opinions | 2017-11-09
Reflecting on why Barcelona is having a great first half of the season
Valverde is showing us his way, not the one culés expected
Barcelona has returned to the good results after a turbulent summer, the team is consistently among the best in all competitions, in the league the team is at the top with 31 points, 4 points ahead of their nearest rivals Valencia 8 points behind traditional rivals Real Madrid, It also has the strongest attack with 30 goals and the strongest defense with only 4 goals in their sheet and this is the strongest defense in the five European major leagues, in the Champions League Barcelona is topping their group with 10 points and they receive only one goal in four games in addition to the near next round qualification in the Spanish Cup.
Even the most optimist did not expect this start for the Barça, especially after a disastrous summer from the administration began of fail to bring Verratti and Coutinho to the loss of Neymar and then the start of a disastrous season with the loss of the Super Cup against Real Madrid both home and away, and the final calamity with super signing Dembele out for 3 months, But here is the Barça up at the middle of November and they walk in a steady pace to finish the first half of the season with very good results.
In my opinion, these results are related to a few reasons: the formation. In the last three seasons, Luis Enrique insisted with 4-3-3, which depended primarily on the attacking trio and it lead to weakening the midfield. Iniesta aged, Rakitic dropped his on form and Busquets struggled in a difficult setup combined with the lack of reliable reinforcements such as Gomes and Turan, led Valverde to change the formation, now relying on 4-4-2 often, especially with Dembele's injury and pairing another midfielder with Busquets which gives more freedom for the whole midfield, and also gives them more attacking options, leading to five goals conceded in all competitions.
The performance of key players has helped Barça to sit where it's at the moment, Ter Stegen has been incredible with his saves and distribution, Umtiti just may be the best defender in the world at the moment, Alba with his important offensive runs, Busquets is recovering his best form, Iniesta appears more comfortable and Paulinho is impressing, while Messi is Messi. He might be the most important reason for the emergence of the Barça in this form. Leo participated in 15 league goals (12 goals, 3 assists) representing 50% of the team's goals in La Liga and participated in 4 goals in the Champions League (3 goals, 1 assist) which is close to 60% of the goals of the team’s goals, he's putting us at the top, especially with the drop of Suarez’s form and Dembele’s injury.
Although Messi has scored more than 40% of the goals of the team in this season in all the competitions, it is noticeable that many players are scoring this season compared to last season, which was only depending on the forward trio the MSN, for example we saw that almost the players participated in the 40 goals Barça in the three competitions, except for André Gomes, Stegen and Umtiti, which shows that Barça has found varied solutions to score.
All of the success until now does not mean that the Barça is ready to the walk of the season; the team needs many additions in the winter, especially in midfield. Besides, the quality of football and fluidity in the performances aren't yet where culés want it to be. It's fair to say that Barcelona is among the best clubs for football future odds. Let's hope everything turns out for the best.
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