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Feb 13, 2019


Why Barcelona should look to move Lionel Messi from the right, and how it could improve their chnaces in Champions League!



 3 Reason Why Barcelona should not Use Messi on the Right!


Majority of the fans, who watched the performance against Bilbao are left wondering whether things have actually improved from our last season's Champions League exit? We felt toothless for most of the game. Even though the second half was a better affair, we failed to break down a resolute defense.


And that's the worry for Barcelona as this season was more or less is about Champions League. Athletic Bilbao gave us a clear glimpse of what awaits us at the later stage of the Champions League rounds. And our performance at San Mames doesn't inspire much confidence in that pursuit.





How Barcelona can Improve after such an uninspiring performance


At Barcelona Football Club, everything revolves around one person - Lionel Messi. Hence the onus of bringing back the bite in our attack also lies with him. In a different way! This time around we need to find a way of best out of the attacking players around him.


In that backdrop, we may need to look into the kind of formation we use and where Messi should lie in that formation. Lionel Messi can practically play at any position in the attack. But we don't have that luxury with other players. Most of their effectiveness comes down the moment they move out of their favorite positions.


If we have to win the Champions League this season, Messi needs his fellow players to support him with their best effort. In that context, I detail out three reasons why Lionel Messi should not use Messi on the right for the big matches.



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1. Lionel Messi is the best Creative Midfielder in the Side


There is no argument about this; Lionel Messi is the most creative midfielder in World right now. His goal scoring feats usually makes us overlook this crucial factor. In Europe and Spain, he leads the assist chart and key passes chart. Had his fellow players shown anywhere near his accuracy with the finishes, he would have been leading the assist chart by a long distance.



Messi in the center will bring both wings in to play, all the time


Instead of using him on the right, Barcelona can use him as a pure attacking midfielder. That has an added advantage of having him closer to his partner, Jordi Alba. It also allows the possibility of Luis Saurez stretching the opposition backline lying ahead of Messi. That should give Messi enough space to fire those shots from outside the box.


2. Lionel Messi spends more Time anyways in the Center


Despite starting in every match on the right, one look at his heatmap gives the clear indication that he spends more time in the center. There is no denial about the fact that Messi loves to run from the right into the center. But even if he starts in the center, he could still do the same with the switching of roles between players.





This allows us to use the full backs and wingers we have in the squad to perfect use. Messi can release these players on both wings at will and arrive late into the box, to finish those moves. He is anyways doing this but in a central role, he will have both the wings open all the time.




3. Dembele and Malcom plays well on the Right and Struggles Elsewhere


This point for me is the most important one. As I have written in the preamble of this article, the entire focus has to shift to how to get the best of other players. As shown in the match against Madrid by Malcom and countless times by Dembele in the season, their pace is quite an asset. Barcelona should look to maximize those strengths of them.






These two players could terrorize opposition with the pace they have. But they are less effective on every other position on the pitch. Dembele has done better than Malcom while playing on the left, but you could feel he is getting limited in that position.


One could argue that at this level, these players should be able to adjust their game plan. But what is the use in curtailing their strengths? Semedo and Dembele linking with Messi on the right and Alba linking with Messi on the left provide quite a scary picture for our opponents.


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