What is the wing-back position in football?

In recent seasons, a shift in football tactics and formations has led to the wide-spread use of the wing-back position. Teams such as RB Leipzig, Leicester City, and Chelsea have used the wing-back to varying degrees of success. The 2020-21 football season has seen RB Leipzig wing-back, Angelino excel at the position. Still, you may ask, what is the wing-back position in football?

With many youth and amateur footballers playing in a basic 4-4-2 formation, some may not understand the wing-back position and how it works.

Understing the wing-back position in football

The wing-back is a modern variation of the full-back position. Rather than play in a flat back-four, the wing-back is slightly more advanced. The wing-back is also faster than the traditional full-back, ensuring he/she contributes to the attack as well as tracking back to defend.

Wing-backs must overlaps and send crosses into the opposition box allowing attacking players to get their heads t the ball. Although Liverpool play with a back four, Andrew Robertson is one of the best players in football at getting forward and crossing the ball.

Players must till mark opposition wingers when needed, but the central defence uses a back three. The wing-back attacking motivations can push the opposing winger into defensive positions. Taking them out of attack areas. Wing-backs should have chalk on their boots as they are expected to stay on their touchline. The width offered by the wing-bac allows them to make crosses, run up and down the flank, and cover for other players who go more in-field.

The wing-back position in football is one of the most physically demanding. Why? Players must be ready to sprint for large portions of the game. The amount of ground covered is incredible. You have to be ready to attack and suddenly trackback to stop an opposing attacker.

Check out this tactical analysis of RB Leipzig Angelino to see how a wing-back plays.