Sunday, April 21

Koeman’s experiment in Barcelona attack

In the 2020/2021 season, FC Barcelona was expected to boast a ‘luxury attack’ for Ronald Koeman.

With the departure of Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Arda Turan, and Arthur, Barcelona was supposed to sign big names to keep their attacking options intact. They were close to signing Memphis Depay and Wijnaldum but the deal didn’t happen in the end. Hence, the resurrection of Barcelona was left with the players coming back from loan and Messi staying for a year.

In the final third, Messi is the focal point of every side in the world. Similarly, he is the centerpiece of a new sporting initiative under head coach Koeman that could be short-lived, if the returns are as fruitless as Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setien’s last campaign.

Francisco Trincao is also one of the rising starlets of Portuguese soccer on that side of the pitch after breaking out at Braga and being signed for a fee of a 31million. Then there is Coutinho who won the Champions League with Bayern Munich last season back. Dembele is another attacking option but is sidelined.

Like Trincao, Pedri is another top prospect for the future and recently made his debut for Spain’s U21 outfit with La Masia fruit Riqui Puig. He will give Dembele a worthy fight. As might 17-year-old Ansu Fati, but the future of the youngster is up in the air as things stand. Becoming the youngest goal scorer of all time in Spain versus Ukraine, he added this record back in December to similar feats in the Champions League and earlier from Dembele and Pedri’s joint flank for Barça in La Liga.

Barcelona doesn’t really have a player to play as no.9 naturally though. With the departure of Luis Suarez came a great void in this team. This could be the reason why Koeman has been twerking with his lineup in every single game i.e. in search of a player who can play as a No.9.

Koeman has been using different sets of attacks this season already. Koeman has either used 4-4-2 or 4-23-1 formation in which most being the later one. Fati has already been used as a Left-winger also in some games as a No.9. Messi as always spearheads the offensive as the team’s captain, playing on the right flank or as a fake ‘9’, while Antoine Griezmann also plays a more central role.

Barcelona has played 12 games under Koeman and has won 6, drawn 2, and lost 4. 23 goals have been scored in these 12 games but the attacking lineup does not seem to be certain in any game like Barcelona used to have until last season. He has already used Messi in the no.10 role in 4-2-3-1 while Coutinho and Fati who operate on the left-wing in the lineup, “on the pitch” are seen to have been moving to the center. Meanwhile same for Pedri who can play on both wings.

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