The soccer game is a fantastic one where a few tricks from a player can make them darlings of the fans. However, achieving this is difficult because the player must successfully carry out those tricks before attaining this esteemed position with the fans.
Since the opponents are not interested in being the subject of ridicule, they wouldn’t it as easy as the player thinks. This means that the player must be willing to lure the opponent for as long as possible until he loses his guard.
Then, the player carries his trick when the other player has dropped his guard and has become exposed. This is the secret to many of the tricks soccer players carry out. First, they gore at the other player until they are confident they can successfully carry out their tricks on the players.
An example of this trick is the ‘Step Over.’ The player repeatedly carries several interchanging legs over the ball until the opponent loses balance and concentration. Then, the player moves to the side when the player has lost balance, successfully dribbling him.
In this article, we would look at tricks from the eyes of the opponent player and proffer ways or methods to avoid being megged in a soccer game. So come with us to see practical ways to stand your ground with a trickster player.
- What is Getting Megged in Soccer?
- How To Avoid Getting Megged in Soccer?
- Fake and Meg
- Pull Behind Meg
- Meg Pass
- Fake Body Movement Meg
- Through Pass Meg
- Step Over and Back Foot Meg
What is Getting Megged in Soccer?
Being megged means being nutmegged in a soccer game. The origin of the word ‘nutmeg’ as used in soccer is in dispute as there is no exact link to where it and the meaning came from. However, the meaning of the word is known widely in the game of soccer.
When a player successfully carries out a nutmeg, the fans get frenzy and excitement. In fact, sometimes, they can continue to sing the player’s praise until the end of the match. The trick involves patience and concentration in deceiving and getting the other player to do as you wish.
The meaning of ‘getting megged’ is that the opposing player gets the ball through your legs and goes around you to get the ball. It involves a lot of technique and patience. It involves the concentration of getting you imbalanced and opening your legs at the right time.
Furthermore, it also involves being unbalanced such that you cannot recover the ball or close your legs almost immediately. It can be humiliating as an opponent who has been megged because you were tricked and gotten a better part of it.
That is why it is vital to avoid getting megged and humiliated, especially before your home fans.
How To Avoid Getting Megged in Soccer?
There is no universal way to avoid getting megged in soccer. Most of the ways depend on your location on the pitch and the other player’s style to get you megged. Only when the style is discovered can you know the techniques and steps to avoid getting megged.
Here, we will provide some ways of getting megged and avoiding this occurrence in each situation. These are some of the ways of getting megged and tips to avoid it:
Fake and Meg
One of the usual ways of megging an individual is moving forward as if you intend to go in that direction. Then, when the other player tries to stop you or follows your movement, their legs will be wide enough intermittently for a meg.
How does it happen?
Assuming you are facing a defender directly and the defendant wants to make an attack for the ball. Then you fake a move as if you are moving through the right or the left.
If you try to nutmeg directly, it will be pretty difficult as the legs are not opened wide enough to be carried out successfully. Also, it won’t be easy to get around the defender to retrieve the ball where it is successfully carried out.
When you fake the move, the defender will try to follow you by running sideways with you. Then and there, you will find an opportunity. It may be a split second where the nutmeg will be possible, and you move the ball through that opening. Then, you accelerate beyond the defender.
Ways to stop a fake and meg
- Knowing your opponent
Megging is not a once in a blue moon thing. Some players do this frequently; while others, at least once in every match. When you know your opponent and what they love to do, you can predict and read them.
If the player’s style of nutmegging is fake and moves, whenever the player starts to move, you should be able to read the move ahead. So, when the move starts, instinctively, you would follow him.
However, you are conscious of your legs, paying great attention to his feet and the ball. As soon as you discover that such a player wants to perform the nutmeg, you can make a tackle to avoid such a move.
Plus, you can also run in ways that the gaps between the legs that create opportunities for nutmegging are very slim. This way, even if you did not make the tackle correctly, you have distorted his plan.
Pull Behind Meg
Sometimes, the defender rushes up to hole up the player and tries to throw in when around the corner. The player has limited options as he cannot go forward or backward, having been holed in a position by the defender.
One of the very limited options is using a meg to get around the defender and avoid kicking the ball to a throw-in.
How does it work?
In this position, say around the corner flag, you have been holed up by a defender. Then, the only option you can envisage is kicking the ball on the defender’s feet to force a throw-in or a corner kick in favor of your team.
Like an inspiration, you discover that while the defender was trying to force a throw-in on your part, the legs will open wide. So, you then try to make your movement with the ball subtle and fast until you meet the defender and get the ball past him.
Ways to stop a pull behind meg
- Blocking all Exits
Nutmegging is not successful until the other player rounds you up and connects with the ball at the other side. One way of making the megging half completed is to ensure the player is fully holed up with no way apart from a throw-in or corner kick.
When you make yourself very large and intense, the player would have no choice but to give in to your overwhelming presence. If, for instance, the player could get the ball past the gaps between your legs, connecting with it won’t be easy.
You have to block all exits, which gives you time to recover quickly and retrieve the ball. The shame and frustration would be avoided because it is not the start of a skill that matters in soccer but the successful completion.
Sometimes, during a game, the defender has blocked your passage by trying to look larger than they are. They do this by spreading their legs and arms, sometimes. You can decide to meg them by getting a pass-through to your teammate inside of going around them.
How does it work?
Let us say you are in the other half of the opponent and are accelerating towards the goalie. Then, a defender comes directly in front to stop your movement and tries to force you to change trajectory.
While you are there, you discover that the defender has tried to make himself look larger by spreading his legs. Then, you sight your teammate upfront.
You can make a big pass to your teammate through the gap between the defender’s legs. This will automatically eliminate the defender from the current game of play.
Ways to stop a meg pass
- Giving the player no time to think
It would be best to give him less time to think whenever you are coming directly at who is leading an attack and blocking the path. Generally, calculated sudden moves and tackles often make players shy of attack and change the trajectory of their movement.
So instead of having time to see a teammate upfront and notice your legs apart, you have the player thinking of avoiding your attack. Players like Wan Bissaka are an absolute example of a player who frequently takes calculated sudden moves and tackles.
He takes them and has over a 90% success rate of stopping the attack. The primary job of the defender is to stop the attack. Your job is easy with no attack because you have given the player no time to think of one. Therefore, being quick and calculative is very important in the game of soccer.
Fake Body Movement Meg
Another way to meg is the fake body movement meg. It has slight similarities to Fake and Meg but is quite different. Here, instead of making a run before carrying out the meg like the fake and meg style, you make the meg. You do this while pretending to intend to make a run.
How does it work?
Say you are faced with a defender, and you have your right and left free for movement. Then, you make your body face a direction as if you intend to make a run through that direction in the next second. The defender, too, will try to get ready for the run and trap you down.
While the player intends to do so, it widens the gap between the legs. So, your body is facing a direction while your feet are making a move. This would surely confuse the defender and make them successful, most times.
Ways to stop a fake body movement meg
- Avoid rushing and getting too close to a stationary player.
When you notice a player staying in a place without moving forward, you should be wary as a defender. Approach with caution because the player is staying there for a purpose.
Furthermore, the player may try to waste time and allow his teammates to get to his position to have more options. Additionally, this player may also try to get through to the position you are coming from and wants you close enough for a nutmeg.
When you approach and notice his body facing a direction, do not conclude that he is going that way. Many fakes come with mentally deceiving players with movement.
While you see his body movement, your eyes should also be on the ball. Since the ball has not moved, the body movement is fake. You should avoid getting too close.
This would ensure you have more space to protect, and you would instinctively drive the player towards another direction you prefer.
Through Pass Meg
Sometimes, you do not have to touch the ball before making a meg. Instead, good positioning and ensuring the defendant is similarly positioned will do the job when you get through the pass. This meg type works primarily when the defendant faces your back and cannot view the ball’s location.
How does it work?
Most times, when a player is expected to get a pass from his teammate, a defendant rushes to tackle or get the ball. However, the player’s back is facing the defender, and would have difficulty turning and getting the ball past the defender.
The defender knows this and tries to blindside the player by staying directly at his back. A way to get past this is to meg the defender. Since the defender cannot see the ball after it has been passed to you.
So, instead of controlling, let it roll between your legs and that of the defendant after receiving the ball. Then, around the defender to get the ball. Most times, you have a second as the defender will still be confused about the ball’s location.
Ways to stop a through pass meg
- Always try to locate the ball before tackling a person
Fouls mostly come from tackles where the individual misses the ball but kicks the other player’s legs. It happens because the ball was not seen or a miscalculated tackle. This same thing with tackling a person whose back is facing you. You should, at all times, have your eyes on the ball.
If you see the ball coming through, you should avoid getting too close because of the positioning. When you get too close, you will not see what happens with the ball. Ensure you are not just following the body movement but what the player does with the ball.
Your eyes must be on the ball, constantly. Why? When your eyes are on the ball, and you see that he has failed to make contact, you can stretch your leg to stop the ball. In addition, when you are tackling, always give an option or two for the player to move.
The player thinks you were not defending well and giving him leeway. The player becomes unaware that you psychologically gored the thinking towards that location. This way, you are directly not behind the player, and a through pass meg will be pretty impossible.
Step Over and Back Foot Meg
This meg is the infusion of two tricks: step over and meg. It involves taking a step over with a leg such that it seems as if you want to move in that direction. Then, while the defender is focused on that leg and movement, you use your other leg’s back foot to make the meg.
How does it work?
When you have a defender directly in front of you, you can make a step over with a leg. You do this by crossing the leg over the ball. The defendant would think you intended to move the ball towards that direction and would shift also. While the defender moves, an opening between his legs gets created.
Plus, the player is also concentrating on your move, which allows you to make your meg with your other leg’s back foot. Then, with the side of the foot, you can direct the ball through the gap between the defender’s leg.
Ways to stop a step over and back foot meg
- Eyes on the ball
A step over on a ball will deceive an average player. However, a defender who has trained his mind will watch and move with the ball, avoiding being easily deceived. The aim of a step over is to make the opponent unbalanced and unable to stop the next movement of the player.
Where the step-over does not move the opponent, this aim will not be achieved. So, whenever you attack a player with the ball, you should not allow any gimmicks to deceive you from the ball’s movement.
That is all that matters. When you notice that the movement of the leg (the step over) was fake, you should immediately tackle the ball before the second leg makes the meg. This makes the meg unsuccessful.
- Ability to judge and understand your opponent
Having some ideas on behavioral psychology and traits can come useful in a game. After watching your opponent play for some time, you should be able to judge and predict the next string of behaviors he would carry out.
Such predictions would help you avoid cases of meggings. This way you can predict the direction the player is most likely going to go even with his feints.
This article has examined the meaning of megging in soccer. Plus, it has also discussed the styles of megging in the game. Finally, the article aimed to proffer ways to avoid megging in soccer, with solutions to stopping fully or halfway ones.
Usually, when an individual is megged, it can often be embarrassing and painful. It messes with the physical and mental performance of the player, even after the meg.
The defender (in this case) will need to be careful the next time attacking the same player. As stated before, megging deals with the player’s psychology, and it is essential to know how to avoid it.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!