Xavi establishes a parade of extremes in Barça

The idea is extreme. And the extremes are capital in the idea that Xavi tries to instill in a record time at Barça, working under real fire with no margin for tests or preliminary tests because he has already arrived with the season started and without having the necessary resources to enhance that idea of ​​play.

His philosophy is maintained, it does not matter to play with 4-3-3 (Espanyol) or 3-4-3 (Benfica) on those players who must be specialists in the overflow, capable of successfully dribbling, threatening the rival already from the start, located in a more static position. Glued to the lime waiting for the ball to arrive without having to go to meet it.

The parade of extremes has been constant in the embryonic Barça de Xavi where the trunk problem remains the same that strangled Barça from Koeman: the lack of goal. And the harmful absence of imbalance.

Goal and penalty

The Barça of Guardiola curiously started with the same problem. Defeat in Numancia (1-0) and draw at the Camp Nou against Racing (1-1). In other words, a goal in the first 180 minutes of his career in 2008. And he scored it Messi penalty. A goal also leads to that of Xavi in 2021 (1-0 at Espanyol and 0-0 against Benfica). And it has marked it Memphis, also a penalty to culminate that series of curious coincidences.

That team was built on the center of the field (XaviBusquets, which debuted on that second day against Racing, and Iniesta), while the current one is intended to build on the culture of extremes. A culture in disuse because it is increasingly difficult to find players who meet that profile. The one of Cruyff, on the other hand, it arose from the figure of the middle center taking into Milla and Guardiola to its great symbols.

Ilias, Abde, Demir, Dest…

Needs to Xavi Those wingers who look into the side’s eyes and turn each ball into a matter of sporting life and death. Wingers who not only play when they receive the ball but also when they set the defense to provoke, as the coach says, the creation of those “interior corridors” that promote the arrival of second-line midfielders, especially Nico and Frenkie de Jong.

There, in the engine room, there is no doubt. The two always play escorting Busquets. The parade is lived in the bands since in the barely 180 minutes that he has been sitting on the bench at the Camp Nou he has used eight players. From Ilias, who made his debut in the first team in the derby, to Dest, which he resorted to in the final stretch against Benfica, albeit as a left-handed winger. Koeman used it on the right wing.

Pampering Dembélé

Guardiola had world-class forwards (he dispensed with Ronaldinho, but he stayed with Etoo, he had Henry and Messi was at the right time to explode), but Xavi must handle an extremely limited attack where he has not been able to reunite his favorite trident: Dembélé , who does not stop pampering, on and off the field, Memphis and Ansu Fati.

The new coach has to look at the Estadi Johan Cruyff from where young people like Ilias, Abde or even iron, initially destined for the subsidiary although he has not stepped on his dressing room because he appeared directly at the Camp Nou, from Austria. For not having, it does not have Xavi nor the secondary pieces to that trio since Braithwaite He is still out due to the injury he suffered in the knee and Kun Agüero, with a cardiac arrhythmia, it is doubted even if he will be able to continue playing soccer one day.

“Lack of effectiveness”

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The extremes parade (four against Espanyol and another four different with Benfica), it remains Memphis as the only fixed piece of an attack that does not specify the dynamism, order and pressure of Xavi’s Barça. “It is a problem of effectiveness. Not putting the chances generates more anxiety and it gave Benfica more security,” acknowledged the coach, who revealed the order that he transferred the day before to his forwards. “We told them that within an area everything must be at a touch. There is no time and less at this level.” The finishing touch is missing. The touch that changes everything.

The crisis of the Barcelona goal in Europe

450 minutes in the Champions

53 shots

9 shots on target (16%)

2 goals (I hammered Dynamo Kiev; Ansu Fati, Dynamo Kiev)


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