Sunday, June 4, 2023

FC Barcelona : What’s Wrong and How to Fix Them?

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FC Barcelona are in crisis right now both on and off the field. On field the performances have been deplorable while the happiness of Leo Messi and also the Presidential elections have really added up to their problems.

FC Barcelona players during training drills

Ronald Koeman’s 4-2-3-1 looked to have worked at first but as the season is going on it seems Barcelona need something more dynamic.
The first thing that Barca need is a new formation.

1. 3-4-1-2
This is the best formation for Barca offensively. While defensively it may cause some problems, but if FC Barcelona can get going it can be a very long day for their opposition no matter who they are. Goalkeeper would definitely be Marc Andre Ter-Stegen. Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet are the two obvious choices for centre back.

But after Pique’s injury against Atletico, Koeman has limited options. Samuel Umtiti is almost fit and it maybe his best chance at redemption. For the other centre back academy prospect Ronald Araujo is the best option. But due to him being injured for the next 1.5 weeks we may see Frenkie De Jong filling up at centre back. Another option will be Sergino Dest who was definitely Barca’s signing of the summer.

He is a very versatile player and his tackling skills and great anticipation will definitely help him in playing as a centre back. In the left of midfield Jordi Alba will be the best fit. He was a left winger early in his career but we can still see that attacking spark in him whenever he plays as a wing back. The two central midfielders would be Miralem Pjanic and Frenkie De Jong.But if Koeman decides to play Frenkie as a centre back then Phillipe Coutinho would be the best bet in that role.

He would play as the more offensive of the 2 central mids and let Pjanic operate in his favoured deeper role. On the right side of midfield Ousmane Dembele is definitely the man. He has had a great season so far and he has been electric on the right flank. Being a both footed player he has the advantage of both cutting inside or going outside when trying to ward off a defender. Also his outrageous speed is something that all defenders will be afraid of.

Having two pacy players on either side of midfield will reduce Barca’s chance of being caught on the counter. The number 10 role will be taken obviously by La Pulga. Messi has been a bit quite this season. But this free role behind the two strikers might just be what Messi requires right now. He will be playing as a Trequarista and finding pockets of spaces which he always does and it will also allow him link up with anyone he wants. The strike duo will be of Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite.

Playing Braithwaite as a first choice striker may seem odd but his technical skills and speed will definitely come in handy for the Blaugrana. Also playing as an out and out centre forward will increase Antoine Griezmann’s chances of scoring which will definitely boost his confidence.

Once Ronald Araujo returns from injury we may see Frenkie De Jong move into the heart of midfield and Coutinho play as the number 10 with a strike duo of Messi and Griezmann. This formation would terrorise opposition defences but knowing Barca and Ronald Koeman we’ll never get the chance of seeing Barca in this shape.

2. 5-2-1-2
If Ronald Koeman wants to transform Barcelona to a team with more defensive solidity then this might be the best formation. Between the sticks would be Ter-Stegen. The 3 centre backs would be Umtiti, Lenglet and Dest while the 2 full backs would be Alba and Sergi Roberto. Playing Roberto as a centre back and Dest as a right back is also a valid option.

The two defensive midfielders would be Frenkie De Jong and Miralem Pjanic and Phil Coutinho would take up the number 10 rule. Upfront will be the strike duo Leo Messi and Antoine Griezmann. This formation limits Barca’s width but gives them more compactness and limits the spaces for the opposition’s attackers. Judging by Barca’s defeat to Atletico we may soon se the Blaugrana becoming a counter attacking side and this formation would suit them well.

The second thing Barca need are new recruits. The January window is almost here and with Ansu Fati and Gerard Pique out with long term injuries Barca definitely need more players. With Barca almost nearing Bankruptcy we may also see a few players leaving.


1.Junior Firpo: He was never meant to be at Barca. Like Messi said – the board always signed players to cover up holes and this one was exactly that. After making a blunder by selling Lucas Digne ,Barca signed the young left back just because he scored against Barca when he was at Betis. At Barca he always struggled to make an impact. He never really impressed and it would be best for both parties if he left.

2. Martin Braithwaite: Signed last season as an emergency due to lack of forwards Braithwaite just like Firpo has failed to make any sort of impact at Barca. He was great in his first two games but then he has become a bench warmer getting 5-6 minutes every 2 games. Again just like Firpo, him leaving would benefit both the parties.

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