This time I emulated Xavi's 4-3-3 of this season 2023-24. I obtained great results, I played only the Liga , I skipped some matches to make it faster and I won the Liga with 98 goals scored (best attack) and only 29 goals conceded (second best defense).
I did not do any player transfer, so I played all the season with the same players I had at the beginning (that means Barcelona current squads, because I used an updated database).
To emulate Xavi's 4-3-3 I trained my players during the season to a vertical tiki-taka style (1 month) and a lot on possession (1 month) and then on a different aspect for each month.
Of course I selected individual trainings for each players according to their role. For the features or the tasks (example, ball control, final third, etc) I followed my vice assistant's advice, but for the role (sweeper-keeper on support, wing-back on attack, etc) I selected for each player the role he will play in.
The roles and instructions are as follows:
Sweeper-keeper on support, no instructions
Wing-back on attack, no instructions
2 Central defender on defend: take fewer risks, stay wider, mark tigther
Wing-back on attack: cross less often, stay wider, shoot less often, dribble less.
Deep-lying playmaker- defend, no instructions
Central midfielder-support (Gundogan): run wide with the ball, dribble more, shoot less often, get further forward, stay wider
Mezzala-attack (shoot less often, dribble more, run wide with the ball)
Inside forward-attack; stay wider
Inside forward-attack: shoot more often, stay narrower
Deep-lying forward-support: roam from position, shoot less often (so he will link the play more with other teammates), dribble more
The team instructions are as follows:
width: fairly wide (not too wide because players must be able to decide according to the moment)
play out of defense, focus play through the middle, low crosses, slightly lower tempo and shorter passes, be more expressive (this option should not be selected with low tiers teams or with teams who do not have very skilled players)
counter-press. Xavi wants his players to press high to gain the ball back when they lost it.
Hold shape: after gaining the ball, Barcelona play it patiently until they arrive to the box, they don't start fast counterattacks
distribute to center back and roll it out, this is how Ter Stegen builds the play from the defense.
Out of possession
High press and higher defensive line to avoid leaving too much space between the lines, much more often trigger press and prevent short gk distribution
This is all for this tactic. I hope it works for you too.
A hug from your Arrigo Sacchi