From Jong, Busquets and Griezmann: the three dilemmas of Valverde
Before the fall in San Mamés last Friday, the last time Barcelona collapsed in the league premiere was August 31, 2008. Former President Joan Laporta, who
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Before the fall in San Mamés last Friday, the last time Barcelona collapsed in the league premiere was August 31, 2008 . Former President Joan Laporta, who had to put an end to the last two years of the so-called "complacency" established by Rijkaard, Ronaldinho or Deco - with a lot of wine and few roses - risked and offered the team to Pep Guardiola. The new coach, after beating the Krakow Wisla in the first leg of the previous phase of the Champions League (4-0), lost in the lap (1-0). He also did it in the Los Pajaritos league debut against Numancia (1-0), with Hleb and Bojan as revulsives. A day later, Barcelona crashed again, this time at home against Racing (1-1). It was the day that Guardiola offered ownership to Sergio Busquets and Pedro, while Henry stayed in the stands. And with the surroundings already writhing in sulfur, Johan Cruyff wrote in El Periódico: «I don't know the game you saw (...). This Barça looks great ».
There is, however, a big difference from those days. Guardiola dawned in the face of widespread distrust. Ernesto Valverde, however, has long since become accustomed to suspicion, whether or not he changes his habits, whether or not he seeks new tactical solutions, win or lose matches. After two years without an aesthetic game where to find alibis, with a president, Josep Maria Bartomeu , who has made stamp collecting his great reason for being, and with La Masia as another part of the club's propaganda apparatus, Valverde no He has more to find a solution to his dilemmas. Like an ant. Without even looking at what would come to him if he had to fit Neymar in the rocambolesque equation.
THE COMMAND OF THE NEW ARRIVAL
Perhaps the great challenge of Valverde this season is none other than offering the best possible natural habitat to De Jong. The technician's confidence in the 22-year-old boy is absolute, so much that he did not hesitate to grant him the pivot position in the San Mamés hornet. Where Raúl García marks you on fire . The Dutchman showed personality, but did not find help in the interiors when it came to draw the ball before the rival pressure. So much that they had to be the sides who started the plays, while Sergi Roberto and Aleñá, the flyers, more and more took off from the Dutch.
De Jong had demonstrated in Ajax a great ability to overcome lines with the controlled ball, little more or less than what Barcelona lost when he said goodbye to Iniesta. Neither the players trained for the last pass abound in the Catalan team, which would invite De Jong to grant one of the indoor positions. Valverde, in the second half against Athletic, tried to free him by placing him almost parallel to Rakitic , substitute start.
Who did not play a single minute on the first day of the League was the eternal midfielder. Busquets, who turned 31 on July 16, piles up 11 campaigns in the first team of Barcelona, during which time he has played 536 official matches . Since he took the place from Yaya Toure, no one could shade him. Busquets' performance declined in the last two seasons, whether it was a consequence of having been squeezed for years, or because of losing reliable allies in a wide area where soccer players like Rakitic or Arturo Vidal were the ones who should continue the ball. The incorporation of De Jong, far from inviting a battle for ownership in the pivot, should be the main reason why Busquets recovered its impact on the position game.
Arthur, in whom few repair despite his excellent start last year - he was not even called for the league debut - Carles Aleñá, erased by Valverde after 45 minutes in San Mamés, or Riqui Puig , always in fallow and waiting for opportunities , offer multiple variables in the overpopulation of the throat of the field. The transfer of Sergi Roberto to the core, where he started as a starter in Bilbao, responds to Valverde's suspicion that Rakitic could leave in the summer market. While Arturo Vidal, whom Barcelona keeps in the shop window, awaits the expectation, aware that the coach will never spare his particular style of play.
POTENTIATING THE STAR FILING
Ousmane Dembélé, usual guest of the infirmary, will be five weeks off. Luis Suarez, also injured, is not expected until before a month. And Barcelona, which may have to go back to the wild card of Rafinha, is once again with the absence in the first team of a pure nine that can offer relief. As long as Valverde does not repair Abel Ruiz, champion of the last European U19, who awaits his moment. The solution, once again, is to place Leo Messi as the center forward , who could debut this season against Betis at the Camp Nou. Or also Griezmann, who has already concluded how the duel in San Mamés is battered. The former Atletico, misplaced in his new functions as a false left-hander, failed to shoot between the three suits. Much more comfortable with a reference in the area - Giroud in France, Diego Costa in his day at Atlético - remains to explore his connection with Messi. After all, your success with Barcelona may depend on your alliance with the Argentine.
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- Sergio Busquets
- Pep Guardiola
- Arturo vidal
- Leo Messi
- Santander Racing
- Raul Garcia
- European U19
- Diego Costa
- Ernesto Valverde
- Luis Suarez
- First division
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