Your midfield has 5 men on it, your attacking zone has 3. A quick calculation shows that the majority of your men are in that part of the field. Therefore, if you position both rods correctly, you should be able to block any dangerous shots on goal.
The idea is, just as with defence, that you don’t cover the same hole twice. Therefore, your attacker should always be right in front of the opponent’s defensive man, and your midfield should always have 2 people covering the holes next to your attacker. If your opponent is shooting from the side of the table a bit, it’s wise to place your attacker a little bit closer to the goal (so it has a slight angle with the defenders), as any shot taken from the side at goal is angled.
But, what’s perhaps even more important, is your control over the midfield. Once the ball is around the opponent’s midfield, that’s your best chance to stop the attack from the other team and start attacking yourself. Why? Because the midfield is hard to control, but ‘easy’ to defend (as seen that you have 5 men).
Let’s first tell you how you don’t lose the ball in midfield (attacking). Earlier, we told you everything about the so-called Brush Pass (a soft pass that can be very accurately angled), and that’s the way to go when passing with the midfield (really, master that skill). Once you can do that quickly and swiftly, you can learn passing the ball around on your 5-rod, as this will force the opponent to reposition all the time, and that’s hard to do with the 5-rod. Also, performing a brush pass via the walls almost always throws off an opponent
When we take defending with the midfield into concern, we see that the best way to do this is not by rotating the man to make the toe point forwards, but to make the toes point backwards. Why? Angling the toe to the front gives you a better chance at intercepting the ball, but almost always immediately gives the ball back to your opponent, which you don’t want to happen. If you angle them the other way around, every ball intercepted will stop and be in your possession thereafter.
But, how do we intercept that ball? Well, just assume that your opponent can do brush passes just like you. Move your midfield a bit (up/down) all the time, kind of circling around all the options the opponent has (though, keep changing speed and range all the time, otherwise the opponent can predict when you will leave which hole uncovered). If he’s lucky, he’ll sneak a ball past you, but otherwise every possible pass should be intercepted. Once the ball is in your possession, pass it quickly!