The change in the system has benefited several players and thanks to Messi, Barça is the top scorer in the championship.
The team faces this week the challenge of the Spanish Super Cup
Three consecutive victories for the first time this season, with the added value of having all been away from home – four in a row if you count Valladolid, before the draw with Eibar at the Camp Nou – suggest that Ronald Koeman has achieved , finally, his purpose to find a basic eleven.
The Barça coach has also been decided by a different tactical scheme in which the double pivot has disappeared. With the 4-2-3-1 used, in reality, the team played with two midfielders because the three in the third row were forwards or had the soul of forwards, with little inclination to retreat. The elimination of a pivot, paradoxically, has reinforced the midfield: the number of media has increased, with the two interiors plus the presence of Lionel Messi in the construction.
Koeman’s rectification came after the biggest catastrophe of the year: the 0-3 with Juventus. As if that humiliating win that made their lives so complicated (losing first place in the group and playing the round of 16 away from home, specifically in Paris) was the last straw. Although Koeman denied that the problem lay in the tactical system, it seemed so: he changed it in the next meeting with Levante. The defeats ceased.
Until then, Barça had played 16 games, of which they had lost five (a third) and drawn two. The nine victories yielded 56% wins. Since the 1-0 rush against Levante, they have won six of the eight games (75%) and none have been lost, with both draws against Valencia and Eibar. Both at the Camp Nou.
Calm and focused
The progression of Barça is transmitted from Messi. Nothing new. The captain has benefited from the retouching and has recovered the scoring ability that characterizes him. With the old system he had scored four goals (two from penalties) in ten days; with the new one, it takes seven. More and better accompanied, he has doubled his contribution. The team is the top scorer in the League and has been second in the Champions League.
“We are calmer and we are more focused. If you are more concentrated, you have a better rhythm on the ball, ”Koeman analyzed about the team’s improvement. A cold diagnosis, waiting for the technician himself to know if the chosen path is the correct one. And it is the definitive one. So far, it’s good. “We have to be humble and keep working,” he admitted.
Koeman is also calmer and does not change equipment, which is a sign of his satisfaction. With the bad results he was shaking the next line-up. For example. He repeated the eleven that thrashed Villarreal (4-0) and Celta (0-3) and only made one change against Sevilla (Araújo for the expelled Lenglet). After the tie (1-1), the team was retouching in each game. A dynamic that has slowed down.
After the tie with Eibar that closed 2020, he introduced four novelties in Huesca, since that victory he only made one relay in Bilbao (Griezmann by Braithwaite) and two in Granada by force majeure: Mingueza and Umtiti by the injured Araújo and the sanctioned Lenglet . Araújo, checked by the doctors yesterday, suffers an overload in the hamstring muscles of his right leg.
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The La Liga streak is interrupted for a week, although Barça will continue away from Camp Nou. The team faces the Spanish Super Cup that faces Real Sociedad (9pm) this Wednesday in Córdoba. If he wins, he will play the final against the winner of Madrid-Athletic at La Cartuja in Seville. Then will come the Cup (Cornellá) and another departure to Elche (January 24).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.