The defeats of Valverde since he arrived to Barcelona You can count on the fingers of the hands. They are nine -five in the previous year by four in this- and two of them are framed in their official premiere, in the Supercopa against Madrid when the club, at that time trembling, was about to make and take shape, especially because Neymar had made go through the forum in search of El Dorado parisino. Of the seven remaining falls there is a pattern that is repeated, because in six of them the rivals were planted with three plants and two lanes [la disposición de los medios sí que varía, pues los hay que jugaron con dos mediocentros o dos volantes, incluso con un único punta], a measure of kryptonite for this Barça. Something that Barça coach is not entirely in agreement with: "There are many teams that play that way. It costs, but there are rivals that we have won by going out with that system. I do not think it's more complicated when it comes to attacking or defending. "
It happens, however, that this year Barça has played 10 games against opponents who put the tactical scheme into practice and although they have won five and tied another (against Girona, in LaLiga), they have also faced four: against Leganes and Betis in LaLiga; in front of Levante and Sevilla in Copa. Now he will fight with Girona (16.15 h. BeIN LaLiga), perhaps the precursor of this new fashion.
A fashion already seen
The defense of three is attributed, mainly, to Herbert Chapman, Arsenal coach (1925-1934) who was ahead of his time with the famous WM, with the 3-5-2. In Spain he gained strength a few years later, when Benito Díaz introduced him to the Royal Society at the beginning of the 40s. He also applied it and successfully John Benjamin Toshack in the Real and in Madrid four decades later. Fashion passenger – not so much in Italy, where almost all play with three central and two lanes -, which regained strength a couple of years ago in LaLiga. "It's a fashion that wins and brought Girona with Machin, able to climb to First and settle in the middle zone to the next course," says coach Víctor Muñoz. "The Girona and also some selections in the tournaments", prepares Lucas Alcaraz. "It is a system that is being adopted now because it compensates a lot the distribution of functions and the field", explains the technician Míchel González. "So just because of the number of teams that put it into practice, it is normal that Barça has fallen against rivals with three centers and two lanes," adds his counterpart Pepe Mel.
In any case, not all the coaches see cause and effect in Barcelona's defeats, as he defended Valverde. "It may be an argument, but teams with that system have also won. I do not see it as obvious, "says Michel. "I beat him with Deportivo with a 4-4-2. It's not just the tactical provision, "Mel says. But statistics leave no room for doubt because only with this system have been able to beat the club in this course. "Surely a total chance is not", accept from the sports city azulgrana; "Because we already know that the team faces him in two ways: or like Inter de Mourinho, with everyone behind and the lines close together for the counter; or accumulating a lot of people inside because as we only play with deep and open sides … ". Intervenes Muñoz: "It's a system for a team weaker than the opponent because you take a striker to reinforce the middle or behind." Alcaraz continues: "This way the center is protected much more, which is where Messi, Coutinho, Luis Suarez fall … and there is more air left on the sides because Barcelona does not reach the end line to take out centers". Miquel adds: "When a rival dominates the ball usually has advanced sides, and with 3-5-2 you better counter because you subtract spaces and pass lines inside". Alcaraz He adds: "This way, you detract from one of their strengths."
Playing with lanes, in any case, also serves to displease Barça. This is explained by the goals that have made him the four teams that have beaten him this year: the Leganés (2-1) made two goals after taking advantage of the spaces behind the back of Sergi Roberto and Alba; Betis (3-4) found in Junior a vein and Tello, who split two goals each in the same way; it did not happen the same with Levante (2-1), which was sent to the stopped ball; and Sevilla (2-0) looked for the hole after Sergi Roberto twice to launch centers that ended in goal. "It's that Barça is not good at running backwards and has no people in the area to clear," explains Alcaraz. "It's a way to hurt them," says Michel; "Because there are not many defensive aids in the bands. The key is to get out of that first line of pressure. From there, the defenses of Barça have to defend against their goal and not facing the ball because they run backwards. There is no valid system. " This is what Muñoz sees: "If there is a player in the 3-5-2 that can come off, it is the winger because they will always be left with four behind". Mel He replies: "Barça could also do the same, playing with deep and extreme sides". Although all coindicen: "They prefer to attack inside, which is where Messi is."
With the 10 there is no discord: "He does not care what you put in front of him because he dominates all the records", agrees Muñoz. "If Messi has the day already you can put five or six or play without centrals. If you have energy and put it on the pitch, it does not matter what you do ", delves Alcaraz. "Messi plays something else," says Míchel. "That's why the best coach in the world is the one Messi has; with him you can solve many wrongs, "Mel says. But not all and the most repeated in Barca is the rash of 3-5-2.