4 tactical changes which would enable FC Barcelona to improve
FC Barcelona have undergone some changes as a team in the recent past as some of their key players have retired/gone to other clubs in the last few years. The void left by the departure of Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Dani Alves and Neymar cannot be filled in easily and therefore, Barca are finding it difficult to cope with the changes.
They have managed to win the UEFA Champions’ League only once in the last 7 years and although they continue to be the most impressive team in the La Liga, it does not quite make up for their relatively unimpressive showing in Europe.
However, Barca have signed some new players in the last few years as well and still boast of a very good squad. Currently, they are at the 2nd position in the La Liga table with 15 points from 8 matches. They also beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 in a UCL group league match recently.
They are going to face Real Madrid on 28th October at the Camp Nou and the El Clasico is always a stiff test for both the teams. We would like to look at some strategies which might enable Barca to perform even better in the upcoming matches:
1. Playing a double pivot in the midfield:
Barca have been mostly playing with a 4-3-3 formation for the last 12-13 years but it’s probably time now to adopt a different formation. Luis Enrique dabbled with a 3-4-3 temporarily but it did not quite work. Xavi and Iniesta, who dictated terms in the midfield with their brilliant passing and possession-play, are no longer there and Barca would have to change their formation accordingly.
Arthur Melo, Barca’s new no. 8, has a great work rate and is a good passer but is still not quite in Xavi’s league in terms of controlling the tempo of the game.
Therefore, the Brazilian and veteran Sergio Busquets should play together as a double pivot in Barca’s midfield.
Busquets plays as a 3rd Centre-Back at times but has become slower with age. He is not a great tackler either and prefers to sweep balls and create attacks from his own half. Therefore, Arthur would have to play box-to-box and also help Busquets in his defensive duties. That would enable Barca to be stable and secure at the back and their attacking players would also be able to play more freely.