Thursday, 14 April 2016


 i just read a news on a website that messi hasnt contributed in form of goal or assist for the last 5 games and that is one of the record from when he started playing . why has barcelona started to stutter or why have they wilted for the last 5 games . the answer lies in the tactics that had been changed in the last 5 matches . messi's position has been changed and so has the team approach . i will try to analyse barcelona for the two legged affair between ath mad .
barcelona's team had been the same which had played over the two legs with ath mad . but there had been some changes in the formation and there had been some changes in the style with which barcelona are going about in the game . first off last season messi was starting in the wide right position and whenever messi starts the defense gets pulled to that side so messi could pull defense on his side while neymar and suarez would have a free reign on the opposite flank . barcelona wouldnt try to play behind the back four instead would try to utilize the space between the back and middle four and then work from there and all this was possible because of messi's position . if the team would cover him well then they would get expose on other flank while if they dont cover him then he could milk them and that was what was happening in the last season . secondly they were playing more on the counter rather than on keeping the ball . the counters would be very fast with messi ,suarez and neymar .
from the el classico messi has started to play as the no.10 rather than playing as the wide right that he had been doing it for the last year or so . seconldy i never saw messi having so little of the ball as he had in the last match with ath mad . barcelona's main weapon had been messi . he is the instigaor ,creator and finisher . now suddenly he wants to play the no.10 role . in the first match between ath mad and barcelona . messi started as the no.10 rather than has usual position of wide right . secondly he was trying to play others from beyond the box rather than trying to come into the box . the position that he plays him he gets the opposition surrounding him which creates spaces for other either in wide areas if he plays central or on opposite flank when he plays wide . the most important facet of that game was that messi wasnt dribbling too much he wasnt trying to come inside . he was content of staying out of the box and creating chances beyond the box . he wasnt coming into the box with ball or with play in which he is central figure . instead he was like a team player who would get into box trying to be at the end of things which were created by somebody else which was very new to me . instead of messi creating he was trying to get to end of a cross ( this is in the second leg ) . even in the first leg with ath mad you could see the number of crosses barcelona in the box rather playing floor game. they were crossing the ball more in the box rather than trying to work the ball and try to have more penetration in the box . barcelona are know to out play their through their passing . under enrique barcelona have become more direct . they try to have more shot at the goal than they had under gaurdiola . gaurdiola yesterday looked like a team under tata martimo rather than under enrique .
who has changed messi's role and who has restricted his movement and dribbling whether its him or luis enriquie because yesterday he just didnt seem interesed and was passing the ball wide instead of trying to work ball throught the middle or take a shot from beyond the box or from its edge . he didnt tried to play one two to with anybody and barcelona played like a normal team yesterday . barcelona played like they played under gaurdiola but the only difference being that the game never revolved around messi instead it was much more like an good team playing but without a special player in them . messi's new position meant that neymar and suarez  too arent getting the same amount of space that he had been getting last year or before these 5 matches . suarez had to accomodate messi change in position and he is going more wide than he would had liked .
ath mad had played what they are know for . they sit deep invite others to open them up and then hit them on the counter . to be honest they are the best counter attacking team in the competetion right of now . most importantly i had written about the importance of strikers hunting in pairs and griezman and caressaco are the two best examples of that . the other best thing is the excellent support of the middle four who support the front two very well . most importantly when athletico had the ball they showed that they can play football and passed the ball around very well and excelling in the one on one situations . they tried to exploit the fullbacks and were successful in that . simeone may not look to be the most tactically astute manager but he does very correct things and very  correct changes in the game .
i think that barcelona could have exploited ath mad from the middle of the first half when they had started to come high up the pitch to close barcelona down and there was a considerable space was left between the lines for the likes of messi ,suarez and neymar or exploit . bacelona were trying to play from the back from the start they wanted to draw out ath mad and had been successful from around 30 min . but the trouble with barca as i had said that there was nobody who was trying to go beyond suarez . they were content to hit from distance with messi taking the least no. of shots on the goal that i had seen in the match untill now . ath mad were going to compact they were going to narrow compared to first legged where i felt that they showed a little bit of carelessness in maintaining their shape here they were much more disciplined and kept barcelona at bay .
the game was a chess match yesterday with both sets of coach trying to devise new game plan first luis enrique made the changes but subbing alves and rakitic who i think wasnt bad but he has to play as to how messi shifts his positions and he has to set himself according to him . he brought sergio roberto and turan to give the side more pace to which simoene brought tete and made 5 in the middle of the park . when enrique sent pique upfront to head the ball . he switched hernandez with savic to deal with pique .
if i can read correctly but i think all is not well in barcelona camp and messi might be on his out or luis enrique will be not  be there next season. all and all we have to congratulate ath mad for their faboulous perfromance and for their good defensive work .