FC Barcelona’s youth academy is changing their strategy when it comes to building up young wingers and fullbacks. La Masia has changed a lot over the summer following Joan Laporta’s election as club president. With him came a whole different group in charge of the team’s youth academy, and they have different ways of doing things.
The biggest change then, seems to be down to how players on the flanks are being instructed.
For a long time, wingers coming out of the academy have often played on their opposite foot. That is, left-footed players on the right, and right-footed players on the left. This encouraged the players to cut inside and look to combine through the middle.
This may no longer be the case.
Now, wingers are being asked to take on players one-against-one, look to the outside, and create chances that way.
That change also impacts how fullbacks operate. When the wingers cut inside, that opened up a lane for attack-minded fullbacks to make runs beyond the forwards and open up the flanks that way.
However, with wingers making runs to the outside, it seems fullbacks will be instructed to stay behind a bit more to make the team more solid.
This policy has been described as controversial, and only time will tell whether it was the right choice.