Anchor man

A player who operates just in front of the defense behind their team’s midfielders, playing as a more defensive midfielder.

What is the role of an Anchor man?

The primary role of an Anchor man is to anticipate and stop any potential attacking moves from arriving at their penalty area. The player in this position doesn’t usually stray too far away from this area of the pitch and as they act as the main protection for their defense.

This role is different from a ‘ball-winning midfielder’ as it needs more discipline, staying in their zone on the pitch. A ‘ball-winning midfielder’ is required to win possession of the ball as soon as possible, linking up play and creating attacking moves for their team. This leads to the player having more freedom, chasing the ball around the pitch.

What is the best formation for an Anchor man?

In soccer, the most common formations like 4-4-2 and 5-3-2 don’t usually use an Anchor man as the midfielders have more attacking roles. A 4-2-3-1 formation, is the most popular when teams decide to use an Anchor man to protect the defense and break up play. In this formation the Anchor man is very similar to a classic defensive midfielder.