🎥 Ronald Koeman ditches 4-3-3 formation in first Barcelona outing

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OneFootball

Seamus Leonard

Ronald Koeman is toying with the idea of changing Barcelona’s formation ahead of the new season.

The Blaugrana used a 4-2-3-1 in their 3-1 friendly win over Segunda División B outfit Gimnàstic de Tarragona on Saturday, which is a move away from the 4-3-3 they have become synonymous with.

Koeman himself is a native disciple of Dutch football, which brought the formation to the fore in European and world football.

But the former Netherlands international is clearly contemplating ditching the tried and trusted.

The recently appointed manager started Sergio Busquets and Carles Alena in the holding midfield roles in the first half, before replacing the duo with Frenkie de Jong and Riqui Puig as he played an entirely different XI after the interval.

“It’s perhaps a little different and more defensive to what we have seen in the last few years,” Koeman told Barça TV after the game, per Reuters.

“But the aim is to move the ball, hold on to it and create space to play between the lines, behind the opponents’ midfielders.

“I think this team is capable of doing this because we have midfielders who are able to play in that way.”

Ousmane Dembélé opened the scoring in the sixth minute at the Johan Cruyff Stadium.

The hosts were awarded a penalty in both halves, with Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho converting from the spot to give Koeman a comfortable victory in his first game in charge of the Catalans.

Barca will have another friendly on Wednesday when they face Girona.