session includes three simple practices to develop target players.”
Famous Target Men in Soccer History
Throughout the history of soccer, there have been many famous target men who have made a significant impact on the game. These players have been known for their height, strength, and ability to hold up the ball, making them a valuable asset to their teams. Here are a few examples of some of the most famous target men in soccer history:
|Peter Crouch||Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Stoke City||1998-2019|
|Didier Drogba||Chelsea, Galatasaray||1998-2018|
|Jan Koller||Borussia Dortmund, AS Monaco, Club Brugge||1991-2011|
|Andy Carroll||Newcastle United, Liverpool, West Ham United||2006-present|
Peter Crouch is perhaps one of the most well-known target men in recent history. Standing at 6’7″, Crouch was able to use his height to his advantage, scoring many goals with his head. He played for several top teams in the English Premier League, including Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
Didier Drogba is another famous target man, known for his strength and ability to hold up the ball. He played for Chelsea for many years, helping the team win several titles, including the UEFA Champions League in 2012.
Jan Koller is a former Czech player who was known for his height and aerial ability. He played for several top teams in Europe, including Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco.
Andy Carroll is a current player who is known for his physicality and ability to win aerial duels. He has played for several teams in the English Premier League, including Newcastle United and West Ham United.
These target men have made a significant impact on the game of soccer, using their unique abilities to help their teams succeed. Their height, strength, and ability to hold up the ball have made them valuable assets to their respective teams, and their contributions to the sport will not be forgotten.