Holding midfield with Osama Malik

Adelaide United’s promising Socceroo Osama Malik talks about the keys of playing as a holding midfielder

Stay on the move

“You’ve got be engaged in the game as much as possible. If your team wants to play out of defence, you’re the link between defence and midfield. It means you’re constantly involved in the game, but it means you need to constantly be on the move.

More after the break

“You always need to be looking around at where your team-mates are and where your opponents are.

“You always need to focus on your body position. If you’ve got the correct body position it gives you time and space.”

Position yourself to protect the ball

“It’s a difficult skill but it’s very important. You’ve always got to be looking to make sure you’re body is in between the ball and the opposition player. This way you can draw fouls, if need be, for example if the game’s a bit quick or you want a bit of a break.

“Always position yourself between the ball and the opposition defender. Make sure the ball is always on the move.”

Plan ahead for when you receive the ball

“It’s good in theory, but sometimes when the game is really quick it is difficult. The best case scenario is to have a plan on what you’re going to do with the ball before you receive it. That makes the game a whole lot easier and you can catch opposition off guard because they’re not expecting it.

“Usually your first option is your best one, which is good advice. You always want to have a clear idea of what you’re going to do with the ball before you receive it.”

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