Xavi turns to last season’s Barcelona to find solutions – report

Barcelona head coach Xavi
Photo by Bagu Blanco / Pressinphoto / Icon Sport

FC Barcelona are currently going through quite the turbulent phase in their ongoing season. The Catalan giants are struggling in recent matches. Regardless of the result, they are not playing anything like what is expected of a team like FC Barcelona.

While in terms of the timing of this turbulent phase, it would not directly seem like a season-ruining problem. However, the problem lies in the fact that it may linger. Moreover, if it is not corrected as soon as possible, it could go on to plague the rest of the campaign.

As such, Xavi has taken it upon himself to correct and balance out the team. According to Diario AS, the Barcelona manager is taking inspiration from last season’s league-winning tactics in order to better prepare this current iteration of Barcelona to follow in the same footsteps.

First and foremost, it seems, Xavi is likely to return to his four-man midfield concept that was quite successful last season. From what has already been seen of it, it was formerly Pedri, Gavi, Frenkie De Jong, and Sergio Busquets all there to help Barcelona better control games and create chances for themselves.

This season, Busquets is no longer there to act as a pivot. Xavi could possibly use either Ilkay Gundogan or Oriol Romeu in his stead. The remainder of the midfield would likely remain the same. Recent reports have also hinted that once De Jong returns, it could potentially lead to Joao Felix being sacrificed.

Another crucial tactic that worked brilliantly last season was relying on only one offensive fullback. By deploying central defenders as the rest of the back three, Xavi allowed Barcelona much more defensive security and allowed the progressive players to do even more damage without worrying about a counterattack.

This would mean that either of Joao Cancelo or Alejandro Balde could be sacrificed this season. However, given Balde’s rather diminishing form recently and Cancelo’s versatility to play on either flank, it may be the Spaniard who has to be dropped.

Moreover, someone like Jules Kounde or Ronald Araujo would hence have to look after the right-back position. While this does sometimes limit high-scoring matches with many chances created, it allows for a defensive guarantee of conceding less.

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