Our Barcelona’s preseason starts to come to an end, here are some of the tactical change that Tata Martino looks to be implementing:
Keeping faith with 4-3-3.
The team formation was a non-negotiable area and one of the conditions to him signing, but it is also the way his other teams have lined up.
Possession and direct play.
Martino has already made it known he wants Barça to dominate possession and take the game to the opponent, but one of the changes he wants to make is to reduce the transition time and avoid very long periods in possession – with a faster attacking approach required.
High tempo and quick ball movement.
This was one of the things that surprised him most when he first took charge of training at Barça and he wants to take full advantage of it. The team’s quick play, pace and precision are very useful assets.
Martino loves his wide men to bomb forward and cause danger. He believes it is more difficult to defend against Barça when more players get forward, although it can be dangerous against counter-attacking teams.
Pressing to stop opposition playing out of defence.
This is one of the objectives outlined and something the team is mastering. Messi, Neymar, Pedro and Alexis have been recovering possession due to the suffocating pressure applied on the opposing defence. The idea is to defend far away from Valdés in order to nullify the opponent.
Defending with two centre-backs and a holding midfielder.
While the team attacks, the two centre-backs and holding midfielder – usually Busquets – stay back. However, the team’s offensive strategy means that these three players are often quite advanced on the pitch. Piqué usually joins the attack to get on the end of passes.
Shooting on sight.
Martino does not want the team to enter the area with the ball. He wants the players to shoot when they get the slightest chance.
Messi as a ‘false 9’ and Cesc and Iniesta bursting through.
‘El Tata’ wants Messi to be close to the area, playing as a ‘false 9’ – which is when he has scored more goals. He seems to prefer Cesc and Iniesta to burst through from the middle, as he believes they have the ability to run through and cause havoc.
Corners and free-kicks around the box must not be conceded often. If they are conceded, zonal marking will be applied – the players picked up according to the zone. Specific routines will also be in place for attacking set-plays.