A full-scale game of association football typically begins with 22 players on the pitch – 11 for each side. Excepting wounds or a rash of sendings off, each side will end the game with a similar number of players as they began. Every player, from the goalkeeper, the protectors, midfielders, to the strikers will have a set position and a particular job to act throughout an hour and a half round of football. The position of players in soccer are as follows.
It is the position that has maximum responsibility. His/her main duty is to prevent the ball from entering the net. That is his/her job is to stop goals from happening. He can do this using whichever body part he/she wishes to use. Goalkeeper is the only one who is allowed to handle the ball in open play. However, the goal keeper cannot handle the ball is it has been passed back from one of its teammates. Owing to this situation a goalkeeper kicking abilities is given greater emphasis.
A Full-back may be referred as left-back or right-back depending on their position on the field. It is their duty to stop the opposition from scoring. They fulfil their role by getting in the crossed of the wide attacking areas. It is also their responsibility to support the attacking players of their team when their side is going forward by advancing the pitch. They also try to get in a position from where they can put a good cross themselves.
Their responsibilities are more or less similar to that of the of a full-back. They just have more emphasis on attacking. A wing-back must get some telling crosses for the strikers to try and score from. To achieve this, he/she moves up and down the pitch continuously. The basic requirement of a wing-back is to be extremely fit so that he can cover the distance required. They should be able to get up to support attacks and the then go back to their own half to defend.
CENTRE BACK/CENTRAL DEFENDER
As the name suggests a centre back must defend. He/she prevents the opponent payers to reach to goal scoring positions. Owing to their role in the game they are expected to big and strong. They must usually stay in main and must have good heading skills. They should be able to anticipate the moves of the opponent and also block them when thay are in goal scoring positions. They might also be called as the centre half.
A sweeper is placed to provide extra security for the side. They are generally poitioned between two central defenders. They are expected to read the play of the opponents and sweep up if there are any loose balls. Overall they have the responsibility of tidying up for the rest of the team. It is a defensive move o appoint a sweeper. The player is also expected to bring the ball out of defence and to start attacking. Midfielders are often appointed as sweepers to provide extra cover for the side.
They are considered to be the powerhouse and the engine of the sides. The central midfielder is required to work here and there on the pitch, thus should be colossally fit. Their job includes both attacking and guarding. Midfielders are ordinarily acceptable tacklers or great passers (the absolute best ones dominate at both), and should direct the play from the center of the field. Some midfielders might be appointed by a manager in a more attacking position, while others might be given an all the more defensive position.
WINGER/ WIDE MIDFIELD
Wide field players are commonly referred to as wingers. These are players who positioned very close to the right or left touchline. A touchline is the line on both sides of the pitch that mark the playing area. These players add width to their attacking side. Owing to their position they are expected to be good at dribbling and should be able to beat the defenders. They should also be able to provide good crosses for the strikers. If a team is not in possession of the ball the winger is expected to come infield and provide support in the midfield.
These players have the responsibility of scoring majority of the goals. If not scoring they are supposed to get the ball to goal scoring position and then passing it on to a team player. The roles depend on the player. Some players might be less selfish and set up good chances for the team to score while others are selfish enough to shoot the goals themselves at the first opportunity.
BEHIND THE STRIKER
As the name suggests that player is right behind the front striker. The player is expected to carve out the chances for the main and striker or can even score goals for themselves. The player is sometimes just in front of the midfield as well. Owing to its role it is often referred that the player plays in the hole. The player must be able to anticipate the move of other players and also be very comfortable on the ball.
At any point in the game, a player can be replaced by one of his teammates. The replacement is referred to as a substitute. Substitution takes place if a payer cannot continue the game for any reason or it could be a tactical decision made by the manager. Usually, a team is supposed to submit a list of 5 substitutes but a maximum of 3 substitutes are allowed in a particular game. Some players are made substitutes since they are very versatile and may fit into many different positions when the need arises.