Koeman Tipped to Change Barcelona Tactics After Poor Start

Ronald Koeman


Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is being tipped to change his team’s formation “before Christmas” in a bid to improve results after a disappointing start to his time in charge of the club.

The Dutch coach has employed his favored 4-2-3-1 formation at the Camp Nou so far, using Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets as his double pivot in midfield. Yet results have not been impressive, particularly when it comes to La Liga.

Barca have won only two of their first six games and are down in 12th place in the table, already nine points behind leaders Real Sociedad although the Catalan giants do have two games in hand.

Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!

Barca Going Back to 4-3-3?

Koeman could revert to Barca’s preferred 4-3-3 formation after the upcoming international break in order to dominate games once again and improve the attack, according to Xavier Bosch at Mundo Deportivo.

Summer signing Miralem Pjanic could join Busquets and De Jong in a midfield three with Lionel Messi further forward flanked by two wingers. Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, and Francisco Trincao or all options out wide, while Philippe Coutinho, Pedri, and Antoine Griezmann could also play in the No. 10 role.

Barca have traditionally played in 4-3-3 formation, but Koeman did explain in pre-season why he wanted to try something different after replacing Quique Setien at the helm, as reported by AS.

The midfield system is a little different to previous seasons but the team has the quality to do that and do it well. We’re looking to move the ball much quicker high up the pitch to break the lines [of the opposition], to create space and generate more dangerous [situations] so the team scores goals.

The new system was also expected to get the best out of De Jong and add protection to the Barca defence. Yet the Dutchman remains some way short of his top form, while Barca have continued to leak goals.

Koeman Discusses Barca’s Poor Start

Koeman spoke about Barca’s disappointing start to the season in his pre-match press conference on Friday and didn’t seem too worried by recent results.

The Catalan giants have gone four games without a win ahead of Saturday’s clash with Real Betis, but Koeman seemed in pretty relaxed mood, as reported by Reuters.

Teams like Barca need to be near the top of the table all the time and if they are, then there is always criticism. I can handle the criticism but we cannot become obsessed by it. It’s a long season and we should take each game as it comes. We need three points and a bit of calm but even if we win I’m not sure if things will calm down. There’s always something going on at this club.

Koeman may not be feeling the pressure yet, but he will certainly come under more scrutiny if Barca drop points again at home to Betis. Yet the Verdiblancos have a poor recent record against the Catalan giants and have won just one of their last 18 La Liga meetings.

READ NEXT: Koeman Explains Why He Hasn’t Rested Lionel Messi