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Should Xavi’s Barcelona stick with the single or double midfield pivot?

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A tactical view on Xavi’s midfield rebuilding at Barca: Should Xavi’s Barcelona stick with the single or double midfield pivot in the next couple of seasons? and the situation around Busquets

The core questions around Barcelona’s squad building in the next seasons will revolve around using a single/double-pivot, something that has to be oriented after Xavi’s wishes. Not only would Frenkie De Jong’s role change upon the decision, but it perhaps also means a lot for the backline.

There have been numerous players linked with Barcelona to replace Busquets but ‘pure’ available Busquets do not exist much, and replacing a player with his legacy won’t be easy. I originally always expected Xavi’s ideal Barcelona to have a single pivot but I wouldn’t be against trying out a flexible double-pivot.

Those are open questions I myself cannot answer, as I don’t have a clear opinion yet on it (Double pivot). What’s for sure is that Xavi’s staff should think about it and conclude from what they see and what they want to see while staying realistic. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

It’s easy to have #BusquetsOut or whatever hashtag (#) was in motion a while ago, but it’s harder to suggest solutions. As ironic as it might seem, maybe Barcelona would need a midfielder. It also depends on Frenkie’s continuity, hopefully that of remaining under the Blaugrana jersey.


Not only Frenkie De Jong would be affected (negatively/positively) by that change, but so would Pedri and Gavi, potentially Nico as well. Whilst waiting for the summer, Xavi should experiment as much as possible despite how difficult it will be (look at February’s schedule!), but he should form his idea.

The key, beyond qualifying for the Champions League this season, will be to have clear target for the next transfer market window. No hasty decisions, knowing exactly what’s needed and giving Alemany the negotiation keys for Xavi’s ideas to become reality. There’s a lot to change.

Manchester City’s Rodri is the obvious 1:1 Busquets replacement and people keep mentioning Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich (different profile) but they are impossible. Same goes for Casemiro, Fabinho and the likes, elite dominators playing at top clubs are out of reach. More attainable alternates would be interesting.

So maybe instead of looking for a Busquets profile with more athletic and physical traits, the script should be flipped. Look for a destroyer with technique rather than a technician with power. I think it’s viable but it changes a lot for Barça. Maybe too much even.

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Barça pivots are progressors first. If you have a limited 6, it puts more pressure on the other two. It also means you have to be elite in the back too. Barça’s progression is largely dependent on the 6, which is why the profile is what it is.

I’m not saying Barcelona are not open to changes but if they’re struggling to swap from a single to a double pivot even though it had benefit them massively, it could be too extreme.

If Barca wanted a perfect Busquets replacement, they should have gotten Rodri but look at how Pep played with a double pivot of Rodri and Gundogan to shield him until he was ready to play it and hold the fort on his own. Frenkie De Jong needs to play in a pivot that allows him do his deep progression.

The type of player Barcelona would need to replace Busquets really doesn’t exist at a high enough level for Barcelona right now. He’s more than just a deep lying playmaker. His best is similar to a more intelligent more mobile more creative Jorginho type with better passing range.

In presentations it’s easy to overload the players with information but if it won’t be remembered, it’s most likely useless. Concepts take time to develop and remain into the players minds, but it should never hinder their development or game sense. It should only guide them.

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Guide them towards better decision-making without smashing down the pillars they have grown with: Instructions should feel instinctive and easy, possible to explain to five year olds. Players don’t have time to hesitate mid-game: This is why clarity is such a key concept.

In complexity has the simplicity of football to be found. Complex models, ideas and concepts will always remain utopia if they cannot be translated into the players. What the staff instructs will become blueprint in the player’s mind; that is what determines good coaching to me.

Failing to implement certain ideas into players are not necessarily dependent on the coaching quality, but they tend to be interdependent. The coach has a few minutes to print in another brain the most important. Players needs to register a lot but shortly. Simplicity first.

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