There are times in a football game in which the manager is forced to do something drastic. This can be due to an injury and not having cover in a certain position, or the fact that their team is chasing a game and needs another presence up front. Both are viable reasons as to why a player should play out of position.
However, some managers in the Premier League have been guilty of forcing some players to consistently play out of their natural position, which can sometimes work, but usually results in dire consequences:
Out of position, maybe. In the wrong job, definitely. Image source: Twitter
He can be played at centre-back, left-back or defensive midfield, yet Mourinho still wont use him. Image source: Twitter. Image Source: Twitter
Jake Livermore – CM>CB
Thank god Tony Pulis snapped him up. The fact he was used as a centre-back by Hull, but a midfielder for England tells the story. Image source: Twitter
James McCarthy – CM>LWB
Maybe McCarthy injured himself after being forced to play at right-wing back by Ronald Koeman. Image source: Twitter
Jesus Navas – RM>RB
If he can be as good at stopping goals as he is at not scoring himself, he will be a world-class defender. Image source: Twitter
Moussa Sissoko – RM>The Bench
Used out of position in the Premier League, as in he isn't good enough to be there. Image source: Twitter
Marcus Rashford – ST>RM
Rashford: "Will I be up front today Jose?"
Mourinho: "Of course Marcus"
Mourinho to Rui Faria: "Tell Marcus he's been dropped". Image source: Twitter
Wayne Rooney – ST>CAM & CM
Rooney can't get into the United team in the wrong position, let alone his right one. He is probably wondering if it's warm in China right now. Image source: Twitter
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – RM>CDM
Who thought it was a good idea to put him in central-midfield? Throw him out wide where he can actually use his pace! Image source: Twitter
Paul Pogba – CM>CDM
£89 million for a defensive-midfielder that can't defend. Should have bought Gareth Bale. Image source: Twitter
Manchester City’s defence
In what universe does City's defence resemble an actual defence? It's a gift that just keeps on giving. Image source: Twitter
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It seems that a lot of the players forced away from their positions are actually midfielders by trade. Perhaps a player that is between defence and attack is seen as the perfect middle ground to become a defender. Interestingly, it is a lot of the top teams that are utilising players in wrong positions, perhaps alluding to the fact that they did not strengthen properly in every position in the transfer windows.
Irrespective of this, modern football is a place that demands versatility. Manuel Neuer is the perfect example of this, being the best goalkeeper in the world and a superb sweeper. Realistically, he could probably be used in centre-midfield if Bayern Munich deemed it necessary.
That is why no footballer is worth their salt if they cannot fill in at a different position if they are asked to, but perhaps some of the above players have gotten a rough deal .with how often they are used out of position.