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Xavi’s sweet dilemma

El dulce dilema de Xavi

A sweet dilemma has opened up for Xavi for the near future. In a hurry as he has been during his first three months due to the absence of forwards, which forced him to look to the subsidiary (Abde, Jutglà, Ilias and even Estanis), the recovery of Pedri in midfield and the signing of Ferran Torres, Adama and Aubameyang opens a new scenario in which, in addition, he will be able to play with game drawings and models.

Despite the fact that Xavi said that extremes were non-negotiable in his football, there are already some games in which he has settled for one. For example, against Atlético. With good judgment, the Terrassa coach gave priority to having the ball and numerical superiority in midfield. The presence of players of the highest level such as Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedro or Gavi allowed it. In addition, he has a luxury replacement, Nico, who provides oxygen and criteria. On Sunday, then, Barça played with a somewhat asymmetrical system in which Adama was the one who provided depth on the right. Meanwhile, on the left, Gavi left the corridor for Jordi Alba. Barça attacked, and well, from both sides. And eleven, in a certain way, took Simeone by surprise.

But, as he has done in other situations since he arrived, Xavi can bet on two extremes. Although he does not have any specific left-hander (only Ilias in the reserves), he does have enough specialists to play like this. Adama, Dembélé and Abde himself are experts in one-on-one but, in addition, Ferran, Memphis and Aubamayeng or Ansu themselves can start from the left.

It is a new scenario for Xavi, who has a whole range of players and systems to choose from and who will be deciding for weeks, exploring the characteristics of the rival. The panorama has changed for the coach, who breathed a sigh of relief with the signings, but also with the return of Pedri. Since the Canarian returned, Barça seems to have recovered the sense of their game and, around them, automatisms have been generated like the ones seen last Sunday against Atlético. Alves, Adama and Pedri formed a triangle on the right; Alba, De Jong and Gavi, another one on the left. Barça had fun and so did the public. What Xavi demands now is continuity. Now he can get it because he has tactical variables and tools to choose from. A sweet dilemma

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