The ‘noise’ and the controversies have dominated the analysis of the failure of FC Barcelona in the Alfonso Pérez Coliseum(0-0). But the controversial arbitration performance of Referee Soto Grado and the underground dirty game of Getafe coach, Bordalás, cannot steal the limelight from the Masterclass delivered by the French Center Back, Kounde. They cannot tarnish the (few) green shoots of Xavi Hernández’s team on the opening day of the league. Even on the least pleasant nights, positive conclusions can be drawn.
In an absolutely decisive moment both for him and for the Blaugrana club. With several important decisions in the construction of the squad for the 2023/24 campaign on the table. Jules Koundé completed a true exhibition and corroborated that last season he wasn’t deployed on his true potential. In his first in the Spotify Camp Nou, Barça ‘won’ a compliant full-back but did not continuously enjoy an absolutely differential central defender which he offers. The Frenchman sacrificed himself to make up for the deficiencies of the ‘roster’. But he had no problem in publicly and privately acknowledging that he, where he feels most comfortable, is in the “backbone”.
Against Getafe, in a scenario that required maximum concentration and aerial power. Koundé displayed all the virtues that made him one of the most desired defenders of last summer. Excellent in getting the ball out, precise in short passes and long shots, forceful in duels and quick in corrections. The Frenchman responded wonderfully to the confidence of Xavi, who continues to insist on the signing of a right-back, among other things. Because he knows what Jules can bring him as a centre-back.
Koundé was one of the best Barca players at the Coliseum. His numbers were spectacular. He finished with 150 interventions. 121/132 passing (92%). Four key passes, six long balls completed, one great chance created, seven clearances, one interception, seven wins, one blocked shot and one dribble. It is really difficult to be more transcendent in both areas. Especially considering that the rival stepped on it little. Some of Barça’s clearest opportunities in the Azulón temple were born in his deep shipments, including the one that ended the struggle between Djené and Abde and the subsequent expulsion of Xavi.
While the Blaugrana technical office tries to satisfy the coach’s demands and looks for a high-level addition to the right flank of the defence. Koundé has fueled the debate in the best possible way, speaking on the pitch and strengthening his point of view with a remarkably high performance. In preseason, it was already clear that Barça needs to reinforce the demarcation of right-back. The first official duel of the course confirmed it.
In the event that a footballer like Joao Cancelo lands in Barcelona. That is, a player with the capacity to regularly occupy the wing, the competition in the rear axis will be maximum. Ronald Araujo, Jules Koundé himself, Andreas Christensen, Iñigo Martínez and Eric Garcia will fight for only two places in the playing eleven. That, however, will be another debate.