A boy played in the field, got stung by a nettle.
He ran home to his mother, telling her that he had but touched that nasty weed and it had stung him.
“It was just your touching it, my boy; the next time you meddle with a nettle, grasp it tightly, and it will do you no hurt” Do boldly what you do at all.
FABLES, AESOP, SIXTH CENTURY B.C.
It’s a game to play before the Valencia dame that introduces December action for some, and it comes before Sevilla game that comes even before Valencia and marks the beginning of the challenge for the others, and more notably the Getafe game comes before the Sporting game that alerts the most urgent concerns for the unsettled CL – Barcelona fans.
In all that mix of names and dates, Getafe game moved to the shadow of interest, and more disturbing, it got buried in the fog of spotlights, though a Getafe battle is definitely a stone to turn to open the path for what comes later; flopping and flipping on Sunday will act as a kick on the knee before the breathtaking marathon, no matter when and where it starts for you, in Lisbon or in Madrid!
With four defeats, four draws and three wins, Getafe amuse the 12th spot in la liga. They will play away from home in Barcelona, but the interesting thing is that their numbers are better out than in, but how hopeful will they be to earn points in Barcelona, and eventually how concerned we need to be?
Getafe president Ángel Torres said that current Getafe coach Víctor Muñoz focuses more on intense physical and tactical training while Schuster, like Laudrup, works more with the ball - referring to the old Getafe that we knew, but if we want to make our observations based on numbers, I cant really see that physical edge while most of the goals conceded were netted in the last fifteen minutes of the first half, and mostly in the last quarter of the second half, is it a drop in fitness? Or is it a loss of tactical awareness and concentration? My assumption is a mix of both added to the fact that in the last slice of their matches, Getafe open the game, probably as an attempt to make a come back, they open defense and it cause them dearly. Click here for
Brief Ramzi….Brief!Getafe defense
In front of Jacobo, the keeper who deservedly took Pato position between the post, we can talk about a defense line if we want to be too theoretical, but to be realistic we need to expect that in front of the keeper there will be the whole team defending. Francisco Casquero, Juan Albin, Lucas Licht, Fabio Celestini, Daniel Díaz, Esteban Granero and David Cortés are the tackling machines in the defense and midfield earning 18 yellow cards so far (30 for the whole team).
But while watching the highlights I can note two obvious weaknesses:
1) Slow defense with bad positioning specially on the counter attacks, I am not sure if their slow defense will give us any advantage keeping in mind that they will be playing a defensive crowdy-closed game, mainly one touch high tempo game can be the key to unlock this defensive chain, but hey! Watch out tackles! Messi are you listening?! That's if you played...
2) They are extremely weak dealing with crosses and diagonal balls dropped to the far post, and here where my eyes blink with that evil spark!
Yes, they have Soldado who has all the motivation as an ex-Real Madrid player to cause troubles. Even though his finishing declined dramatically than expected earlier in his career, he is still a threat adding to the fact that he press defense aggressively to a limit that he may lose temper – 3 yellows.
And yes they have the dynamic Uche, but there real threat come from J. Albin and his compatriots in the midfield, they just love to shoot from distance, Francisco Casquero already bombed 29 shots, 9 on goal, Albin 32 shots, 12 on goal. Beside Esteban Granero, one of their most influential guys, and Jaime Gavilán Martínez, the ex-Valencia winger. Most of their goals were scored by the midfielders –especially Albin- but will their midfield get a chance to approach to
More Getafe highlights, click here
I will try not to be repetitive and just mention what’s exclusively related to this game; Guardiola will have to decide one of two ways to approach the game:
1) This is the last game before getting into the critical period including a fundamental game against Sporting and the mini league of December. After Getafe there is no way to take a breath, specially if our game against Sporting went wrong. So will he decide to save some batteries? Definitely he will not play a second string – if we can say we have second strings- but will he rest two or three players in this game? If he did, I understand, but may be for the first time this season I stand with the Anti rotation school for this game, so I choose the second approach.
2) Playing the best eleven: first of all to seal a game, as we mentioned before a wrong result means a wrong preparation for what follows, and secondly to gain momentum and confidence, and we can be little sadistic and say he needs to smash Getafe to spread more fear! Tactically, after all the rotations performed this season, is it true that the best eleven on the field are really the ones he has in his mind? Let’s try them in this game better than…
My favorite selection contains Busquets as a DM - Yaya will be better against Sporting - and Xavi and Hleb/Keita as midfielders - they both need starting role more than Gudi at the moment. Messi, Eto’o and Henry up front.
But with the news regarding Messi muscular problems, then I prefer Hleb on the right wing and Keita as a midfielder, unless if Guardiola decided to give Bojan the chance as a winger, which is not a bad attempt at all!
Keeping in mind that nothing clear till the moment I wrote this article, I hope we rest Messi in this game anyway as a precautiant. And better not to select him as a starter against Sporting, may be that help to use him against Sevilla, even if we needed to rest him again against Valencia.
If Busquets played, then this is a game for him to rise back to meet earlier expectations after his first few games, because lately I can’t say I am satisfied by his performance.
I count on Henry in this game to cut in from the left to act as a second striker moving to the far post where Alves can easily fax the ball to him while the defense is busy dealing with Eto’o and Messi. Remember the evil spark mentioned above?
We all remember that game in the cup when we took things for granted and they smashed our hopes and pride, Getafe may have no chance in this game if Barcelona played a declined game as I expect they will, their attitude will determine their altitude.
Games between the two teams:
Games played:8, Draw2, FC Barcelona won 5, Getafe won 1
Played at FC Barcelona: Games 4 Draw1 FC Barcelona won 3 Getafewon 0
Real Madrid - Recreativo
Villarreal - Valladolid
Sevilla - Valencia
Barcelona - Getafe
Off record:The recipe of troubles:
I have lot to say about it but knowing I REALLY need to end this post I say, the recipe of troubles consist of:
Henry as a left wing, Messi on the right plus Busquets as a midfielder.
I can understand playing Yaya and Busquets together as Defensive midfielders but then you need Hleb as a left wing to bounce back helping Xavi building up the game, or Messi acting as a free player behind two dual strikers, Eto’o and Henry.
Or else, that Recipe will always complicate things; don’t say I didn’t mention it.