Even Xavi asked him to be more obedient to the tactical idea he proposed, assuring him that he would soon put an end to this orphanhood.
Not so long ago, I was restless. Robert Lewandowski was worried because he felt helpless in attack. He saw himself alone, trapped by that tactical drawing in which Gavi, a lifelong interior, had to act as a false winger, while the ‘nine’ was anguished because he was not receiving balls. Or, at least, quality balls to take advantage of his shot.
She even conveyed that concern to the press, taking advantage of a trip to Poland, although there was no need for her to verbalize it because it was obvious. She looked uncomfortable in the field, misplaced, coming down to receive the ball far from the ‘Lewandowski zone’, that place where he has lived for years. Even Xavi asked him to be more obedient to the tactical idea that he proposed, assuring him that he would soon put an end to this orphanhood.
It is enough to look at the numbers from the first two games (180 minutes, seven shots, but only three on goal and zero goals) to see the anguish that invaded the Polish striker, who had just turned 35 last August. Similar anguish, for example, to that of last season when the Lewandowski accurate and lethal faded as the months passed. Getafe and Cádiz revealed a gloomy image of the ‘nine’. That’s why Robert spoke. That’s why Xavi spoke to him.
Barça could not live with its back to the forward. Not even the forward could be a foreign body in the team. That rebound on the post spit out in Vila-real after a superb play and subsequent shot by Lamine Yamal He came across the Pole’s left boot. He then acted as a switch to turn on a scorer who was sad and sad. He looked flat, almost rusty.
The joy of the ‘Joãos’
But the Joãos arrived, especially the ‘magician Félix’, and the landscape changed substantially. Suddenly, Lewandowski had cronies around him. Members who served him the ball as if it were candy and not stones. Allies who approached him, pushing him into the area, his territory. His real house.
He no longer went down to the center of the field in search of the ball. They were already taking it, as if they were postmen, Gündogan, João Félix, João Cancelo, De Jong, Raphinha, Lamine… Or whoever it was. And the goals, which were hidden in no one knows where, began to fall as naturally as before.
Not with the impact he had last year (12 goals in his first nine games, chaining five in a row), but with the routine expected of someone like him. After the initial drought (zero goals in two games) his abundance has arrived, chaining his best streak – five consecutive games scoring – which is similar to the jovial and fresh image that he radiated upon his arrival from Munich last summer. Now, there are six goals. So, there were nine in five games.
But the change is more than evident. “Robert plays more positionally now,” Xavi acknowledged after the “brutal comeback” against Celta where Lewandowski felt, again, Lewandowski, Barça is now at the top of the League. He had barely had any weight in the game. An innocuous outside shot (m. 51) remained as a vestige of his poor productivity. But, suddenly, João Félix approached, and not only physically, the Pole. He approached and connected with the ‘nine’.
Excellent assistance from the Portuguese, a spoon that uncovered the memory of the nostalgic evoking that pass of Laudrup to Romário in El Sadar– to light Montjuïc. Lewandowski’s first shot on goal, goal. Second shot, after assistance from the other João, that winger, interior, midfielder, midfielder who is Cancelo, and second goal. Both goals were scored with the first touch. No time to think. Nor did he need it. Like the six he has. Everyone inside the area, the place Robert should not leave, as Xavi always reminds him.