Ronald Koeman’s formation switch has transformed Barcelona to find their true potential

Back on 5 December, Barcelona slipped to a shock La Liga loss at Cadiz to leave them with just 14 points from their opening 10 league games.

Their next nine league matches have seen the side go undefeated and accumulate 23 points – with seven wins and two draws – while the club have also progressed through their opening two Copa del Rey fixtures.

Two of the games in Barca’s run – against Eibar, a draw, and the weekend win over Elche – were without star player Lionel Messi, and in general the level of play is much higher.


Analysis in El Pais now points out how boss Ronald Koeman switched from his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-3-3, following a Champions League loss to Juventus days after the defeat to Cadiz.

The 4-2-3-1 was not working; Frenkie de Jong was struggling in the ‘double pivot’ role alongside Sergio Busquets, whose form had also dipped.

Frenkie de Jong

The 4-3-3 has primarily benefitted both players with Busquets now back to his familiar role of anchoring the midfield three with de Jong – five goals in 43 days – and Pedri acting as ‘interiors’ – teenage star Pedri had previously played in a wide attacking role in the prior formation, but his form has improved centrally.

The team is now more fluid with better mechanics – allowing the full-backs greater license to get forward and having more solidity in the middle of the pitch with a better balance between their individuals.

Tags Ronald Koeman


  1. Habtamu Wuletaw Mengiste says:

    So true

  2. Dimitry Spiridon says:

    I wish they sale Messi now and get something for him, the team proved they can win with out him.Hes getting old,get some money for him now 🙏

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