For wide left midfielders, the training routine should incorporate a lot of work on crossing and give and goes so you can get down the line. The main focus for a wide midfielder is to get in behind the defender that’s ahead of you and serve the ball into the box. These drills can be similar to an outside fullback in many ways.
Go through all the various exchanges that might help you get past a defender: overlaps, give and goes, and dribble exchanges. Left midfielders need to get to the end-line to whip in a cross.
Taking Player On
For wide midfielders, and those playing on the left side, one of the main goals is to get past the opposing defender and serve the ball into the box. So if you’re playing on the left side you’re trying to keep the ball on your left foot and break down the left side.
And the best way to do this is to get by your defender so you can get to the end-line and cut the ball back across the goal mouth via a stock ball. To work on this, focus on dribbling the ball with every step, and after you do a move or a feint, explode past the defender. The important thing about dribbling and beating a player on the dribble is all about change of pace. Practice going at an imaginary defender at a slow, almost teasing pace, inviting them to try to win the ball, and then blow past them at speed.
For a left midfielders, you’ll need to work on crossing the ball with your left foot, both bending balls in the air and then on the ground, and both to the near post and the back post. Ideally, you want to pick a player out, try to serve the ball in to a certain player. However, there will be times when you’re under pressure and might just need to whip the ball into the near or far post. Send in at least ten balls to the near and far post, so 20 crosses total.
Also, work on cutting inside with your left foot to take a shot. Surprise your opponent by faking like you’re going to cross the ball with your right and then cut the ball inside and try to bend the ball into the far post with your left foot. Practice this ten times, dribbling hard down the line and bring your left back like you’re going to cross it, and cut inside to shot with your left foot. Do this near the goal box, and not too far down the line.
Coerver Ball Work
It’s always good to get in some ball work, so some dribbling work, turns, cuts, moves and then some juggling. Spend some time working on your weaker foot as well. There’s nothing better than some Coerver Coaching footwork drills.
Emulate a Great Player
What left midfielder do you look up to and admire? Whose style of play would you like to emulate? Spend time watching this player, it’s easy to punch their name in and see highlight clips of their play on YouTube. Left Midfielders or Wingers: Ryan Giggs of Manchester United; Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich; Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspurs
New: Gareth Bale’s incredible goal against Barcelona | Copa del Rey Final 2014
Extra: What’s interesting in today’s modern game is a lot of right sided players on playing on the left side, this way it’s easier for them to cut inside and shoot with their right foot. Work on playing on the opposite side of the field and cutting in and bending the ball into the far post. This is a favorite move of Arjen Robben, who with his favored left foot plays on the right side and loves to cut inside and shoot.
For all players, develop a few favored moves, shots, passes, crosses, and skills. Perfect those two or three skills. Make them yours. This could be a step over, bending the ball, a powerful shot, develop some skills that set you apart from other players, no matter what position you play.
Check out these soccer training sessions for other positions: