‘The experiment with Frenkie de Jong has failed’

Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 10:33

Barcelona took a big step towards wintering in the Champions League on Wednesday evening with a hard-fought victory over Dynamo Kiev. The team of trainer Ronald Koeman won 2-1 in the Camp Nou. Afterwards it was not only about the difficult realization of the victory, but also about the position of Frenkie de Jong. This time, the Dutchman played from the first minute as a central defender alongside Gerard Piqué, while Miralem Pjanic and Sergio Busquets were the controllers in the 4-2-3-1 system. Although De Jong also played half as a retracting defender against Juventus and Deportivo Alavés and he also did this at Ajax for a period, the media in Spain were not particularly pleased with Koeman’s experiment this time.

“The experiment with De Jong has failed,” emphasized Brand. “Koeman continues to look for solutions to the position of central defender, which he seems to have doubts about. When Dynamo was pushed back in their own half, De Jong played almost in midfield. But when it came to defending, like the rest of Barcelona’s defense, he had a tough time. It was not a successful experiment, ”concluded Spain’s best-selling sports newspaper. An opinion that was shared by Sport, which awarded De Jong and Antoine Griezmann a five and summarized his achievements as ‘disoriented’. All basic forces of Barcelona received a pass, except for the Dutch and the French.

“De Jong can serve as an emergency bandage in this position if there is no other option, if the circumstances are urgent, but it is clearly not the position where he is used for his qualities. The Dutchman had difficulty with the switch and came too late if he had to offer help. He appeared in the picture at several great opportunities for Dynamo ”, the Catalan sports newspaper pointed out figuratively the consequences of the unusual position of the midfielder in the heart of the defense.

View the summary of Barcelona – Dynamo Kiev

Sports world De Jong warns. “It seems that De Jong will have to take into account that he will play a lot as a central defender. He made a good impression as soon as he had to play forward and the game had to be built up. But in the duels for the ball, he ran into problems because there was a clear lack of eagerness and qualities that defenders do have. ”

“It was unspeakable how hard De Jong was on the defensive. Cannot be expressed in words ”, emphasized AS. “He has made it clear that he does not feel comfortable as a center-back. Koeman has to learn from this and only appeal to De Jong as central defender when there is really no other option and no longer in an impulsive way like tonight. ” Bee ElDesmarque the assessment, a five, does not match the summary of his transactions. The opinion of the popular sports medium about De Jong differs from the traditional media anyway, and that is certainly not the first time this season, both positively and negatively. “He built up the game from behind and radiated certainty in his defensive tasks.”

Brand also points out that Koeman only counts on three players for the two positions of controllers: De Jong, Sergio Busquets and Miralem Pjanic. “Despite the shortage of options, he chose to position all three of them, instead of rotating them, and to position the Dutchman centrally in the back. It is certainly remarkable that Koeman, who as national coach complained that De Jong did not play at Barcelona as a controller but on the sides, opted for this 4-2-3-1 system because he wanted to make De Jong feel more at ease. and that he now lets him play as a center-back. We are curious if the experiment will be continued as Clément Lenglet had to come in in the 74th minute to give Barcelona a helping hand. ”

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Bee The newspaper only Ansu Fati (a seven) and Marc-André ter Stegen (a nine) receive a higher rating than De Jong: a six. The match report focuses, among other things, on the role of the Dutchman. “Koeman asks for time that he knows he doesn’t have, and he doesn’t want to lose any time at the same time. Pragmatic as he is, he opted for an extension of Vitoria’s experiment ”, referring to De Jong’s role as a retracting defender in the second half against Deportivo Alavés (1-1). “It accelerated the game of Barcelona last Saturday and as if it were a third half, he again chose De Jong at the heart of the defense. (…). ”

The newspaper saw little improvement with Gerard Piqué and De Jong in the back. “In more difficult matches, it will become more apparent whether or not it is worth repeating. Now Piqué and De Jong were not at the same level. De Jong was not put to the test very much defensively and played in midfield when Dynamo was forced back into their own half. No comparison with Lenglet was possible. For example, De Jong lost a sprint duel to Vladyslav Supriah, but that could have happened to the Frenchman. And Benjamin Verbic proved that once Lenglet was on the field. ”

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