The tactic revolutionaries

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Friday, 20 January 2012

How Barcelona could be defeated

(1) The most appropriate way to cause Barcelona real problems is counter their system. First of all there must be a particular man-marking plan in the midfield. Lass or Khedira pick up Xavi, Pepe picks up Messi and Xabi Alonso picks up Iniesta (it is generally acceptable that Iniesta is the least defensive minded midfielder of Barcelona meaning that Alonso will be having decent time on the ball). In defence, a regular Real plan would do (even so if Coentrao is comfortable right he is the right man to pair with Marcelo as full backs). Further upfront, on the left there would be Di Maria, Real’s most hardworking winger with the ability to be more defensive-an effective strategy against Dani Alves- and in the right wing Benzema (who is more offensive)could get into the box exploiting Abidal’s less attacking approach. And finally, Ronaldo with a false nine role to come deep and enforce the midfield but also at the same moment give Busquets someone to mark and therefore effectively restrict everyone of Barcelona’s ball-playing midfielders from having too much space for a good pass. Busquets was the man to keep Barca having their usual dominance in possession by being unmarked. This way there will be no-one and so Barca will struggle to keep possession (simply the most fundamental step to stopping them since this is the way they come up to dominate their games).

(2) Barcelona enjoy such success and effectiveness in an unconventional system like this because of three factors: a) pace (could anyone name just one Barca regular who is not that quick both on and off the ball?) b) teamwork (Barcelona’s players play for each other and the team as a whole doesn’t depend on just one, two or even three players-everyone completes each other*) c) communication (no other team in the world has so many players with so strong bonds between them-last year’s Champions League final is the absolute peak of “Mes que un club” motto).

*How interesting it is that when it comes to individual leadership and team dependence at international level Messi struggles whereas in a more teamworking side like Spain all of Barca’s internationals shine.

P.S.: Both are comments written for Zonal Marking's article "Real Madrid 1-2 Barcelona: Real start strongly but Barca eventually find a way through" right here:

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