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Oct 5, 2020

Sevilla exposed the folly of limiting Lionel Messi in a false-9 role! Is practically possible to use the false-9 role in the 4-2-3-1 formation, Koeman's preferred choice?

Why Messi as False-9 Experiment should Stop Immediately!

So it all went back to square one for Barcelona, once again! The Euphoria of the Koeman fanboys on the social media lasted two matches, exactly two matches. Now it's been replaced by self-doubts across the internet. The match at times resembled how Barcelona played under Valverde, and that's making a lot of people nervous.

Still, the Koeman fanboys are full out in support. They understand that the match presented serious questions about the Dutchman's tactical acumen, but none of it matters. Right now, they are going after their favourite scapegoat - Lionel Messi. As I explained earlier, even if Messi was the one creating any kind of move, he will be always be blamed this season.

Everyone expected Koeman to use the 4-2-3-1 formation at Barcelona. So it was never a surprise to see him religiously following the same. But what surprised many was the sue of Lionel Messi as false-9. It was projected as a huge success in the first two matches, solely because it negated Messi's influence on the game. Nowadays Lionel Messi is the 'source of all evil' at Barcelona.

But as I discussed in my last podcast, the 4-2-3-1 formation could be the cause of his downfall at Barcelona. This one could take him down if a repeat of last night performance is repeated.

Why Have Messi in the Team if you Don't Want Him!

One need to wonder the thinking process behind Koeman's strange decision with Messi at Barcelona. From the time he has taken charge his only aim is to prove that 'My team don't depend on Messi Anymore'. It's never been 'How Can I make use of Lionel Messi to the Fullest'!Unfortunately, this fixation is going to sink him.

What is the use of having the best player in the team if you won't play in a position where he is at his very best. It's like buying a Ferrari and driving at 60km/h only. If you don't want a Ferrari, then why buy one!

A False-9 Role in 4-2-3-1 formation is So Wrong!

Don't get me wrong. I am not against the concept of False-9! It's just that I cannot see it working in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

To understand that we need to re-visit the concept of False-9. The False-9 was primarily used in the 4-3-3 formation where the striker could drop deep into the midfield and organize the play. This allows for the wide players to make the run behind the defence. Since the defence will be focussed of the false-9, it creates more opportunity to expose.

But will it work in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The problem in this formation is that the false-9 don't have that much space to drop deep and when he does he is occupying the overlap between his role and the number 10 role. In our case, that's the Coutinho role. In our first two matches since the opponents had weakness on the left flank, it didn't bother us much. But in effect, we were playing a 4-2-4 formation in those two matches.

The problem was that Sevilla was a different beast. They didn't present us with that weakness, and immediately the formation crumbled. Without a creative midfielder in the midfield and the formation, Lionel Messi started dropping deep. Ain't this the same problem we had last season?

Johan Cryuff on 4-2-3-1 formation pitfalls

Cryuff has warned us about this problem. As he said, the moment he the opposition had the possession, we have separated two sections which had no connection. And Messi was dropping deep to establish that connection. If your false-9 is going to occupy the role of Xavi, then you don't have any threat inside the box.

Koeman needs to sit down and think whether he wants Messi in the team or not. If he doesn't see any way of having him in the starting eleven, then better don't start. He is doing the same mistake with both Messi and Griezmann, and if this continues, then we will have the Valverde-3 era soon!

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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