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
It's the perfect post to set the tone for this thread which I would like to accomplish the following things: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.
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!!!
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:
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.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
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
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.