Koeman tries to save his neck with extremes (but can’t believe it)

BarcelonaBarça are still not excited but at least, against Valencia, they managed to overcome the ghosts by reacting to the first goal and surviving the best minutes of the rival when the score was still tight before the final 3-1. Ronald Koeman will face this Wednesday, against Dinamo Kiev, the most decisive match of a week in which his continuity is assessed. The Dutchman continues with the same diagnosis of the ills of his team, especially in the defensive plot, but demanded the return of cash in attack and, in the first game that could count from the beginning with Ansu Fati, he bet to play with ends. Thus, in the first exam on its continuity, the coach initially offered a game proposal that satisfies Joan Laporta.

But the team’s main shortcomings remain localized in choral organization and defensive work. It would be unfair to point exclusively to the defensive line, because the focus should be on the work of the whole team. Without Leo Messi, excused from these functions for everything he brought in attack, the message that Koeman has conveyed in the locker room is that defensive tasks are the responsibility of the whole team. But it is up to the coach to balance the mechanisms and get the commitment of all the players and not to repeat some of the scenes that have been experienced in recent games and that, against Valencia, were played again. For example, Memphis occasionally took off from defensive work and was also particularly symptomatic of an action in which up to two attackers from the xe set pulled (at the height of the midfield line) in front of the Memphis. Barça defenders. Guedes, finally covered by De Jong (inside) and Sergi Roberto (right side), ended up shooting deflected from the top of the area, while Piqué was the third Barça player to take action.

Adjusting the pressure is one of the main challenges and needs of the team. In fact, Koeman himself stated this implicitly when this newspaper asked him in advance about Busquets’ outstanding role with Spain and the moments of suffering he is accumulating at Barça. “Their quality is not in doubt. It is true that as a team we can help him more. With the issue of pressure we cannot compare Barça with Spain. We have to improve as a team so that he can feel more comfortable. that also depends on his future on the team, ”he explained bluntly.

Ansu’s statistics with goals

The defensive disorder, which already left the team naked against Benfica and Atletico Madrid, was neutralized against Valencia thanks to an improvement in attacking production, but the mess remains unresolved. For now, Koeman bases much of his credit on recovering cash at the front. Ansu Fati is not yet ready to play the full 90 minutes in a three-game week as demanding as this one, but he once again displayed his goal-scoring sense of smell. According to data from Opta, since February last year the Spanish-Guinean has scored 11 goals in his last 16 goals in the league, which means 69% effectiveness. He also highlighted his understanding with both Alba and Memphis. In fact, the scoring facet of the Dutchman is the plot that needs to improve, because of the four goals he has scored two have been from the penalty spot. Memphis has not seen a goal in a play action since the third day of the championship.

Waiting for Kun to accumulate pace of play, Koeman has high hopes for recovering Dembélé and, aware of the virtues of playing with extremes, Dest has become the alternative to the French and the approach, offensively, it worked better than when the sides were in charge of giving depth. But the American, in the final stretch of the game, ended up more focused on defensive tasks, although he continued to project himself on offense due to his offensive nature. On the initial approach with extremes, Koeman argued that Dest’s contribution was “especially important” because, with Ansu on the other side, he could have someone “deep and fast” on the right as well. “In Ajax’s home football, Dest played on the sidelines, so it’s not a strange place for him,” he said. never to be the best Philippe, ”said the Brazilian after his first goal of the season.


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