The holding midfielder is an extra layer of defence. If they get dragged out of position, that opens up a channel of attack for the opposition to expose.
Inviting an assault on the heart of your rearguard can be fatal and that's why, despite the temptation to fight fires elsewhere on the pitch, you've got to hold your position, says Manchester United's Michael Carrick.
More after the break
From working with your team-mates to knowing when it's safe to leave your post, the former Tottenham player explains all in this tutorial.
Michael Carrick wears Puma football boots. For more details, visit pumafootball.com
The holding role: Pick the right pass
The holding role: What to do when you are overrun
The holding role: Track your opposite number
The holding role: Press space, not players
The holding role: Cut the supply line
The holding role: Know your job
Michael Carrick: Protecting the back four