Ronald Koeman will be feeling the pressure after being made head coach at Barcelona. He certainly has some boots to fill, after the disaster that was Quique Setien. Of course he will not look to change the teams modus operandi, that’s based around plenty of possession. But hopefully, Koeman’s Barcelona will bring some much needed fresh energy into the role.
We don’t see him sticking to one particular system of play. If we look at his stint at the Netherlands, we’ll see that he tends to favor the good old 4-3-3 formation. This normally has 2 holding players and one more advanced mid-fielder. It was noticeable that Frenkie De Jong really shone in a holding role at Ajax. And also for the national Netherlands squad under Koeman.
And that’s why we expect Koeman to replace Sergio Busquets with De Jong. It’s pretty clear that Koeman like to have both dynamism and mobility in the mid-field. And this is where we see the new signing of Miralem Pjanic coming into play. Another player who understands Loeman as they worked together in the Netherands, is Georginio Wijnaldum. Koeman is trying to sign him as we write this. Mind you, if this player doesn’t make the cut for the new season, then don’t be surprized to see Philippe Coutinho taking that center space. Another option might be to push Pjanic up the field a little. And then play Messi a bit deeper, along with Pedri.
Another thing we notice about Koeman, is that he puts a lot of faith in his wingers. They need t be direct and a constant threat of goal scoring. We suggest that Ansu Fati fits this bill perfectly. Also Ousmane Dembele could benefit from this. Then up in front, if Lautaro Martinez doesn’t arrive at the club in time, then expect to see Antoine Griezmann pick up the mantle. “With all due respect, he’s not a winger,” Koeman said of the Frenchman. OK..but what if Griezmann does start besides Messi? Then we imagine that the formation would change to a 4-2-3-1. With the GOAT playing behind the former Altetico Madrid forward.
Like the famous Marcelo Bielsa of Leeds, Koeman likes to play a pressing game of attack after attack. Most of the pressure is applied mid-field with winning the ball taking place there in order to push it forwards. In truth, this isn’t really Barca’s style. So it’ll be interesting to see how they adapt to create Koeman’s Barcelona style. Keep in mind, he’s not the type to make concessions for anyone….