Leo Messi's departure from Barca raises many pessimistic questions. But there is still a slight hope, that his departure can positively affect certain players or the team as a whole. One of the most interesting questions is "How will the attack structure of the Barca be arranged after Messi leaves the team?”
Because even after Messi is gone, Barca’s attack can still be effective, creative, and, most importantly, a team game!
Griezmann as a new leader?
The main leader of the attack will undoubtedly be Griezmann - a player who received a huge amount of criticism over the last 2 seasons. In many cases, he deserved it: low implementation, uncertainty when playing with the ball, a tendency to dissolve on the field and failure in simple actions.
But in the second half of last season, Griezmann gained confidence and performed at the level that was expected of him from the very beginning. He is useful at Barca in all stages of the game, and after Leo Messi’s departure, he would be a senior comrade for his partners in the attack.
Moreover, Antoine played well with Depay in pre-season training, which was underlined by both the head coach and the players themselves. The so-called "chemistry" has been found. The role of Griezmann, most likely be a free role related to the right flank. There are many reasons for this:
- the team’s scheme is 4-3-3, which the club manager insists on and which was played in the pre-season;
- Griezmann's functionality. Antoine plays perfectly between the lines, foreseeing chances for breakthroughs, he can move properly to receive the ball "underhand" to further create a moment with other players;
- The best combination for Griezmannthe is in the centre of the field with constant movements.
Memphis Depay as a new leader?
Memphis Depay will lead the team in breakthroughs and penetrations into the penalty area, as well as in individual actions. This is a newcomer to the club who has immediately managed to win the favour and trust of the fans: the player has a good relationship with the fans, he is hardworking, and during negotiations even agreed to reduce salary requirements to play in Barca.
In general, the trust of the manager and enthusiastic fans will play in his favour. Memphis will be trusted to take the initiative in terms of strokes, pressure and, most importantly, creativity in the left flank. This place is very important for Barcelona because it is where the best moments have been created for several years.
Previously, Griezmann was there, trying to show something in a role not native to himself, later Frenkie de Jong "settled" there, bringing quite a lot of benefits, for example, making penetrating crosses. And now Depay will be there, linking around him one of the main creatives of the team - Alba on the flank, de Jong in the depths, Griezmann in the centre and Fati/Aguero in the penalty area.
Memphis will play a more structured leadership role in the attack - shifting to the centre, flank or penalty area, but anchored to the most active area - the left midfield.
Roles of Frankie and Pedri
These two players will consolidate the structure of Barca in the attack in the centre. Both players will focus in half flanges between the lines, where they will fall to the right and the Spaniard - to the left. Of course, they will not be exclusively on half-flanges, moving to the centre and the penalty area if necessary.My assumption, which I see the most optimal:Leo's departure will be very noticeable in terms of "magically" created goals. There will be no more passes from the centre of the field, escaping from 5 players in a row, effectively scored penalties, etc. It'll all be in Paris. The departure of a bright individualist always portends big problems in the attack next season, but in this case, in this team, really talented players gathered, capable of levelling most of Leo's magic and defining a new era in Barcelona.
Benefits of Messi’s departure
- Rotation of strikers along the entire width of the field. This was used at the beginning of the 2020/21 season. The meaning of the trick is to take the opponent's guardians by surprise;
- Quick counterattacks led by Fati, de Jong and Depay;
- The important role of Busquets. Sergio had not had so many options for transfers to the centre and semi-flanges before, because then his eye was focused on supporting Messi, now he will be as saturated as possible. Penetrating programs are Busi's favourite programs, for which he and the speaker;
- Ability to press and counter-press. A fast, non-static block of attack players can quickly open up and cover small spaces.
Who will play in Barca’s attack this new season?
- 3 midfield players - Frankie, Pedri, Busquets,
- 3 attack players - Depay, Fati, Griezmann
Why not Aguero? Because it is treated in a super-experimental way: by artificially growing stem cells. Doubts that Kuhn will not be injured, there are, and in large quantities.
Leo's departure will be very noticeable in terms of "magically" created goals. There will be no more passes from the centre of the field, escaping from 5 players in a row, effectively scored penalties, etc. It'll all be in Paris. The departure of a bright individualist always portends big problems in the attack next season, but in this case, in this team, really talented players gathered, capable of levelling most of Leo's magic and defining a new era in Barcelona.