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Thread: FC Barcelona tactics under Ernesto Valverde - matches analysis with pics

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    FC Barcelona tactics under Ernesto Valverde - matches analysis with pics

    Okay, so I've made a thread where we can discuss our tactical and planning problems especially in how we pass the ball and how we move without the ball. So we can all see more clearly what the issues are under our crap manager, and why exactly we create 1-2 decent chances per game with 75% possession. What we should do, but don't do, how we should set up, how some players are confused with current tactics, problems in moving off the ball, and problems with density, compactness, and extreme rigidity in our positional progression of the ball.

    This first post is about problems in build-up vs Athletico Bilbao (0-1). How we lost the game while having very good possession numbers, and how we failed to create a single coherent attack from our possession game.

    So we have picture 1 with a standard attack in possession from the central defenders up.

    Foto 1:


    a) First, notice how big the distance between the three midfielders is.

    b) Here we have Raul Garcia applying pressure on Pique in the early stage of build-up, while another Bilbao player does not let De Jong receive from Pique. This was a common theme of the game. Not letting De Jong to get in possession with face forward in space. Ball is played wide, which is the simplest and most non-constructive way of building an attack. Teams leave spaces wide more often, so if you want to quickly get the ball forward, and don't care about the quality of the position you obtained, you pass the ball to fullback and advance.

    c) Notice how Alena is going wide to receive the ball from Alba, because he is blocked by a Bilbao player from being passed to. Again, the movement is from inside, to wide. Common theme in Valverde boring football. Not enough central occupation and overplaying on the wings with no real payoff. Valverde's 2 midfielders almost play as if we have a 4-4-2 midfield and they are in fact wide midfielders, not central mids in a midfield trio which is supposed to be fluid and interconnected.

    Foto 2:


    a) You have Alba who does the right thing here. He goes a bit inside and he seems to be wanting to develop through the center. But Alena doesn't bring anything in the center since he continues to go wide.

    b) We have De Jong who looks like he wants in, but Raul Garcia takes him again under marking. Raul Garcia role here is very important. So he basically leaves Pique all alone and goes towards De Jong to press him. The mesagge is clear for the Bilbao defense system: stop De Jong at all costs.

    c) Roberto here is in a potentially dangerous position. There is a potential pass from Alba to Roberto (white dotted line), if Roberto moves off the ball and takes the position marked with a circle. Pass is not on if he doesn't move, because a Bilbao player blocks the channel.

    Muniain sees this and, completely leaves Semedo free and takes on Roberto. Semedo and Pique are standing in so much pace it's unreal. They could easily push forward, and take on more aggressive positions to advance the build-up and exploit Bilbao's risky too right-side heavy shape. Also, notice how Alba's pass to positions 2 and 3 (white circles) is a basic simple pass. Nobody is blocking it.

    We are here in this picture 1 or 2 easy steps away from having a very dangerous attack on Bilbao's left side, due to Bilbao's insistence to press us in numbers in the area where the ball is. 2 easy steps that only require a simple pass and players adjusting the positions to benefit from open holes in Bilbao's defensive system. Every time Bilbao players reinforce a position, they weaken another, like it happens here. But if our players stand around like mummies, nothing will happen and Bilbao players will fix their shape in a matter of seconds.

    Suffice to say that Semedo and Pique don't move an inch. They stand still marking air.

    Foto 3:


    Because they didn't keep a correct shape and refused to adjust their positioning, they are stubmling against each other. Now suddenly both Pique and Semedo want to join in and participate in build-up. But it's too fucking late.

    Whole Bilbao right side who where caught in a bad shape, are now readjusting and gravitating on the left. They have plenty of time to do it because Pique and Semedo are clowning around.

    Semedo should already by 20-25m more advanced than he is. Pique should be 10-15m. more advanced. We have 4 (!!!!) players behind the ball marking nobody. Meanwhile Bilbao has a 5 vs 1 in the middle of the park. Roberto is surrounded by half of Bilbao's team almost.

    There is not 1 good passing option now.

    Foto 4:


    Some important seconds are wasted, and Pique and Semedo are still unsure if they are straight or gay. Almost touching each other there.
    As expected, an attack with superiority on our right side and on Bilbao's left has now turned into a 4 vs 2 in favor of Bilbao. Semedo should be placed where Dembele is, and Dembele should be farther up, providing passing options. Both Pique and Semedo, as shown in the above picture, have had an enormous amount of space to push up.

    Again, there is no presence in the green area, which is the central area in the vicinity of the zone where the ball is. That is basically a key area where you should be looking to pass the ball, so key that the opponent has to block it at all costs. But because there is nobody from Barcelona that shows any intent to penetrate the green area, the Bilbao player that was in charge of that position has left it, and has double teamed Yeray Alvarez in his marking of Suarez. This has, in turn, allowed the LB of Bilbao, Berchiche to apply even more pressure in the wing (since Dembele is way back, nobody is attacking his side, and Suarez is well taken care of by two teammates).

    More to come depending on the available time.
    Last edited by serghei; 21st August 2019 at 02:41 PM.

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    Good share.

    To put it simple and short. Malmierda's Barça does not have any coherent tactic and never had one in the first place. The closest signs of any type of tactic is to play the ball to Messi (whenever ready) whenever possible and attacking mostly through the left flank, most frequently using Alba for that task who without looking up will look to pass the ball to Messi at least 95% of the time. The other tactic is to sit deep when not in possession while absorbing pressure like your typical relegation candidate that is fighting to stay up and hence in lack of better is forced to defend in the most primitive fashion. Pretty much what Athletic did on Friday, minus all the heart, running, pressure, sacrifice and passion.

    Malmierda is the complete antithesis of Barça and what has made us the most successful club in terms of trophies, admired playing style and legacy in the past 30 years in the world. In other words the Cruyff sporting model and playing style.

    I don't think that even the players, if asked, could tell you what kind of tactic they are using.

    Sometimes a lack of a defined tactic (very rarely) is not necessarily a bad thing if the team makes up for it with creativity, movement on and off the ball, sacrifice, passion, leadership, individual class etc. but that works very, very rarely and is usually always going to be found out against elite opponents and elite managers.

    The tragic thing is that if a random person that has never watched football in his life before sat down and saw Malmierda's Barça play, he would have no clue about even the most simple tactical concepts.

    On the other hand if he switched channels, went to another bar or pub or changed his live stream at home, and decided to watch Man City or Liverpool instead or even an Ajax team deprived of their best individual players, he could clearly see some kind of tactical patterns emerge quite easily.
    Last edited by Leo_Messi; 21st August 2019 at 03:09 PM.
    Bartomeu Dimissió!

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    Great thread!
    #ValverdeOUT

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    Point is when the other team goes ultra compact and presses hard with multiple players in the area where the ball is, you adjust shape, switch the play fast and attack with superiority in the side that is exposed. That's football basics. You don't fucking stand there like mummies.

    Like in the first picture.

    Alba to Pique to Semedo, or Alba to Semedo directly - > Hard sprint with the ball, and 3 vs 3 with Semedo, Suarez and Dembele. With 6-7 Bilbao players caught off position due to their hard press on our left, without blocking important passing options. Muniain made a big positional mistake there.

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    Players who are left standing in space by opponents who vacate their positions to press in other areas of the field must participate in the build-up and offer passing options to the teammates that are pressed in numbers.

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    "tactics" under EV lol, good one serghei

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    Quote Originally Posted by Respekt_III View Post
    "tactics" under EV lol, good one serghei
    point taken.

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    Seen a tactics thread on twitter talking about some of the changes we saw.

    It seems Valverde instructed the likes Back four and Busi to be the primary build-up guys from the back while we parked FDJ and Roberto behind the attackers which left a noticeable gap between Busi and FDJ and Roberto at times. We got away with it due to Betis not really pressing Busi back and exploiting the space that much.

    Worked out well but I'd have to assume it won't be used against stronger teams that could exploit the spaces in the Midfield that will press Busi.

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    problem is that players like rakitic, suarez (also Messi to some extent) are too lazy and dont move off the ball.

    With rafinha, de jong and grizzi the system looked quite good imo

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    Nice thread. Hope it continues to be updated throughout the year. Quick question. What program are you using to create those graphics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepsbarca View Post
    Nice thread. Hope it continues to be updated throughout the year. Quick question. What program are you using to create those graphics?
    I was using photoshop, but I plan to make it with a video instead for the Osasuna game, and will use Adobe Premiere Pro.

    It's more nice with a video and stop frames from place to place explaining the issues I think. And I will keep it more simple with annotations, to not make the images as crowded.
    Last edited by serghei; 1st September 2019 at 04:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by serghei View Post
    I was using photoshop, but I plan to make it with a video instead for the Osasuna game, and will use Adobe Premiere Pro.

    It's more nice with a video and stop frames from place to place explaining the issues I think. And I will keep it more simple with annotations, to not make the images as crowded.
    Cheers

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    Tactical analysis for the Osasuna game is done. So we can see exactly on video what the big problems are.


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    Great video.

    Off the ball and Positioning on the ball as well has been an issue for us since Lucho's final season and Valverde has not done much to correct that at all. It will keep plaguing us the day we finally get someone who understands it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xXKonan View Post
    Great video.

    Off the ball and Positioning on the ball as well has been an issue for us since Lucho's final season and Valverde has not done much to correct that at all. It will keep plaguing us the day we finally get someone who understands it.
    Lucho was a level above Valverde in this aspect imo. I would consider off the ball movement in Lucho's time as acceptable. Pep's game was faultless almost in this area, as perfect as you can get.

    Off the ball movement under Valverde though is terrible. Worst I've seen.

    And yes, until we get someone who understands and respects the principles of possession football we have no chance. Valverde is simply a terrible fit for a club like Barcelona.
    Last edited by serghei; 11th September 2019 at 05:23 PM.