Xavi’s efforts to make Barcelona better

Xavi’s efforts to make Barcelona better

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24 Mar 2022
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El Clasico

Xavi came to the club as a smart coach


He came to the club knowing each of us very well – our strengths and weaknesses. From day one, he shows us videos through which he explains what exactly is required in each episode. Once a week, each player has a separate meeting with Xavi with video analysis. It helps us to progress,” said Ronald Araujo. “Xavi shows me a lot of videos – examples of my game from matches. Indicates where I can add, how to position correctly and where to receive the ball. These videos cover every aspect of my game,” Frenkie de Jong described. Even Memphis Depay – Koeman’s favorite, who does not get much time from Xavi – noticed positive changes in the training process: “After the arrival of Xavi, training became more intense, disciplined, tactically structured. It affected our game.”


Barcelona with the ball: right flank for isolations, left flank for combinations

In the first stage, Barcelona usually uses a 2 3 structure. Two center players and a three in the next line to control the center. The content of the trio may vary depending on the rotation: Dani Alves and Sergi Busquets are almost constant participants, and Alba and one of the midfielders can be located to the left: Above is the five, which fills all the corridors in the opponent’s half of the field – two flanks, two half-flanks and the center. They can also change positions within the structure. The Xavi-imposed structure has made Barça much less vulnerable to outside pressure. The number of passes under pressure has been greatly reduced – from 83.9 per match under Koeman to 70.7. When trying to push, the opponents did not have time to do it in the right rhythm, because within the framework of the structure the ball moves faster than without clear settings for attacking. As a result, more and more opponents began to refuse pressure. This structure, together with the pressure, gives Barca control in matches. The next step is the transformation of control into moments. The basis of Xavi’s attacking game is not the center, but the flanks, but they are used very effectively, and in the case of the left edge, also elegantly. The idea on the right flank is to create isolations for dribbler Adam Traore (or Dembele). To do this, Alves plays the role of a false full-back – he does not create width, but keeps a deliberately narrow position. 

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