Change of philosophy in Beşiktaş

ARDA ALAN IŞIK
ISTANBUL
Published

After Cenk Tosun's transfer to Everton, Beşiktaş played their first league game with Alvaro Negredo as their main striker. This led coach Şenol Güneş to make some serious changes in his offensive scheme given that Negredo's selfless and collective style is quite different from Tosun's power and speed. Thus, we have seen more build-ups in the final third by Beşiktaş against Antalyaspor, making the attacks more balanced and effective. Nevertheless, there is even a better way to use Negredo, which can be the only option against Bayern Munich.

First of all, despite my focus on Negredo, the star of the game against Antalyaspor was Anderson Talisca with two goals. He has always been a hidden striker for Beşiktaş, but it seems that Negredo's good positioning now gives him even more room to sneak into the opponent's penalty box and execute deadly shoots. Since the main offensive strategy for Beşiktaş is still Ricardo Quaresma's crosses from the wings, Negredo's knowledge and selflessness will make Talisca shine even more.

However, I believe that is a very limited way to utilize Negredo's offensive skills given the Spaniard can do much more than just create space for Talisca. Remember the last goal Beşiktaş scored against Porto in their sensational win in Portugal. Although he could close his eyes and kick the ball into the penalty box, Negredo chose to play an elegant pass to Babel, who scored a perfect goal. This goal was a clear example of Negredo's talent for assisting and organizing the game in the final third.

Beşiktaş's biggest offensive problem today is that they become way too chaotic in the final third, and they solely rely on Quaresma's crosses. Nevertheless, under Negredo's leadership, this can be improved significantly. If coach Güneş allows Negredo to shape the game in the final third and organize his team around him, the Spanish striker would not hesitate to find the best possible option. Unlike Tosun, who is a marvelous striker when he is given enough time and space, Negredo can be the creator of time and space for his teammates, which would be great for players like Talisca, Ryan Babel and Quaresma.

However, it must be noted that if coach Güneş insists on Quaresma-based strategies, Negredo might seem like a failure as a striker and could lower his morale. Since Beşiktaş guaranteed the next round in the Champions League, Negredo seems distant from his teammates, frustrated with his own performance. Plus, regarding his statements at the beginning of the season that he will score more than 30 goals, it is obvious that Negredo is under great pressure. I know that the club is still looking for a replacement for Tosun, but if Negredo becomes the main striker, coach Güneş must adopt a new philosophy to adapt him to his game.

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