Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

What Is A Double Pivot in Soccer?

It’s no longer unusual to hear technical terms being used in everyday soccer conversations. One such term is the “double pivot,” which has become a commonly used description for an essential tactical foundation in modern soccer. But what exactly does it mean, and how does it impact a team’s style of play? In this article, we will explore the origins of the double pivot, its role in the game, and some of the best double pivot partnerships in world football.

What Is A Double Pivot?

A double pivot refers to a central midfield pairing that emphasizes defensive play and building possession. This duo is typically positioned slightly withdrawn in front of the central defenders, between the full-backs or wing-backs, and behind the rest of the midfield. The primary responsibilities of the double pivot are to provide defensive cover for the players behind them and to facilitate ball possession and progression. They are usually not box-to-box midfielders.

Double pivots can be found in various formations. One example is the 4-2-3-1 formation, where two central defensive midfielders (CDMs) sit in front of the back four at the base of midfield. This formation gained popularity during the rise of Vincent Del Bosque’s Spain team in the late 2000s and early 2010s. However, the double pivot is versatile and can be used in different formations to suit a team’s tactics.

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The Origins Of The Double Pivot

The concept of the double pivot can be traced back to the 1920s when legendary English manager Herbert Chapman introduced the W-M formation. This system featured two half-backs, which were the equivalent of modern-day CDMs. Over the years, the role of the double pivot has evolved significantly.

In the 1980s, the Brazil national team, led by players like Zico and Socrates, contributed to the development of the double pivot. The strong partnership of Falcao and Cerezo in central midfield allowed the attacking players in front of them to thrive. This laid the foundation for the modern CDM duo, who are tasked with protecting the center-backs, controlling and passing the ball, and creating opportunities for their team.

The Role Of The Double Pivot

The primary purpose of playing with a double pivot is to provide defensive cover for the team’s defensive line. With two CDMs, the backline receives ample protection. These midfielders work together to track opposition threats, cover specific zones using zonal marking, and block passing lanes to impede the opposition’s chance of penetrating the defense.

In addition to defensive duties, the double pivot is responsible for winning possession and maintaining control of the ball. They must have good ball control, a wide passing range, and the ability to complete accurate passes under pressure. Communication and organization are also instrumental, as the duo must constantly be aware of their surroundings and provide instructions to each other throughout the game.

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The Best Double Pivot Partnerships In World Football

Several teams have perfected the art of the double pivot, showcasing the effectiveness of this tactical approach. Here are some notable double pivot partnerships in the world of soccer:

  1. N’Golo Kante and Jorginho (Chelsea): Kante excels in pressing, tackling, and driving forward, while Jorginho is a creative midfielder with excellent passing abilities.
  2. Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretska (Bayern Munich): This versatile duo combines defensive solidity with excellent positional awareness and possession skills.
  3. Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips (England): Young midfielders Rice and Phillips provide defensive stability, aerial prowess, and passing ability to protect England’s defense.
  4. Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante (France): Kante’s combative style and technical prowess, combined with Pogba’s midfield creativity, make this partnership formidable.

The Impact Of The Double Pivot

While many top teams opt for other formations, the success of teams like Chelsea and Bayern Munich demonstrates the effectiveness of the double pivot. This tactical approach provides defensive advantages and allows freedom for players in more advanced midfield positions. The double pivot remains a valuable tool in modern soccer.

Double Pivot FAQ:

  • What is the double 6 position in football?
    The double 6 position, also known as a double pivot, refers to two central defensive midfielders (CDMs) in a team.

  • How do you beat a double pivot?
    Beating a double pivot often requires aggressive and targeted pressing to disrupt the opposition’s passing options and win the ball higher up the pitch.

  • Who is the best pivot in football?
    The title of the best double pivot partnership is subjective, but notable contenders include Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Jorginho and Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretska.

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In summary, the double pivot plays a crucial role in modern soccer, providing defensive cover and facilitating possession for the team. The best double pivot partnerships showcase exceptional skills and understanding of the game. While other formations are prevalent, the double pivot remains an effective tactical strategy. For more insights into soccer formations and tactics, make sure to check out our article on the best soccer formations explained.