Discussion in 'Barcelona' started by os_mutante, Dec 4, 2012.
Is anyone else going through Barca withdrawal?
IMO people need to start splurging stupid opinions here more often so one could do some disagreeing on Barca related issues when there aren't much football happening. I guess those "Villa is done, needs to get out" "thoughts" are something, but I dunno...
Messi's an average footballer. The only reason he scores so much is because the team is built around him and gives him lots of the ball in dangerous areas
Xavi's over-rated and just plays a bunch of useless safe passes.
Valdes is a crap keeper. Barca should really try to upgrade that position.
Busquets doesn't contribute enough to the attack and is a one dimensional player. Barca should get someone like Yaya Toure to take his spot
Pep Guardiola and Tito Vilanova are average managers who seriously benefit(ed) from having a squad of amazing players who barely needed any coaching. I'd like to see how either of them would do leading a team on Monday night in Stoke!
I am sorry, haven't been around much, but what is the general consensus on Alexis and his subpar performances? Should he be shipped?
Also, Cesc has been huge, I had my doubts after last season, but when he went out against Betis, I was quite upset.
Quick thoughts on Thiago, I have been a little let down. While his technical abilities are unquestionable, my problem with him are his decisions. Granted he is young and we are used to seeing the absolute best, but I feel he could be doing better when he gets his chances.
While I am glad that the midfield is scoring more, if they go on a drought, only Messi is a scoring option right now, which is the exact same problem from last year. While Pedro has not been bad, a lot effort and some great combination, his scoring is not where it should be.
Also, my favorite player is now Biscuits. God, he is playing so well. While he has his occasional moments, by God can he pass and shimmy out of pressure beautifully. What a player. Thanks Pep.
and lastly but most importantly anims Tito!
Some think he should be loaned/sold because he doesn't score much or even shoot sometimes in some games. Others (like me for example) don't see any reason to sell him right now because he is playing well, in sync with his teammates which he has built up over just 16 months, and offers a good option to the team as an extra creator in attack with very good speed that can come of use. Some just don't get that he is and never was a goalscoring player at any point in his career so there is no reason to expect something very different at Barca, at least since he isn't playing as a center forward.
But he still had a career best season last year with 15 goals and he's among the top assisters this season in the team despite scoring just once so far. I still think he'll come up with some goals from January to May if he can stay fit for an extended period while continuing to play well, press opposing players, and set his teammates up with scoring chances. He'll come good in the end, I don't see why we would sell him, there has been no talks about that in the camp apart from what you read in the tabloids. Same old stories, I guess.
Agreed, Cesc has been fantastic this season. He's really stepping his game up and there have been no signs of him going into another drought ever since he got some much needed goals in Seville. His injury was upsetting and at a bit of a bad timing, but we've managed well and it looks as if he'll be in group training on Wednesday and be given the medical all clear to fit in the process. He had a few double recovery sessions last week in order to speed up his return to the side and it's paying dividends. He should be ready to start Espanyol at this rate.
Thiago's decision making can become better but it was difficult for even Cesc last season to come into this side and make the impact of Xavi or Iniesta in the midfield. It's the hardest position to play at Barca and it will take some time of getting used to before players can really express themselves and take control of games. He did well at Valladolid I thought and he's returned from two potentially serious injuries (one in the summer in a similar place to where Villa got injured, one in September on his right knee ligament) lately. Combined with his youth and relatively low experience so far, we won't be seeing him at his best so quickly.
I just think he needs leadership, time, and patience. I think we'll see a truly wonderful player in him two or three years from now as he's only going to get progressively better. He's making improvements to his game all the time and his successful passing rate is superb for such a young midfielder. I hope he'll be able to play a big part in any of the club's successes this season, I think he's put his injury issues behind him right now.
I don't think that's entirely true. Villa has scored 8 times this season with limited amounts of playing time (compared to others in attack) while Cesc, Alba, Xavi, and Adriano have chipped more than a few goals too. Unless you mean attacking players like Pedro and Alexis. I think they'll surely improve in front of goal eventually, it just takes one to boost their confidence, while Tello has improved his finishing in front of goal a lot this season. We have plenty of options to score goals and with already 80 goals scored in 28 games this season, it hasn't seemed like much of a problem so far this season, has it?
But when we can't score many, we need to defend well which is what cost us last season in big games as we didn't do so well in the back. We've certainly tightened up a lot more at the back since Puyol and Pique returned from injury, just hope they can stay fit for as long as possible now. Mascherano has got back into form lately as well so we have good options now.
Truly magnificent player. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw him and how calm, cool, and composed he was coming from the B team, playing in a demanding club with millionaires and stars and a demanding midfield with Xavi and Iniesta, but yet he looked unfazed by it all. Sure he made some mistakes (he still does) but his rise to the top has been fully deserved. He is the perfect player for Barca in that position, no one could really replace him I am convinced.
The way we watch games is the way Busquets watches them, while he's on the field. That's the amazing part.
Thanks to Viscaelbarca, we can shut it down until 2013....what a post.
I don't know why, but I think that Sanchez can offer the team quite a bit still. If anyone wants to sell him, who would you sell him to and how much do you think you'd get? His finishing has been poor this season, and so has Pedro's finishing. I'm not sure when they will score, but the point is they are playing well within our system outside of scoring.
Villa is an interesting case, but if you were to look at as, we didn't want to rush him back to prevent another injury, plus we wanted to keep him fresh for the 2nd half of the season, plus we weren't really dropping any points.....maybe it doesn't look like such a head scratching situation.
Of course, since we're super fans, we know that we could have dropped many more points and we rescued situations that looked bleak (especially early in the season). Villa could have helped there, but I don't know if he would have been fit enough to give us 75 minutes each time out. No question he is pure quality still.
I think the key player in the Champions League may very well be Cesc Fabregas, he was playing lights out in the month leading up to his injury. I think we'll need him and Iniesta to unlock those stacked defenses.
Here's part 2 of the report cards for Barca players. http://www.totalbarca.com/2012/opinion-pieces/el-pivote-christmas-holiday-report-cards-part-2/
I am quite insulted at http://www.totalbarca.com/2012/opinion-pieces/el-pivote-christmas-holiday-report-cards-part-1/
Messi should get wheat an Indian or Chinese person would get at school, an A+
Anyway happy new year from England and now off to bed as I have work in 8 hours
Um, if you look at both report cards you'll see he just gave A, B, or C and no pluses or minuses, so no reason to get upset.
By and large I think his grades were spot on - given that scale w/ no pluses or minuses.
No, but the fact is that two-thirds of Barca's forward line is struggling to score goals right now and that makes them vulnerable as long as Barca continues to average over 1 goal allowed per match. Yes, I know that "they contribute in other ways" but we've only tolerated that so far because Messi has been on fire. The continued imbalance between goals by Messi versus other forwards is still a potential problem. One of Barca's New Year's resolutions should be to get Tello/Villa/Alexis/Pedro's combined GPG ratio higher. Right now its below 0.15 while Messi's is about 1.3 (almost 10 times higher!! )
I think it's a kinda weird situation we're in right now. Messi scores unhealthy percentage of our goals, that's given. Attackers contribute in other ways than scoring, that is given as well. We've been winning after winning, so could go with "everything's kinda ok". Villa has scored regularly, yet we keep benching him.
IMO the solution this spring is to continue like we have - as no reason to radically change this Barca machine - but of the wingers, I'd of course say Villa should be played more often, and I wish one of Alexis/Tello/Pedro would start scoring seriously. Like, once in three matches at least or so. Otherwise, I think when the biggest matches of the season come (and if everyone's fit), might prefer Cesc on the right wing, maybe.
The lack of scoring from the other forwards does seem like a problem and I think that the talent we already have (the 4 players you mentioned plus Cuenca assuming he stays, and Deulofeu when he makes cameos) will score more over time.
But we have to keep in mind that often only 1 of those players is playing at a time, which puts 0.15/game in perspective as we often see Cesc or Iniesta start as a forward or, you could say we play a 4-4-2. In terms of goals per minutes played I think that both Villa and Tello are doing great this season.
So really it boils down to Pedro and Alexis not taking many shots and missing too many of the shots that they do take. Both Pedro and Alexis have shown that they can score in the past (even in the present for Pedro with the Spanish NT) so I think that their goals scored will improve. I also think that Villa will get more PT as the season progresses.
Finally, I think it is worth reflecting on whether our playing style under Tito that is rightfully praised for getting more out of Cesc, more goals scored from outside the box, more goals scored from our fullbacks and our midfield, and yes, more goals scored by Messi, is partly to blame for our other forwards scoring less.
There's a good sight. Two men fighting battles against cancer but still strong and interested enough to keep going at Barcelona.
First team players returned to training on Wednesday morning where Tito showed up and laid out the plan for the game against Espanyol. He may or may not be on the bench for the derbi, depending on how he feels come Sunday evening.
Cesc and Song trained with the group and both should be given the medical all clear by the start of Friday's training session it is expected. Cuenca is also expected to be given the all clear soon and may take part in the cup game against Cordoba next week if he is declared fit in time.
Abidal will be registered to play in La Liga for the remainder of the season if he can prove his fitness in time and manage to play. He is training with the group for now and there are words spreading that he may be ready in time by the end of the month where he could potentially make an appearance at the Bernabeu for a Copa semifinal match. (But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet, shall we? )
Will leave us with pretty much a fully fit squad apart from Marc Muniesa, who is expected to start training by mid February and perhaps make it fit just in time for the final rounds of La Liga. Malaga are interested in signing/loaning him this month, but so far no answer from our parts.
You cant denied the fact Alexis is not scoring this season even if he only has goalkeeper to beat. It doesnt even matter whether he started or a sub, he just cant score. Off course not everyone could curl the ball to the corner everyday like Messi but he could at least stab the ball from 6 yard.
I take Real Madrid are also using the Messi excuse since they are 3rd
I don't think Alexis should be sold (not that it would matter if I did think he should be sold as Barca don't take any notice of my opinions ) but he has got to start performing a hell of a lot better than he has been. The guy is a big money signing yet, apart from the odd glimpse here and there, I've seen very little evidence that he justifies his hefty price tag. But he still very young so has time on his side. Fabregas has this season shown the player he was at Arsenal and Sanchez can turn it round.
Oh and by the way, Messi is rubbish and he should be off loaded to Man City and we should get Balotelli, obviously the club would need to fork out £40 million on top of Messi.
Nice article on Alexis and why we should stick with him.
And yes, he needs a goal in the worst way. Someone needs to set him up with a tap-in so he can stop pressing and snatching at his chances.
pedro is the one that really puzzles me. alexis still needs to prove himself but with pedro we already know exactly what he is capable of. he has already proven that he is a deadly finisher, and his recent performances for spain confirm that. but his finishing for us has been very poor this season, and you can clearly see he has some kind of mental block when he gets a clear sight of goal. but otherwise his performances have been good. his passing, positioning, and pressing have been enough to make him arguably the first pick among villa/alexis/tello, but he really needs to break that duck. once he gets a goal or two, i'd expect pedro will be flying - unless there's something else going on that we're not aware of?
i think that there are some tactical differences that may contribute to this. under pep, the two wide forwards would usually go for goal by cut inside or make runs behind the defenders to exploit the central space opened up by messi dropping deep. so the two wide forwards usually ended up being the closest to the opposition goal and making the most dangerous runs. now it seems to me like tito has his wide forwards playing a little wider and deeper, and most of the threatening attacks are coming more from the central players leaving messi and cesc/iniesta as the players usually finding themselves in the most threatening positions. now when you see our wide forwards attacking the penalty area, more often than i see them taking on a full-back at the byline trying to cut the ball inside for one of the central players making a late run in the box. so they're playing more like wingers than forwards. maybe i'm just imagining this?
I think tactics may mean something, and attackers have other tasks besides scoring as well. But, when we look at our scorers this season in all competitions:
Alba, Iniesta 3
Pique, Puyol, Alves, Song, Busquets, Alexis 1
...it simply makes one doubt Pedro and Alexis (and, again, Villa). I guess the best is to do nothing in January, play a great spring, and make one or two smart moves in the summer. The important thing anyway is that the team is doing very well.
Not just you. Our fullbacks are getting a lot more space/time on the ball compared to our forwards now. Yes, Adriano's been on fire, but he's getting the ball in space and scoring as a result.
And totally agreed on the late runs. This is a newish thing (which makes me miss Keita even more). In many ways, I agree with the tradeoff. We're blessed with a ton of central players so it makes sense to play to that strength by cutting balls back to whoever is breaking late.
The only problem with that tradeoff is that it puts Pedro and Alexis in a pass-first mentality. And then seems to have lumped on extra pressure to score (causing the yips) when they do have a chance.
No, I don't think you are imagining that. You've said in more detail what I was alluding to in my post above, that some of the same things that are allowing Messi, Cesc, the rest of our midfielders, and even defenders to score under Tito has to do with our other forwards, especially Pedro and Sanchez, staying wider, cutting in less and later, crossing more, etc. Not saying that they have not had excellent scoring chances here and there but I do think they are being deployed differently.
This is what I believe too, I even made a post like this in the Betis thread last month.
Putting the issue of tactics and formations to one side, when Pedro and Sanchez have had very good chances they have missed them. Both lack confidence in front of goal.
Yeah, I have noticed what he is talking about too when watching Alexis and Pedro recently to figure out what they are doing wrong and it doesn't seem like they are in scoring positions that much. (Their misses are glaring though.) This makes me wonder how Neymar would fit in - I don't doubt his talent but many of his spectacular goals come from long dribbles.
Yeah, although Pedro wasn't lighting it up last season under Pep either. In fact, he has arguably been better this season;
And it's not like Pedro isn't getting chances. I think the goals will come. Not a bucket-load, but a few at least.
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