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Thread: FC Barcelona Tactics

  1. #1
    Charlie Sheen's Protégé IrvDizzle's Avatar
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    FC Barcelona Tactics

    Hey gals and guys ... I've wanted to start this thread for some time now but I never make the time to sit down and properly type up what I want to say. Anyway, I've decided to forgo my usual post-breakfast work out on Sunday to create this thread:

    First, crazy thanks to HellsAngels for this post in the Almeria v FCB thread

    Tactics
    Bringing in Ibra in stead of Eto'o definately changed our tactics. My first thought of Ibra when he joined was great: big strong guy with great technique, better in link up play and finishing then Eto'o. (because let's face it, Eto'o had his dry periods as well) He started off good in his first games (lot's of goals in the beginning), but a football eye could see that he didn't yet blend into the squad. I thought it was normal because everyone needs a time to gel in. When you take his goals away, like in the last couple of weeks/months, you see that he still doesn't bring much to our game.
    Arguably because of his confidence problems, his first touch became awful. His positioning is very onesided: he allways attacks the second post when the ball is out wide, inviting the long and high cross in. Why doesn't he come short? He would be available for a pass on the ground then! Have you ever seen him set up a dangerous one-two where he put a ball in behind the defense for a winger to run in to? It's only logical that Pep took away our wide play because it has become totally uneffective. We don't have the wingers that hug the line and put in crosses from that position. Messi on his best tried to cut inside from out wide trying to play a dangerous one two with Eto'o (using Eto'o as a pivot) or playing a weighted through ball for him.
    Another problem is Ibra's lack of sheer pace. We knew that he wasn't as fast as Eto'o. If we want Ibra to run vertical, your pass needs to weighted to perfection. He tries to make up for his shortage in pace by playing on the same line as the last defender, but he doesn't do it so well.. He strays offside a lot..

    All the above changed the way our midfielders behave. Because of the lack of pace up front and the lack of wingers on both sides, our playing field is smaller. Opposition defenders can push up and play narrower. There is far less space for Xavi and Iniesta to be creative in. The game against Stuttgart was a perfect example of this.

    Mentality
    Another major difference compared to last season is our starting mentality. Sure, as said before on this forum, we are still looking for possession, and this is good. After all it is the Barça way. But what we are lacking is a certain directness towards the goal. We have to try more and we have to try harder. It almost looks as if the players don't want to lose the ball, because if they do, they will have to put pressure (lot's of work) again. Currently the only player with the goal in mind is Messi. And perhaps there is a bit of a complacency issue as well..

    Can Pep solve his/these problems? I sure hope so!!!
    It's the perfect post to set the tone for this thread which I would like to accomplish the following things:

    1. highlight the differences in FCB's tactics both offensively and defensively from season to season.

    2. highlight any changes from game to game

    3. provide any analysis for improving FCB's tactics.

    4. For every signing we make in the transfer season, analyse how that signing would affect our tactics and other teams' tactics against us.

    so with HellAngel's quote in mind, let's start with the three major differences from last year's team.

    Samuel Eto'o out --> Zlatan Ibrahimovic in: I get why Pep did this. Chelsea bossed our midfield of Busquets/Xavi/Keita and with Iniesta on his non-favoured position of LW he was not as effective as he is when he's lying next to Xavi. There was an interesting post by Gio in the Barça v RMadrid thread:

    Well disregarding injuries and putting a formation that would match Barca's 4-3-3 (which is also what Manu used lately ) and taking into consideration the two teams will play each other after it will be

    Ramos-----Albiol--------Pepe---------Arbeloa
    -----------Lass--------Diarra---------------
    ------------------Xabi------------------
    --CR--------------Higuain-----------Kaka

    I opted for the 3 destructive midfielders cause if you control the midfield and press Barca midfield well (as we saw in the first classico ) the team lose the brains (Xavi-Iniesta) & momentum with ease

    at the same time Barca have no one to catch CR well , Kaka position will be more mobile so he can go inside a bit and xabi won't be as deep as he is not but ahead of Lass-Diarra
    which basically sums up why Ibrahimovic replaced Samuel. In the last two months of the season FCB played 16 games. Sammy started 15 and was an unused sub against Rec Huelva. In those 15 games, Sammy scored 7 goals, including the all important opening goal v ManU in the final. While he ran his ass off pressuring the ball when it was near him, his offensive skillset was shown to be limited as his goal scoring touch evaporated. It was no secret that Pep didn't want him going in to the season, and without him we don't win our Treble. But the Cheslea game, I believe was the straw that broke the camel's back. with our midfield under control and Leo under wraps, Pep needed creativity from somewhere else. Thierry was our best striker down the stretch and that meant Sammy had to go. This is why Gio, and other teams, will try to copy the Chelsea blueprint and suffocate our defense. This is why Pep signed Ibrah, to add another creative player that teams have to take account for in their planning. Obviously Ibrah has not settled as quickly as we would have liked. However, like every other player who has come in to Pep's system from outside the club they need a full and injury free season to adapt. It remains to be seen whether or not Ibrah will be the signing Pep envisions him to be, but this week's massive match v Valencia followed by the Stuttgart 2nd leg will go a long way to determining Ibrah's rest of season contribution.

    OK ... I've typed a lot. I would be interested in whatever else anyone like to say about what I've posted. There are two other changes from last season I'd like to address as well:

    2. The Fall of Thierry Henry

    3. The Evolution of the 4-3-3 to the 4-4-2

    EDIT: sorry, one last rule. This is to be a topic about tactics and counter-tactics. NO, I repeat, NO Fanboy-ism, NO irrationality, NO stupidity AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, NO BI-POLARISM. It's doesn't have to be PTC, but I don't want it to be doom/gloom as well and I most certainly don't want it to be about players we could sign, players we're rumoured to sign, or players you want FCB to sign. Please keep this thread on topic. I would humbly ask the MODs to enforce my request if you feel it prudent. Thank you.
    Last edited by IrvDizzle; 7th March 2010 at 05:51 PM.
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  2. #2
    High Definition Member Hamzah's Avatar
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    My Tactics*:

    -----------Valdes
    -------Puyol----Pique--Maxwell
    Alves-----Toure
    --------------------Xavi
    ---------Iniesta
    --Messi
    ----------Henry------Pedro

    Valdes: Goalkeeper

    Alves: Goes forward whenever he can. Tracks back but focuses on giving width and helping the attack.

    Puyol: Only focuses on defending. Keeps it simple and plays defence, also helps give stability while Alves goes forward.

    Pique: Pique does the same job as Puyol but also takes the ball out of defence and helps in the build up as Maxwell is also back most of the time.

    Maxwell: Maxwell is mainly a defender but must also give Xavi an option on his side of the pitch when there is no risk and Pique is not too far forward.

    Toure: Toure is for the balance. in this deep area of the field Pique can help the build up and do ambitious passes so Toure keeps it simple. He is vital for covering Alves and also Iniesta on this side of the field.

    Xavi: Xavi does not go into very advanced areas but keeps the team ticking. there are options all around him so he can make the correct pass. Iniesta moving into space in front, Maxwell giving width on his side, as well as Pedro. Pique and Toure are just behind him too if there are no options.

    Iniesta: Iniesta finds space and receives a pass before linking up with Messi, Henry or Alves. He is the link to the final third and makes the change between the phases fast. He must also be careful to track back though.

    Messi: Messi has freedom. He can run at defenders, pass to Iniesta or Alves on either side or run into either area, he can take shots from just outside the area and makes things happen in the final third.

    Henry: Given Ibra's bad form Henry is the replacement. He is to hold up the ball, run behind defences and score goals. When without the ball he runs at them, applying pressure.

    Pedro: Pedro is more of a conventional winger but not an actual winger. He does not have as much freedom of movement as Messi but gives a conventional wide area option in the final third and can cut in occasionally and take a shot.

    *Based on current form/injuries

  3. #3
    The Observer Beast's Avatar
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    Excellent Post Irv

    You summed up most things except one thing that was left out
    when you want to buy a player you look toward your needs (tactically ) and buy what suit /fit in the team .
    Barca always relied on speed in their build up (in contrast to Real Madrid slow build up through out history ) and the Barca defense doesn't start with Puyol-Pique but from the CF-Messi-Henry .
    that's why even when you won the double you had egg heads like the Oggmister playing , or liable defenders like Belletti /Sylvinho , it didn't matter cause the defense start from the front line .

    So where did it all go wrong , Ibra is not this type of forward , he never was and never will be ..
    You needed a workman like forward , and when Ibra stroll around the pitch you give enough time for the other teams to build up and the defense to act calm instead of rushing their decisions and making mistakes (like last year )

    Pep made a mistake , you want to get rid of Eto'o and change your style at the same time is tactically impossible for the simple reason of the remaining 10 players 80 % of them play the same way since they were 13/15 , they won't change for Ibra and don't need to (probably why Messi is taking charge of the team with his squad )

    I won't say he should have kept Eto'o but i will say he should have went for people like Higuain (style wise ) and got an established no 9 for free like Crespo, Cruz..etc there was plenty of them free of charge in the market and would do what you should have done.. keep Eto'o (renew ) and buy a Larsson

    Instead he put his egg in one basket spend biggest ever figure on a 28 year old forward who is technically very good but individualistic and play on a different tone than the way Barca play
    People who said you needed a big man for Alves crosses (plenty of our members ) didn't really seen any of Ibra games before and took it for granted that tall=quality headers and forget in the race to defend the club decision that Barca don't really use crosses that often and it won't be that hard to defend it .

    Anyhow what's done is done , i said before it's much better to play Henry in the center and give Ibra the left side , Henry has all the instinct and speed to do what Eto'o used to do for you and he is synced with Messi & the rest unlike Ibra who day by day look like the ugly duck in Barca forward line

    One last point i remembered regarding creativity , when you have Xavi-Iniesta-Messi u don't need creativity and you don't build your new season plan based on one outcome of one leg game vs Chelsea. people around here try so hard to make excuses for Pep *and Laporta before him* decisions they are human they make mistakes ..
    You faced the PARKED BUS for the last 5 years with Eto'o in the team and guess what ? you won 3 liga titles and 2 CL ..
    2 champions league , that double what Barca won in the holy grail through out their history so please lets not use Chelsea second leg as an excuse it is bound to happen and that's why you will have the likes of Messi or Iniesta shot and it's just one game you don't change your tactics for one game (especially when you still won it as well ) .

    so to sum up , you can afford your lazy player on the wing but you cannot afford him in the center that's your quick fix
    Pep "Feeling " was wrong the same way he was wrong about Chag-miss-key, Caceres ..etc and whoever most people blamed on Txiki , Pep is an awesome coach but he is human and he will make mistakes in his scouting like everyone else from Capello(Gago -Emerson) to SAF (Djemba Djemba,Veron ,Berbatov ) ..
    Say NO to "Gif" signature

  4. #4
    Jordzibob
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    Djemba Djemba, what a legend.


    Great post Beast. That's why I said we should still sign Torres, you can still afford to put Ibra out on the left where he might even play better, because lets face it, the guy is shit in the centre with or without support. He's the ugly duckling, like you put it. Messi Torres and Ibra. Wow.

    Eto didn't go neccesarily for a tactical change, he went because he was causing a problem in the dressing room as such, apparently that was deemed too big a problem to keep him at the club


    Your right, Pep is human. People are too quick to gloss over the mistakes he makes, and blame the players. Sometimes, it's Pep's fault.



    Oh, and screw cock up Toure and calamity Busquets, we should sign Veloso
    Last edited by Jordzibob; 7th March 2010 at 06:33 PM.

  5. #5
    But Ibra was playing perfectly fine for the first half of the season. What has happened since then? Has he run out of gas?

    And I agree with Beast that he should play on the left. When he plays in the middle it becomes way too static and is often faced the wrong way. Don't know if you guys know what I mean

  6. #6
    Esteve
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordzibob View Post
    Djemba Djemba, what a legend.


    Great post Beast. That's why I said we should still sign Torres, you can still afford to put Ibra out on the left where he might even play better, because lets face it, the guy is shit in the centre with or without support. He's the ugly duckling, like you put it. Messi Torres and Ibra. Wow.

    Eto didn't go neccesarily for a tactical change, he went because he was causing a problem in the dressing room as such, apparently that was deemed too big a problem to keep him at the club


    Your right, Pep is human. People are too quick to gloss over the mistakes he makes, and blame the players. Sometimes, it's Pep's fault.



    Oh, and screw cock up Toure and calamity Busquets, we should sign Veloso
    Awful post.

  7. #7
    Jordzibob
    Guest
    It wasnt that bad

    Admittedly it wasnt detail epic like those up there ^^^^^ but I'm allowed to pass comment.

  8. #8
    Jordzibob
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Internazionale View Post
    But Ibra was playing perfectly fine for the first half of the season. What has happened since then? Has he run out of gas?

    And I agree with Beast that he should play on the left. When he plays in the middle it becomes way too static and is often faced the wrong way. Don't know if you guys know what I mean
    I dont understand what's happened to him either, thats what I said earlier, he was great at the start of the season and it seemed like he was adapting and the whole team could work with him. Then its like he just forgot how to do it. Forgot how to finish, forgot his first touch-which has gone unbelievably sloppy, it lets us down like 96% of the time now and cocks up our attacks.

  9. #9
    Esteve
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    Of course you are, man!

    I just strongly disagree with most of it.

  10. #10
    Jordzibob
    Guest

  11. #11
    Jordzibob
    Guest
    I was going to say Essien but then I remembered Meta absolutely pwning me on that subject so I stopped short, Veloso is a good, creative, skilful, reliable player. He'd be a good fit for Barca

    (Yes I know nobody agrees with me about Torres)

  12. #12
    Valon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordzibob View Post
    Djemba Djemba, what a legend.


    Great post Beast. That's why I said we should still sign Torres, you can still afford to put Ibra out on the left where he might even play better, because lets face it, the guy is shit in the centre with or without support. He's the ugly duckling, like you put it. Messi Torres and Ibra. Wow.

    Eto didn't go neccesarily for a tactical change, he went because he was causing a problem in the dressing room as such, apparently that was deemed too big a problem to keep him at the club


    Your right, Pep is human. People are too quick to gloss over the mistakes he makes, and blame the players. Sometimes, it's Pep's fault.



    Oh, and screw cock up Toure and calamity Busquets, we should sign Veloso
    Did you even read the OP?

  13. #13
    Jordzibob
    Guest
    Oh, crap. Lol I didn't read the very last bit. My bad. Sorry!!



    *Leaves*

  14. #14
    Charlie Sheen's Protégé IrvDizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beast View Post
    Excellent Post Irv

    You summed up most things except one thing that was left out
    when you want to buy a player you look toward your needs (tactically ) and buy what suit /fit in the team .
    Barca always relied on speed in their build up (in contrast to Real Madrid slow build up through out history ) and the Barca defense doesn't start with Puyol-Pique but from the CF-Messi-Henry .
    that's why even when you won the double you had egg heads like the Oggmister playing , or liable defenders like Belletti /Sylvinho , it didn't matter cause the defense start from the front line .

    So where did it all go wrong , Ibra is not this type of forward , he never was and never will be ..
    You needed a workman like forward , and when Ibra stroll around the pitch you give enough time for the other teams to build up and the defense to act calm instead of rushing their decisions and making mistakes (like last year )

    Pep made a mistake , you want to get rid of Eto'o and change your style at the same time is tactically impossible for the simple reason of the remaining 10 players 80 % of them play the same way since they were 13/15 , they won't change for Ibra and don't need to (probably why Messi is taking charge of the team with his squad )

    I won't say he should have kept Eto'o but i will say he should have went for people like Higuain (style wise ) and got an established no 9 for free like Crespo, Cruz..etc there was plenty of them free of charge in the market and would do what you should have done.. keep Eto'o (renew ) and buy a Larsson

    Instead he put his egg in one basket spend biggest ever figure on a 28 year old forward who is technically very good but individualistic and play on a different tone than the way Barca play
    People who said you needed a big man for Alves crosses (plenty of our members ) didn't really seen any of Ibra games before and took it for granted that tall=quality headers and forget in the race to defend the club decision that Barca don't really use crosses that often and it won't be that hard to defend it .

    Anyhow what's done is done , i said before it's much better to play Henry in the center and give Ibra the left side , Henry has all the instinct and speed to do what Eto'o used to do for you and he is synced with Messi & the rest unlike Ibra who day by day look like the ugly duck in Barca forward line

    One last point i remembered regarding creativity , when you have Xavi-Iniesta-Messi u don't need creativity and you don't build your new season plan based on one outcome of one leg game vs Chelsea. people around here try so hard to make excuses for Pep *and Laporta before him* decisions they are human they make mistakes ..
    You faced the PARKED BUS for the last 5 years with Eto'o in the team and guess what ? you won 3 liga titles and 2 CL ..
    2 champions league , that double what Barca won in the holy grail through out their history so please lets not use Chelsea second leg as an excuse it is bound to happen and that's why you will have the likes of Messi or Iniesta shot and it's just one game you don't change your tactics for one game (especially when you still won it as well ) .

    so to sum up , you can afford your lazy player on the wing but you cannot afford him in the center that's your quick fix
    Pep "Feeling " was wrong the same way he was wrong about Chag-miss-key, Caceres ..etc and whoever most people blamed on Txiki , Pep is an awesome coach but he is human and he will make mistakes in his scouting like everyone else from Capello(Gago -Emerson) to SAF (Djemba Djemba,Veron ,Berbatov ) ..
    That's an excellent point about FCB's defense starting from the attacking three rather than the back four, and Ibrah's tendency never to be that type of player. I like the concept of putting Ibrah on the wing, and Thierry in the middle. But Thierry didn't play well in the middle last year and he loves to drift left, which means he'd be running in to Ibrah's space. But this is a great segway in to another reason why I created this thread: what do with our left attacking side. The right is where the majority of FCB's attacking impetuous comes from, but the left has nothing. So going with Gio's recommendation of switching Thierry inside and Ibrah outside, irrespective of what this does to Pedro (which is another point to discuss) this would mean that the left would be Maxwell --> Iniesta --> Ibrah with Thierry drifting towards them. I would believe that Thierry and Ibrah would get in each other's way for the first games, but over time they would develop some sort of creative interplay that would bring some attacking balance. but it would be hard going at first and Thierry would have to make sure he did not drift out wide too much.

    here's another suggestion, what about Ibrah -- Bojan -- Leo?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valon View Post
    Did you even read the OP?
    thanks, Valon.
    Last edited by IrvDizzle; 7th March 2010 at 07:19 PM.
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  15. #15
    I am Leg End AnfieldEd's Avatar
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    I agree with everything Gio has said basically. You needed to replace Eto'o with a superior version of him, instead you went for a different sort of striker. That plus Ibrahimovic is overrated, but alas I know I am in the minority there.


    One thing I'd like to add though, which isn't about tactics, but alas I feel a good point is that after such a successful season, there was always, always going to be the feeling this season of after the lord mayors show. Plus do the players have the same intense hunger for it? How can they?

    4-4-2 will definitely not suit bara, as you'd be way, way to easy to open up, considering your full backs defensively are not world class. Alves is a world class right back, but there is a difference to what I said. So 4-4-2 and you'd get murdered.

    Cut Bojan loose Irv, he isn't good enough to start for barca, not in a million years.
    "Its not about the long ball or the short ball, its about the right ball."
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