The importance of diversity in midfield

So I am currently watching the Barcelona vs PSG game, and it’s 3-1 Barcelona on the night, and 5-3 PSG on aggregate at the moment, and I have realised that there is so much that can be learned from just looking at the lineups.

As a defensive midfielder myself, I know how important it is to have a ¬†defensive man to just sit in front of the back line, and sure up the defence. Our side normally plays a 3-5-2, with two defensive midfielders, one box to box and two who move out wide to support the forwards. It is normally quite secure when it comes to defence, and is capable of providing options to the forwards when attacking, but sometimes we can be caught a bit thin in midfield when our wide midfielders haven’t properly got back into position after an attack.

But anyway, I have noticed that all Barca, PSG and Bayern last night played three in central midfield, with Rakatic, Busquets , and Iniesta for Barca, Veratti, Matuidi and Draxler for PSG and Thiago Alcantara, Xabi Alonso and Vidal for Bayern. All three sides have had great goal scoring prowess with this tactic, and unsurprisingly so too.

Barcelona Know they have hugely quick wingers in Neymar and Messi, and a reliable striker in Suarez, and have learnt how to exploit this. They know they can rely on Iniesta to play long passes through to them, then all they have to do i run off their marker and create space, which they are naturally brilliant at . They can also rely on Sergio Busquets to make tackles and break up play, so they can focus on attacking and getting the goals they need to win the tie. They also have Rakitic who is very naturally talented at breaking forwards and creating momentum, which is a huge asset to the attackers out wide.

I think this is the reason behind Barcelona’s success over the last few years. If you think, who was their biggest signing since the completion of MSN with Luis Suarez in 2014? Arda Turan, who can barely get a game. Luis Enrique knows he has his squad sorted with top class players in every position, perhaps barring right back, and the only tactic you cannot defend against is the pure class that players like Messi, Neymar and Suarez exude on a regular basis. It’s when these players under perform that the team really suffers, for example the poor performance of Lionel Messi in the first leg of the Barca – PSG tie. When messi lost the ball he didn’t do the normal thing and fight to win the ball back, he just stood there and seemed to be reflecting on his mistake like a young child in trouble with his mum. He was awful that game, and I think that he had to play well to prove himself worthy of his status, and he’s been marginally better, but not what was needed by the Catalan side. Saying that, I’ve just seen Neymar curl a beauty into the top left.

Tell you what, Barca have a penalty here, this could be huge! Neymar tucks it home! Level on aggregate, PSG through as it stands on away goals, but theres still time for Barcelona! I do apologise for this little commentary section, it’s just too good to miss! 5 minutes kick! Ter Stegen up! Roberto taps it in in! I do not believe it! This has to be one of the best games i have seen! And thats it! Barca through!

Well I guess that’s the end of the blog! I’m very sorry for the unorthodox end to the post, but i guess that’s football all over, and that’s why we love the beautiful game. So goodnight!




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