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Colin, I'm afraid you have a severe flaw in your argument here mate - Barca are 16 points ahead of Real in the Spanish league. To say the way they play is on its last legs is not supportable by the facts. Any team can lose on any given day for any number of reasons, just as any team can win against anyone else, and Real are not exactly chumps are they? It was a bad day at the office for Barca, that's all. Given how Barca are doing in the league, I would execute half the population of planet Earth for us to be able to play the way they do!
Loki been watching BARCA for donkeys yrs mate..did u watch the game last night btw ? La Liga for most yrs Ive been a follower has always been a two horse race with an odd season when Valencia under Benitez or Sevilla made an impact but generally it represents what the SPL was before the demotion of Rangers. Yes I know Real have lost nine times this yr. More good European top sides are going to be giving Barca more than just a run for there money much in the way Chelski also tippled to how to undo them they are not any longer the invincible possession machine they once were. They were undone by lightning fast counter attacking ...Maureens trademark wherever he has been...but also Real as I mentioned have a squad all of whom are prepared to take men on and beat them before releasing the ball as opposed to this incessant short pass game known now to all and sundry as Tici Taca. What Im suggesting is we NEED to mix up the playbook a little here as there is no doubt in my mind we are at our best when running at defenses and exchanging fast give and go. All top coaches are going to be looking at that match last night and learning just how to undo any side wishing to tici taca them to death...I think thats inevitable.
- 2 Replies to colin
Colin, I too watched the game last night and have been watching Barca for some time. In fact, I have been to the Camp Nou to watch Liverpool play them on a couple of occasions and I think 4 times to watch them in the league in the last few years (Barca is my favourite European City and if one has the means why not go and see perhaps the best footballing side ever?). Anyway p!ssing contests aside I agree Real played a perfect game against them, but I would temper that by saying that Barcas passing was not what we expect, and I don't think it was solely down to Real closing them down to death. So I stand by what I said, the league is the best gauge of a team and Barca are going to easily win the title this year. By the way, in Spain, the Copa del Rey is viewed about as favourably as a dogturd that's been freshly stepped in.
You have this bee in your bonnet about Brendan being inflexible as well. That's plain wrong again. I have seen us play 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 and even 4-4-2 this season! You also mention that we don't take players on well I'm sorry Colin, you're watching a different game to me coz every game I see Downing, Johnno, Sterling, Enrique and Assaidi last week taking players on - even Agger! The wingers in our team don't play tiki-taka!
What you will find as the team gets better and we introduce better players into the squad is that they will become more effective in all departments. I think we will finish 6th season and that's progress for me. Finally, don't let your antipathy towards Rodgers blind you to what's actually happening on the pitch, because it seems that way to me. I'm telling you, if we cut out the silly mistakes then we have a top four team and that's without signing a couple of monsters in the summer!
Colin I'm a little confused here. I understand that some will look at last night’s game and see how they can counter the style Barca have perfected. However I don't think this is the first time Barca have lost a match and doubt it will be the last time either, but if they keep winning more than the concede as they have to date (as Loki points out with their very good Spanish league record) surely that would suggest the system, while not perfect is pretty good, and works the majority of the time.
Now I do also take your point that the Spanish league is let's say a little uneven and extremely top heavy, which is why I rarely watch it, and in the prem you are much more likely to come up against sides capable of beating any other side no matter where in the table they are. But this system you say is in its death throes, is it not basically the same system the Spanish national team uses? Now correct me if I'm wrong but I think qualification matches for major tournaments, along with such competitions as the World Cup or the Euros are a little more competitive that the Spanish league, and they seem to have done, well not bad in the last few years. Now I know the FIFA world rankings are not always that accurate, but aren't Spain also ranked number one, and have been now for quite a long period of time, surely that is no coincidence?
However I do agree with you, any system needs a backup plan, as nothing is perfect all the time. I know you and others have suggested we keep a certain striker who is still technically on our books, and in at least one of our last matches had suggested kicking it long ball might have been a good idea, but for me I’d prefer to go in the direction that Maureen does, as a plan B. I’m not a big fan of the counter attack strategy most of the time, and when I fault Rafa it is his over reliance on this system. However it is effective, especially away from home as we often saw in away legs in the Champions league under Rafa. But to be honest I’m a little surprised that you’d be an advocate of such an approach as I know you were not fan of the Rafa system, and for me it was not so far away from the plan we put in place a few weeks back down at the Emirates, but again I don’t think you had much good to say about that outing.