El Maestro: Xavier Hernández Creus

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Post by Harmonica Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:59 pm

The Franchise wrote:Ugh. Don't you have a PSG section you can talk to yourself in?
How's that amazing pressing working for you?

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:47 pm

If only dani were an admin hmm
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Post by CM Pep Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:17 am

Prodigal son returns. All I wish for is patience from fans, and for Xavi not to be too much of an ideologue. That's it.
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Post by Lucifer Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:50 am

CM Pep wrote:Prodigal son returns. All I wish for is patience from fans, and for Xavi not to be too much of an ideologue. That's it.

Pretty much this.

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Post by The Franchise Sat Nov 06, 2021 10:05 pm

Admin by name only BC. I struggle to login at times Laughing
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Post by alexjanosik Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:14 pm

What should be his midfield and options off the bench?
It's an area where we have an abundance of talent and riches. Nico has shown the past few games that he has what it takes to play for us.
That's Busquets, FDJ, Pedri, Nico, Roberto and Gavi for 3 spots (assuming a 3 man midfield). Not counting Puig since we all agree that he shouldnt start. I would have tried Nico at DM as I think Busquets is past his sell by date. But Nico has done well at CM the last few games. He can beat his man, has the pass in him and can get up and down the pitch.
Try FDJ at DM? No coach has tried him there so maybe that's not his best position. He had added output to his game at CM last season. Not so much this season so maybe Xavi tries him at DM. I am sure with the right coaching FDJ can play DM.
My preference would be a midfield of FDJ, Nico and Pedri. Gavi first midfielder off the bench. Busquets has gotten too many chances. I dont think he can turn it around.

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Post by Myesyats Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:20 pm

Ndombele and Kamara could be available soon due to expiring contracts etc

Pedri-Frenkie-Nico
seems like the natural choice. Very young and inexperienced though.

Puig should be sold or loaned,
Busquets phased out
Gavi off the bench
Roberto sold obviously
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Post by alexjanosik Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:27 pm

If we looking outside, I think we should look at 1 of two profiles. Either a real destroyer who can protect the defense. Someone like a Casemiro or a Fabinho. Push FDJ up then.
Or, FDJ plays DM and we buy a goalscoring midfielder who can make up for the lack of goals from the forward line. With Fati out, its just Memphis. So a goalscoring midfielder would be nice. Van De Beek on loan would be nice. He had a good goal scoring record for Ajax.
Either way, midfield is an area where I am not that concerned about. We have 3 exceptional top draw talents in Nico, Pedri and Gavi. And FDJ who is quite young himself. Theoretically, they should all improve under Xavi.

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Post by alexjanosik Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:28 pm

Myesyats wrote:Ndombele and Kamara could be available soon due to expiring contracts etc

Pedri-Frenkie-Nico
seems like the natural choice. Very young and inexperienced though.

Puig should be sold or loaned,
Busquets phased out
Gavi off the bench
Roberto sold obviously


Is Ndombele's contract expiring? Not sure I like his profile though. He is not a good DM and he doesnt score goals. Not sure he would add much to the team.

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Post by Casciavit Sat Nov 06, 2021 11:47 pm

Xavi will either play 3-4-3 or 4-3-3. He's all about positional play so you're either getting 3-2-5 in possession or 2-3-5 in possession.

I imagine when everyone is fit it will look something like this on the ball maybe:

El Maestro: Xavier Hernández Creus - Page 16 1JNyHX8

Alba and Dembele will hug the touchline. I imagine it will be a little asymmetric as Alba will be a bit deeper and he'll move into a back 4 out of possession. Although I read that at Al Sadd he played two wingers in his 3-2-4-1, and not any wingbacks. I'm interested to see what he decides about that at Barca.

Defense is what it is. I imagine Eric Garcia will play a fair bit due to his ability on the ball and the fact that Pique is injured a lot. I put Umtiti in there because I think he might give him another chance since Lenglet is awful. That being said part of me wouldn't be surprised if he plays one of Mingueza or Alba as his outside CB's and only leaves two traditional CB's in the back three rather than three.

Midfield is where it gets interesting. He talked a lot about having a box shape in midfield. I think to start FDJ and Busquets will be the double pivot. Maybe down the line he ends up signing a goal scoring midfielder like Van De Beek and decides to play him in between the lines and plays Pedri deeper along with FDJ. Fati I imagine will play in the channel rather than hug the touchline to take advantage of his scoring talents.
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Post by Myesyats Sun Nov 07, 2021 11:29 am

alexjanosik wrote:
Myesyats wrote:Ndombele and Kamara could be available soon due to expiring contracts etc

Pedri-Frenkie-Nico
seems like the natural choice. Very young and inexperienced though.

Puig should be sold or loaned,
Busquets phased out
Gavi off the bench
Roberto sold obviously


Is Ndombele's contract expiring? Not sure I like his profile though. He is not a good DM and he doesnt score goals. Not sure he would add much to the team.

I think Kamara's contract is expiring and Ndombele is probably unwanted at Spurs so he'd maybe come cheap. We need to pay attention to these discounts now lol
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Post by alexjanosik Sun Nov 07, 2021 3:25 pm

Good luck getting a Levy player for cheap, unwanted or not.

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Post by alexjanosik Sun Nov 07, 2021 4:18 pm

His first challenge which will basically determine his tenure is how he establishes authority over the squad. He has played with all the seniors in the squad. Likes of Busquets, Pique, Alba, Roberto and Mats. The first week will be crucial where he needs to establish his authority over the seniors. Let them know that he is the boss and that they work for him. That means no backslapping and appearing pally.

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Post by BarcaLearning Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:37 am

Casciavit wrote:Xavi will either play 3-4-3 or 4-3-3. He's all about positional play so you're either getting 3-2-5 in possession or 2-3-5 in possession.

I imagine when everyone is fit it will look something like this on the ball maybe:

El Maestro: Xavier Hernández Creus - Page 16 1JNyHX8

Alba and Dembele will hug the touchline. I imagine it will be a little asymmetric as Alba will be a bit deeper and he'll move into a back 4 out of possession. Although I read that at Al Sadd he played two wingers in his 3-2-4-1, and not any wingbacks. I'm interested to see what he decides about that at Barca.

Defense is what it is. I imagine Eric Garcia will play a fair bit due to his ability on the ball and the fact that Pique is injured a lot. I put Umtiti in there because I think he might give him another chance since Lenglet is awful. That being said part of me wouldn't be surprised if he plays one of Mingueza or Alba as his outside CB's and only leaves two traditional CB's in the back three rather than three.

Midfield is where it gets interesting. He talked a lot about having a box shape in midfield. I think to start FDJ and Busquets will be the double pivot. Maybe down the line he ends up signing a goal scoring midfielder like Van De Beek and decides to play him in between the lines and plays Pedri deeper along with FDJ. Fati I imagine will play in the channel rather than hug the touchline to take advantage of his scoring talents.


Unfortunately any hopes of Fati n Dembele starting is gone now pretty much, it will prolly be once in every 6 months or something we see it at this rate lol... Dest definitely is a starter so he might play that RW. Umtiti looks finished too so I imagine Mingueza has a bigger chance and also Eric Garcia obviously, since Xavi will want even more able ball players so thats gonna be the main requirement.
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Post by BarcaLearning Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:44 am

Depay/Fati Aguero/Depay Dest/Dembele/Depay/Demir
Pedri/Gavi Busquets/Nico De Jong
Alba Pique Eric/Araujo Mingueza/Dest
Stegen

Wrote the above in the General section b4, but now with so many out it looks like Luuk is gonna play with Dest left Demir right or something Looool... or we'll see more of Balde and ABCDE XD, unless we make do with something else another formation involving less forward/wingers.
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Post by The Franchise Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:26 pm

Not ready to guess his team, though based on everything I know of his time at Al-Saad, what Casc has makes sense.

BTW Im not totally convinced Umtiti is finished tbh. His errors when he came into the team wasn't even down to his decreased physicality post injury, it was errors of judgement which to me are more about a lack of playing time. I wouldn't mind at all him having another chance. He says he is physically better than before and I'd be interested to see it.

Anyway, as for the midfield question. I think if we get what I'd call the 2-2 in midfield (2 deep lying players to connect the back, with 2 advanced midfielders who are responsible for penetration via pass or off ball runs) then in my head Busi and De Jong with Nico giving Busi a serious run for the position. I Think De Jong is exceptional unique in terms of press resistance and its wasted asking him to make so many vertical runs to add goals to the team. I don't think that's his biggest strength.

The 3 advanced midfielders, have to be able to penetrate via the final pass, or I think critically movement. If he plays with 2 true wide wingers (definitely possible) then it can open up spaces for movement behind the drawn out fullback of the opponent. Pedri, Gavi and another (I've said for a while now, is love van De Beek) all could fit this profile.

All a mystery, we'll see. Before who plays, how we play is far more interesting. We really can't be much worse than we have been recently, I want to see us really go for it and play the way we should play. No more of these pragmatic half stepping measures.
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Post by Casciavit Mon Nov 08, 2021 3:48 pm

I think with Xavi you’ll get a clear style of play. Most coaches with bright ideas who fail to adapt their style usually comes down to the players. Setien had the issue of an old guard who didn’t want to work hard. Pirlo didn’t really have the players for it either.

Hypothetically the players Barca have should be able to play the way Xavi wants to play. I’m just worried that he might be naive and not flexible.

At AlSadd he played his 3-2-5. Now most top teams attack in that manner nowadays, but it wasn’t like the way Chelsea do with three traditional CB’s and two wingbacks. He did it the Cruyff way. His outside CB’s were fullbacks and his players hugging the touchline were forwards. When he moved to a back 4 out of possession it was usually one of the DM’s slotting back there.

Add in the fact that his pressing scheme is man to man which aside from Bielsa and Gasperini I’m not sure how many top level coaches use that. When it works it feels like total domination, when it doesn’t you get burned on the counter hard. It’s very risky.

If he does press in that way with two FB’s as his outside CB’s then his middle CB will deal with multiple 1v1 situations. Araujo sounds perfect for that role, but will he want someone more assured on the ball to play there instead? The thought of Mingueza and Alba pressing high only to leave Eric Garcia alone as a sweeper sounds like a nightmare to me. rofl
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Post by Casciavit Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:02 pm

In his press conference he said he wants to play with wide wingers. So it’s likely he means he’s going to have his forwards hugging the touchline.

The only actual wingers Barca have are Fati and Dembele who are both injury prone. I guess guys like Dest, Alba, and Memphis can hug the line too. Though I imagine signing a winger will be one of his top priorities then.

He might just play a 4-3-3, but if he does go 343 with the box midfield I wonder how he’ll play off the ball. I see the following scenarios:

If he does what he did at Al Sadd: Migueza/Dest, Araujo, Alba play as CB’s with Frenkie or Busquets dropping as a CB to form a back 4.

If he’s more pragmatic: He plays two traditional CB’s in his back three with Alba playing as a winger on the ball. Alba can shift to LB, Umtiti and Pique can play CB, and then Mingueza shifts to RB.

Maybe he has them shift into a back 5 off the ball, but I think that’s the least likely scenario out of them.

Interested to see what he has planned.
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Post by Myesyats Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:03 pm

As for RB position, Dani Alves offered himself, he can come for free and is very direct about it

Araujo, Pique, Umtiti are the only decent CBs. Garcia and Lenglet are rubbish. Thats where the Kounde rumors come in, but we cant afford him.
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Post by Casciavit Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:39 pm

Since Xavi will likely play a 3-2 shape in the build up these are the current variations I see nowadays:

Xavi way: 2 FB’s in the back 3, then 2 DM’s
Naglesmann/Arteta way: 1 FB in the back 3, then 2 DM’s
Pep way: 1 FB in the back 3, then one FB beside the DM
Tuchel way: 3 traditional CB’s, then 2 DM’s

Dani what’s your favourite variation among those? I know it’s almost entirely dependent on what players you have but hypothetically speaking let’s say you could create your own fantasy team what profiles would you ideally want in that shape?
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Post by The Franchise Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:03 pm

About to a get a novel length answer with that kind of question Laughing

The team I coach, we use 3-1 build up, which contains 2 CBs, the right back and a number 6 (DM). Leftback becomes the left winger. So it's most close to Naglesmann.

But that's not to say that is what I prefer, it just makes the most sense according to what we have.

Last season we did a 3-2 build up as Pep's. RB and 2 CB in the 1st line and then 1 DM and 1FB becoming 2nd DM. When we had to drop into defensive organisation, one of the DM would become a CB or a RB depending on the situation. It sounds more complex and as if I'm being a more innovative coach, but it certainly wasn't better for the team. This was because the FB acting as a DM was really a midfielder and not a FB, having him drop out of the midfield into the back may be the right move tactically, him not breaking up plays in the midfield made it easier to by pass. Imagine if you have Casemiro drop into the back 4, sure he has to so you have a back 4, but now the midfield doesn't the guy most likely to break up a play in front of the defence. Also if he mistimes when to drop into the back 4, the midfield is left too empty and the now sole pivot is isolated with too much space to cover. Breaking us into a line of 4, 1 DM and huge spaces before the next players. With different players maybe it can work better, but I decided it was better to change.
But these are young players so that influences my choices too.

I think each of those coaches choose the best way for the players they have and might do things differently with different players. For example, as I recall Tuchel at Dortmund used a build up like I have with Piszczek RB, 2 CB and 1/2 true midfielders with leftback Schmelzer more advanced.

Anyway, to try and answer the question. I think ideally you want your defensive players, fullbacks in this case, to be in the best position to counter press while having the shortest distance possible to become a back 4 again if they cannot counter press. So 1 guess 1 FB in the back 3 and the other in midfield, but only if this is a true fullback in terms of speed and quickness with top quality ball skills (Cancelo, Guerrero, Alves, this type of player). But in this scenario I'd want at least one but perhaps both midfielders ahead of the 3-2 to be players with high work rate. Pep has this with his Bernardo Silva's and Gundogan. If that's Bruno, if that's Ozil, you get the picture.

But again, why not Xavi's way, if your the protagonists in the game it could really break teams open because of the high number of technical players in theory.

Tuchel's Chelsea with 3 true CBs I think I'm the least likely to do, not because of efficency, because you have alot of defensive solidarity and extra power on set peices, theoretically, but I would always worry about a parked bus team because usually the wide CBs need to be protagonists in this situation and I can't think of many who can do this. Also the thought of becoming a back 5 irks me tremendously. It all just feels inherently more defensive.
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Post by Hapless_Hans Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:23 pm

Casciavit wrote:I think with Xavi you’ll get a clear style of play. Most coaches with bright ideas who fail to adapt their style usually comes down to the players. Setien had the issue of an old guard who didn’t want to work hard. Pirlo didn’t really have the players for it either.

I strongly disagree. If coaches with bright ideas fail to adapt their style it comes down to not being good enough coaches.

Pep can have any team adapt to his style. It deosn't matter if it's Dani Alves or Kyle Walker, Iniesta or De Bruyne, Philip Lahm or Fabian Delph.

Klopp's team plays his style no matter if it's Alberto Moreno or Trent Alexander Arnold, James Milner or Fabinho, Gündogan or Henderson, Blaschykowski or Mané, Origi or Lewandowski

If Pirlo didn't get Juve to play like he wanted that's probably down to him not being able to coach it, quite simply
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Tue Nov 09, 2021 6:22 pm

'According to Diario AS, these are the rules Xavi has already put in place:

Players must arrive for training at least an hour and a half early.Staff must arrive at least two hours early.
Players must eat at Cuitat Esportiva.
Fines will be in place for lateness and will multiply per offence.
No arriving home after 12am within 48 hours of a game.
Starting spots awarded completely based on performances in training.
There are no guarantees for any players.
Risky activities (such as surfing) are prohibited during the season.
Players must represent Barcelona properly whether they are around the club or away on holiday.'

If memory serves Pep had a lot of these. Seems like very basic stuff but apparently some of it was not in place already.
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Post by Casciavit Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:01 pm

Hapless_Hans wrote:
Casciavit wrote:I think with Xavi you’ll get a clear style of play. Most coaches with bright ideas who fail to adapt their style usually comes down to the players. Setien had the issue of an old guard who didn’t want to work hard. Pirlo didn’t really have the players for it either.

I strongly disagree. If coaches with bright ideas fail to adapt their style it comes down to not being good enough coaches.

Pep can have any team adapt to his style. It deosn't matter if it's Dani Alves or Kyle Walker, Iniesta or De Bruyne, Philip Lahm or Fabian Delph.

Klopp's team plays his style no matter if it's Alberto Moreno or Trent Alexander Arnold, James Milner or Fabinho, Gündogan or Henderson, Blaschykowski or Mané, Origi or Lewandowski

If Pirlo didn't get Juve to play like he wanted that's probably down to him not being able to coach it, quite simply


I mean that plays a part too.

But Sarri's Juve didn't look like a Sarri team, is Sarri a bad coach? I don't necessarily think Setien is a bad coach either, and his Barca didn't look like a Setien side. Same story with Lopetegui at Madrid.

From what I've seen there seems to be a trend of midtable coaches who get bigger jobs on the basis of the football they played in the midtable teams. However, a fair few of them are unable to implement what they want to do (at least straight away) despite having better players. Then due to the pressure of results, they end up playing something the opposite of what they were signed for and then end up getting sacked anyways.

Do you think that happens because they aren't just good enough? Or do you think it runs deeper which includes stuff like player profiles, but also personalities in the dressing room and the culture around the club?

I think Sarri at Juve is a good case study for this. You can't convince me he was a bad coach, but a lot of people seem to think he failed at Juve despite winning the league. A good coach can be a bad fit at a certain club. Juve was a team who wasn't accustomed to playing on the front foot and now Sarri had this task to make them do it. Combine that with all these old aging stars who never played that way, it becomes harder to train them to play like that. Imagine winning everything playing your way, then some new coach comes in trying to get you to do patterns during training all day long. Laughing

Sarri said in an interview a few months ago that 8-9 games into the season he realized they couldn't play his way at all and he contemplated quitting then and there. He said he chose to continue and push for the title but make concessions on the style of play which forced his team to play the way he didn't want to. Luckily for him, the competition in the league was weak that season, so a struggling Juve just barely won it. Most coaches in his situation don't actually end up winning anything when they do that. He still got sacked anyways though.

Yes, I agree that Pep and Klopp are able to get their teams to play their way, regardless of the players they have. Yes, they struggled in terms of results in their first season, but they still looked like a Pep and Klopp side. What those guys benefited from though is that the management trusted them to continue to build the squads in the season ahead. Pep said if he finished trophyless with any other big club in his first season the way he did at City he would've been sacked. So yeah, I think are a lot of reasons that come down to coaches not succeeding in specific coaching positions. Their own lack of quality could definitely be the reason, but I think a lot of the time there's just so much more stuff involved than simply that.


Last edited by Casciavit on Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Casciavit Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:03 pm

BarrileteCosmico wrote:
'According to Diario AS, these are the rules Xavi has already put in place:

Players must arrive for training at least an hour and a half early.Staff must arrive at least two hours early.
Players must eat at Cuitat Esportiva.
Fines will be in place for lateness and will multiply per offence.
No arriving home after 12am within 48 hours of a game.
Starting spots awarded completely based on performances in training.
There are no guarantees for any players.
Risky activities (such as surfing) are prohibited during the season.
Players must represent Barcelona properly whether they are around the club or away on holiday.'

If memory serves Pep had a lot of these. Seems like very basic stuff but apparently some of it was not in place already.


So not only was it a club with aging, entitled lazy players. There was also ZERO discipline. That's why Barca's been a banter club these last 3-4 years.
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Post by CM Pep Wed Nov 10, 2021 3:57 am

It's a good thing we have mostly youngsters right now. More of the old guard should be let go. I can see them causing troubles for Xavi by not following these rules. Especially those who actually played with him like Pique, Roberto etc. - might get too chummy. Maybe, maybe not.

Phase them out ASAP and build a culture of discipline, which is possible with youngsters coming in, who would generally be in awe of Xavi.
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