Inside forward

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2-3-5 formation: the inside forwards (red) flank the centre forward
WM Formation: the inside forwards (red) occupy a more withdrawn position supporting the centre forward and outside right and left

In football, the position of inside forward was popularly used in the late nineteenth and first half of the 20th centuries. The inside forwards would support the centre forwards, running and making space in the opposition defence, and, as the passing game developed, supporting him with passes. The role is broadly analogous to the "hole" or second striker position in the modern game, although here there were two such players, known as inside right and inside left.

In early 2-3-5 formations the inside-forwards would flank the centre forward on both sides. With the advent of the "WM" formation, the inside forwards were brought back to become attacking midfielders, supplying balls to the centre forward and the two attacking wingers - known as the outside right and outside left.

In the modern game, inside forwards have either been pushed up front to become out-and-out attackers (in 4-3-3 formations) or one has been switched back into midfield and the other up front (in 4-4-2). Many teams, however, still employ one of their strikers in a withdrawn role as a support forward for the main striker, in a role broadly similar to the inside forward.