Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Match discussion: Lyon

This evening at 8:45 pm bt,
Barcelona plays the first game of the 1/8 finals of the Champions League against Olympique Lyon.





Lyon squad list:
no list announced


Barcelona squad list:
Valdés, Pinto, Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Márquez, Cáceres, Sylvinho, Xavi, Víctor Sánchez, Touré, Busquets, Keita, Gudjohsen, Messi, Eto'o, Bojan, Henry, Hleb


Read a match preview here



!!! LIVE MATCH CHAT !!!

From two hours before until two hours after the game you can join a match chat (read more here)



Before (what are your expectations, what's your prediction, what should be the line-up,...), during and after the match, you can also comment on the game here.

41 comments:

Blaugrana said...

If puyol goes into RB position then we will have a problem...in my opinion pique and cacares r still not ready..sure they r good but not ready to defend the goal..and marquez well his inconsistency is worsening!

I think busquets and toure should start..toure should be the wall in the defensive midfield and busquets should be the distributing player in midfield...

What do u guyz think..

And i so have a bad feeling abt this game particularly bcoz abidal is out injured and valdez's mistake against espanyol might still affect his game.

But puyol has to be in the centre not at right back...we need him to be at the centre dammit!! god i wish milito was ready!

Lasse Kongo said...

Ehm, I believe Alves will play right back?

blaugrana said...

i mean left back , LB...sorry bad sense of direction loool

Anonymous said...

Marquez is no being inconsistant! they play him in worng postions and im my opionon milto is a way slower verison of marquez!

Anonymous said...

valdes maaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnn...we have to get rid of you as soon as possible-this was yours goal:(((((((((((

Dan R said...

I've had it.
i think i never held something against Valdes, always thought he is a good keeper... and this season he was very good. but being good for the first half of the season and when we have a crucial week like that let 2(!) goals to the opposite team? NOT ON MY WATCH.
This is enough. get Akinfeev or Asenjo, I
I'm sick of this shit!

skanjos said...

every great goalkeeper has his bad days,chill valdes is doing great.sure he isnt the best oute there but even if we got the best out there he would still have bad days,cant blame always the keeper.

good game by the lads, unlucky both teams should have had more goals.result is great for us,also its good to see which players pep really trusts for a change.only one sub.....

anyway i didnt expect lyon to be that strong on both defence and attack.their goal came from a free kick but they had alot of great chances .it wont be an easy game in camp nou we better get our form up.

lostmyself said...

not a bad result but bad peformance.
i've been supporting valdes,but
i can't defend him anymore.
last 2 matche's faults were too crucial for us.
especially,for CL matches it kills us just like 2yrs ago against liverpool.
we should get asenjo to challenge valdes.

THE PISSED OF BARCA FAN said...

WELL THATS IT...THE FALL OF BARCA AGAIN!

AND PLEASE DONT GO TELLIN ME IM NOT A TRUE FAN AND I MOAN AND BITCH WHENEVER BARCA LOSES OR DOESNT WIN!

TODAY WE PLAYED CRAP,,OK WE KEPT POSSESSION WELL ,, BUT WE JUST LACKED THAT FLAIR THAT GAVE US THAT 12POINT LEAD IN THE LEAGUE.

THE RIJKAARD ERA WHEN WE WON THE DOUBLE..WE HAD THAT THING U CALLED.....DESIRE AND KILLER STRIKES!!! TODAY WE CAN SEE THE DESIRE TO WIN TITLES BUT NO THE KILLER STRIKE THAT MAKES US A DANGEROUS TEAM!

AFTER THIS GAME ALL THE OTHER EUROPEAN TEAMS WILL LOOK AT US AND SAY OK THEY R NOT AS GOOD AS THEY SAY THEY R!

ATLETICO MUST HAVE GOTTEN THE BIGGEST BOOST BY THIS MATCH EVEN THOUGH THEY DREW TODAY...BUT THEY NOW KNOW THAT BARCA CAN BE STOPPED! OR NOT STOPPED BUT THEY WILL KNOW THAT BARCA IS INCONSISTENT!!!!! OH AND FUK VALDES IVE NEVER HATED HIM BUT CMON!!

Anonymous said...

we need iniesta

Anonymous said...

we were dominated in the first half. lyon were flying everywhere(like we used to) and we looked very slow ,very tired. our midfield was pretty bad, toure, xavi, and sergi didnt play well at all...bad passing everywhere. valdes played just as bad, but when your a goalie ur mistakes turn into goals. hopefully we can win it at home, and we desperately need something to rejuvinate us! hope this play doesnt continue

Granche. said...

what the haack ....

PEP i am really sorry for this blog it is a pitty year ago it was very nice and now a lot of morons it is becoming sort of goal.com when i am really affraid to look at the comments as i will be pissed off.

And as for the topic we played quite a decent game we were not playing against Recreativo, Lyon are very good side i bet they would eleminate most of the teams currently in the CL but that doesnt go with us a draw in an away leg is good.

Instead of saying bad i go for the good of my benjamines, Marquez as always and i mean always in big mathces he is a hero. If one would conctretate and check out how he stopped Benzema ( except from the begging of the game as we were totaly unconctretated- not well placed in the field etc..) The captain it is a shame that he played in the left he too good to be forgoten down the left side intead of organizing the defence together with Marquez.

Etoo and Henry had great games and the midfield was domnitad by Toure with wonderful Xavi. I know we did not win by 5 goals but let me tell u smth my friends those times are gone. Except from the begging of the first half the approach to the game was fantastic.

krankuba said...

valdes was there, noobs :> how can you catch a ball comming from above?

Anonymous said...

Marquez MoM! will get them next time in the camp! fuk valdes!

Anonymous said...

Guys, I've noticed something with Valdés over the few games that we have played. Everytime before a corner or freekick he jumps one step forward for no reason. That misstake was made today and he did not even try to catch the ball from Juninho.

Many culés hates Abidal but today we saw how much he is for Barca. Puyol cant be a LB as Abidal is. Messi was anonymous because he had 3-4 on him all the time.

I swear to god I had this feeling few days ago and just before the game started that Juninho would get a freekick and it would go in. Juninho is a freekick king. We all remember his 2 freekicks from 30 metres on Casillas :).

ilias said...

Props to Lyon for being so tough.
I saw a very mediocre Barça today and we can be glad we got out of it with a draw.

What's up with the new jersey's? They look like the ones from a couple years ago, the ones witch the golden letters/numbers I think.
Or where they playing the other CL-matches with these?

I'm not saying a word about VV :x

Hilal said...

Some of the comments here are quite shocking. We got a 1-1 draw away from home, any manager of any team would take that result with pleasure. If you think we are going to beat Lyon 3-0 in their own home you are very wrong. This is the highest level of football. We didnt play well at all and we still got a good result against a very solid team away from home and ppl are complaining like we lost 2-0. So what if we didnt play well for a few games, these slumps happen in football. What we need to do is throw support behind the team and not declare that its the "fall of barca again". What a ridiculous statement. Lyon probably had their best game of the season and we definitely had one of our worst so i am happy with this result. We will bounce back, just you watch....

You also have to remember that most of our players on the pitch today played about 50 mins with 10 men only 2 days ago. Lyon rested a lot of their players and you could see the difference. We were fatigued. They need rest and they need it soon.

P.S BArca are inconsistent? REALLY??? go look at our results this season again, i think you will find we are probably the most consistent team in Europe

Nico said...

We can't win the CL with that idiot as a keeper.The tragic thing is that he wants 9 million per year!

TakeBackTheCity said...

we won it three years ago with him, let's not be destructive, he is gonna be our goalie at least till end of the season, we hope he gets better.

Anonymous said...

We've already won the CL with that 'idiot' as a keeper. In fact, that 'idiot' was one of the biggest reasons why we won that CL.

Whenever Barcelona lose or play less than out of this work, it's really embarrassing to see fellow fans act very childish, naive and shortsighted. God forbid the lot of you EVER come close to being the team's manager, much less the janitor.

t.ball6 said...

I enjoyed watching todays game. Apart from cringing through so many blatant mistakes, i thought it was a decent showing. It is the time of the season where we will begin to doubt the strength of our team, barcelona will go through a few more losses or ties, but remember that every team has this. So just keep supporting the team, and i think we will be fine

Speaking of todays game:
a few things i noticed

valdes, ill leave complaining about him up to everyone else, but ive never been a fan

puyol is clearly not a left back, its obvious from how he plays
put him in the middle with pique (i will speak on marquez next) and put sylvinho on the left, which is his natural position

marquez needs some spark, it didnt seem like he was that into the game, he made a few smaller mistakes, nothing big, but i didnt feel like he was a leader like he should be

pique, i love him as a player
and i thought he was one of the best players today, he looks best when he takes the ball and runs just a little into the midfield, before drawing a few defenders, and then spreading the field

dani alves, normal game, i dont like him taking 40 yard free kicks, he should be able to do better, clipping a ball into the box,
also didnt overlap as much on the wing, which was obvious in the attack

midfielders
sergio busquets, didnt show up much in the game
all i can remember is he drew a free kick on the edge of the box with a little skill

xavi nothing to complain about, he kept the play moving

yaya toure i thought he was about a 7 today, i really think he was fabulous, except he gave the ball away very cheaply, he made some of the worst passes ive seen from this team
but other that that, on the defensive end he was ok
and in general he was good at distributing the ball

messi was very disappointing
he didnt amaze me like he usually does, with the exception of one run down the left, where he beat what, 4 or 5 lyon players, but other than that, i was not impressed

etoo decent job, i actually thought the team worked best when he had drifted to the right and messi played in the middle around the 70th minute, but nothing too special about him today

henry took on people, but didnt get crosses in, and wasnt very dangerous

after saying all of this, i dont want to take away from the performance of lyon, who clearly have quite a potential

in a side note, ill make my case for benzema
classy
thats about all i can say, he caught my eye especially, he makes chances for himself, like when he picked up the ball about 25 yards, spun and hit the outside of the post
but i think he would fit flawlessly into the barcelona system, as he holds up the ball, and can beat a few players, i think he is the best replacement for henry, should he leave

marc said...

u can't really blame certain fans for feeling angry after a loss it just means they are winners and losing is not an option thats should always be a fans mentality if u go around saying we gotta lose sometime is not right always believe every game is a win. i admit i hate to see barca play like that and i hate valdes to some extent but don't argue about it online it only leads people to insult u cause online chatting is a predator zone with someone just waiting for some foolish comment so they can make u look bad so don't curse and call ur team shit online keep it to yourselves.

valdes is good but anymore mistakes like that and i believe laporta will put him out and some say he help us win cl but u must realize that teams don't live in the past and will out players as quickly as managers these days just look at the robbie keane situation.. thierry henry is struggling a little just hope he regains his form he showed earlier in the season. we are seven points infront real no need for concern just yet..only be worried if that drops to 4 before we face the top teams again just hope it at least rises to 10 points by then.

as for real they are playing well but teams seems to give them to much freedom and treat them alot differently from barca which makes it easier for them to win.. i fully expect real to win against espanyol as their performance against barca wasn't good but valdes error and poor referee decisions help them so real should have this weekends match rapped in first half like real betis we have to do our part against atletico and we are going to win 3-1.. messi will terrorize defenses again don't worry.

ANTI-MADRIDISTA said...

You guys are not giving Barca any credit at all with the exception of Mr. Granche. Lyon played very well today and had alot of excellent chances which they did nothing with. We are not playing to our full potential but we played a decent game. Lyon's team were ready to come out and try to physicaly dominate us, based on all of these reports they have been reading about us and our 22 game winning streak. They knew they had a huge mountain to conquer today, those guys came out swinging...and playing some dirty/physical futbol. Besides their smallest guy on the team is sized up to Yaya Toure. They totally outsize us.

Without even getting into the same old discussion about who played well and who did not, and how Valdez sucked and we need a new goalie. IMO even if we had Asenjo I don't think he is ready to be a starter this year or maybe next for our team anyways...especially not in a game like that yet. Not to say he's not good enough for Barca to buy this summer and begin training him and perhaps starting him in the future. Bottom line is Valdez has lots of experience and made some solid decisions today...But is not perfect and will make mistakes and conceed goals. But hey, he's our goalie and if Pep thought he fell off starting position he would have started Pinto or Jorquera. Just because players are making mistakes and not playing to perfection you can't call for their heads and talk shit fellas. These guys are only human.

You have to understand these teams like Lyon play completely different in this competetion than league games in France. I thought Barca and Lyon played exceptionaly better than any of the other team matches within CL today. That Inter vs Man U game SUCKED...and we could discuss for hours how they are not playing top notch futbol either. Plus we are missing some superior teammates.

And enough is enough about this Rijkaard era crap, are you comparing that squad to todays squad. No Living In The Past.And who cares about what other European teams think does anyone really think we would win the CL without drawing or losing a game? On top of that being said fuk Atletico they have way more issues with inconsistencies than us any day this season....LOL. Its about time they won a game with that sick line up. LOL

I would be much more proud of this squad winning all 3 titles with a fresh and young coach any day than with Rijkaard. We will prevail, don't become discontented over games like these. We have a long way to go and this is when things become exciting.

MUCH RESPECT BARCA FRIENDS

Gersonworld said...

I think it was a normal game, we were not playing a Micky Mouse team, those were the french champions. We did good, we had them where we wanted them at the end but they defended with 9 players and those guys are big and the defenders were not taking any crap from our forwards but we got the goal and we got the upper hand now. so take a ChillPill people.

Ramen said...

The only reason why Valdes could not react to Juninho's FK was because he stood on his heels during the whole time the ball came at him. The people here who would understand are the guys with experience as a keeper. Yuck.

Pique is our best defender based on this game. And he's 21 only. WoW!

Ba-Beka said...

The only bad thing i can see today is that we are going on 3 games without a win , Betis , Espanyol and now Lyon , this is a little crisis period for Barca , i hope it's not going to last longer .

Everything else was perfect and i like this game today , even i watch it after the game was finished ...

GO Barca

kamikaze kontiki said...

Great Result for Barca !! while the performance overall wasn't great we still did reasonably well.

Marquez for MOTM !!! He was exceptional last night. Probably cleared about 80% of the balls put into the box by himself. Also never allowed Benzema to get goalside of him. His lack of pace was found out on one or two occasions but he can't be faulted otherwise. In one of the setpieces I noticed that he was the only Barca player who made a challenge against a hoard of Lyon players. Also had a hand in the goal.

Some points I noted

1. Really hoped Guardiola would try something different here but I can understand that it was a crucial game so he stuck to what was tried and tested. Towards the end though Messi moved permanently to the centre and Eto'o to the wing and suddenly it seemed like there was more space for everyone and Messi started to show some glimpses of his brilliance.

2. Makoun stayed close to Xavi the entire match and yet he there to help cover Messi every time he got the ball. I think this indicates that they were playing a little to close together and the attack was far too concentrated on the right side. Once Messi moved to the center he seemed much more effective.

3. It was necessary to have Puyol in the team because we always seem only half the defense without him. However there is this almost unconscious tendency of his to run towards goal instead of closing down the man on the ball. This has got us in trouble before and will again. Puyol has to check this aspect of his game as it is his most common mistake even when he plays as Center-Back.

4. Henry but for the goal hardly got into the game. I think this was because Abidal was missing. Even when he does not get fwd he still gets far enough up the pitch to ease the transfer of the ball to Henry. Hopefully this will be sorted out by using a different LB.

5. The one thing I am beginning to dislike is what I see as Guardiola's patronage of Busquets. Busqs was pretty much invisible throughout the game and as i had suggested in the preview he was extraneous in attack and inefficient in defense. It took him about 30-35 mins to even understand what was the role he was supposed to play. He kept turning up in places where he was unnecessary whereas Keita when he came on ran straight into the box.

6. Yaya and Xavi put in a lot of hard work which must be appreciated. Alves was faced with too much cover but made a good contribution defending this time.

Did anyone notice btw that the Eto'o shot which hit the post deviated after hitting a blob of earth ?

A decent performance all in all and a good result to carry into the 2nd leg. A few more of these sort of performances and results at this stage of the season we will be irresistible towards the end.

Oh Valdes, can i say i rest my case. No? Let me make it one more time. If a GK is going to make errors like this it destroys the confidence of the defense and encourages the opposition who fancy a chance every time they are within range. A gk is someone who has to create an aura almost beyond his persona that plays on the mind of the opposition and makes seek perfection almost before they make an attempt on goal. To be fair VV did better later on and he did seem to have worked on his clearances but we were at our most vulnerable just after conceding the goal and its not fair that we should have to go through this every time.

Marc4barca said...

hey pep i made this to support your blog if u want it. if u want it sign up and i'll make u administrator. all members on this blog can join too. i have the link to this blog in the open message.. you should see it next to the barca pic at the top.

Marc4barca said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Audi fan said...

I'll start with this:
I don't get it when someone says you're not a "true Barca fan" if you criticize the team. So we should pretend we always like what we see from our team to be true supporters? Doesn't make sense to me. Besides, I like hearing opinions of others and seeing different perspectives. I'm not trying to take a dig at anyone here, just saying.

About the game, last week I predicted Juninho would score from a free kick and it came true.
I hope Iniesta comes back for the return leg. Also Abidal is clearly missed on the left side. Puyol, as wonderful and eager to serve the team as he always is, just doesn't make a great LB. Sylvinho is an attacking player and with Alves attacking on the right that won't work in the CL.

I say Pep should try Caseres in that position against Atletico and rest one of the three (Puyol,Marq,Piq).

noubarca said...

I hope all the Anons wouldnt be seen a "NOUBARC".

As 4 d game, i enjoyed it. there are no pushovers. Lyon are a good team and they showed it. I hope we beat thme when they visit.
hey hold on the word verification here is " phoor".. is pep trying to say we were "poor?" lol

pep said...

@Marc4barca:

mail me at " fcbtransfers [at] yahoo.com ", will get back to you later this week!

fcbee said...

Good result in the end. But we'll have to pick things up. If we would have drawn against another team, we could have been out already.

Giuly said before the game: 0-1 or 1-1 in Lyon but Barça will crash them at home. So far, he's right... ;)

Ramzi said...

The result is good; A draw with one away goal is a very good platform for the second leg.
Regardless of pre-game warm up, Lyon is a good team and Lyon fans must keep their head high for a great performance where they were a better team in most of the game periods.

We will go further in the Competition, It will not be easy for Lyon to win in Catalonia, I will not go for detailed analysis about the game, you guys already did. So i will only discuss three topics that always take place recently "fatigue, Squad quality and depth, and living examples of what I mentioned before about what we need to upgrade to hope hunting the title"

No need to panic, its a good sign that the team win even while passing through a bad period. Something we missed in recent seasons. So I am as calm as I was in January, and as excited about the season as I was when it started. Still, there are always things to improve, in the team and in the way we evaluate it.

We need to stop promoting our guys as sissies! We are still in February and if the players knees started to shake because of fatigue then how will it be in the last 100 Meters in the season. There are other clubs playing football and if you browse all around, Barcelona is the team use the “Fatigue” term mostly. Beside, how can we consider drop in form as a result of being tired when the team always performs better in the second half than the first half? We can be philosophical about it, but when it happens all the time and with all the come backs we witnessed, there has to be some other more realistic reasons than feeling pity of how tired the guys are. Fitness level is not THE deciding factor, not yet anyway.

Last night, I was watching Barcelona game and recording Man Utd on the DVD, but only for the first 15 Minutes. Then I switched to watched Man Utd then watched the recorded Barcelona game later on. Don’t blame me; I wanted a more mature game to watch live.

Here a benchmarking that may be little useful:

Man Utd were outstanding, their coach made them unbeatable in this game. “Special one” who? Are you kidding me! He was outclassed, smoked, crushed by a genius tactical approach. Man Utd players were like horses in the game as well, it felt as if its their first game of the season, why weren’t they tired? Played fewer games? Have more depth?

Here I drop some Calculations based on data from Espn about Barcelona and Man Utd players’ status (plus Cup selections of Barcelona from pep blog). You can have more data there about who played in every game if needed. But this is a list of 13 players we will not argue that they are the skeleton of each of the two teams, and the number of games each of the players started in all competitions so far. They might not finish every game they started, but they also played games they didn’t start so its in a way balanced enough for a general conclusion.

Man Utd (Premier league +Carling + CL + FIFA Clubs world Cup)

Nemanja Vidic =31
Dimitar Berbatov =24
Cristiano Ronaldo =29
Rio Ferdinand = 27
Patrice Evra = 23
Michael Carrick = 20
Darren Fletcher =21
Wayne Rooney = 23
Ji-Sung Park = 18
Carlos Tevez = 22
John O’Shea = 22
Ryan Giggs = 15
Paul Scholes =12

One player played less than15 games (Scholes), 3 players played 15 to 20 games, 6 players played 20 to 25 games, 3 players played more than 25 games


Players selected in the league already, 20 Players:

Nemanja Vidic, Dimitar Berbatov, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Wayne Rooney, Ji-Sung Park, Carlos Tevez, John O’Shea, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Rafael, Jonathan Evans, Anderson, Wes Brown, Nani, Owen Hargreaves.

Fraizer Campbell Started one game before moving to Tottenham

Barcelona: League +Cup +CL

Xavi = 28
Samuel Eto’o = 24
Daniel Alves = 32
Eric Abidal = 20
Carles Puyol 19 4 3 = 26
Thierry Henry = 23
Lionel Messi = 24
Gerard Pique = 25
Gnegneri Yaya Toure = 22
Rafael Márquez = 23
Andrés Iniesta = 19
Seydou Keita = 17
Sergi Busquets = 21

3 players played 15 to 20 games, 7 players played 20 to 25 games, 3 players played More than 25 games.

Played selected (played) in the league already, 20 players:

Xavi, Samuel Eto’o, Daniel Alves, Eric Abidal, Carles Puyol, Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Gnegneri Yaya Toure, Rafael Márquez, Andrés Iniesta, Seydou Keita, Sergi Busquets, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Alexander Hleb, Martín Cáceres, Víctor Sánchez, Sylvinho(1 game), Bojan Krkic, Pedrito.

Based on that, I can’t see where Barcelona players were over-selected/used compared to Man Utd. Man Utd had more intensive weeks to go through (playing midweek delayed league games). They had to travel to another planet to play in the FIFA Cup world cup, and their CL group was more exhausting than ours. Yet they are fresher? If that’s true, then I will point a finger toward Pre-season preparations, but I think it’s more a mental thing, so I will point a finger toward that department in Pep staff instead. But again I think its not the case.

Sir Alex needed some years before earning the first Title for Man Utd. Pep is running for the first title in his first year (Regardless of the teams each coach inherited). So its not fair to be over critic and demand perfection from a coach who is tackling his first season on the highest level as a coach. We need to praise his objectivity for understanding that CL may not be a hunt for him in the first season even though he will try his best to win it. That’s one of the reasons why he didn’t drop the cup. And now its more obvious how smart he was selecting his realistic targets.

There are still the little things needed to have the “Know how” in order to win Champions’ league. Especially in this football cycle where lot of the big clubs are passing through a good cycle, unlike the previous situation when Monaco played Porto on the final.

Some little things:
I know I need to brief so I will only say, if Sir Alex was the guy in France last night:

1) He will make sure to keep winning cards on the bench, because its more important in an away game to do so than to throw everyone on the field and pray. I am an old follower of the old guy and he always does so. I can insure you that he would have at least kept either Henry or Eto’o on the bench, started a forth midfielder instead with a striker and a Messi. He knows in the CL it’s not Attack, attack and then Attack. It’s the midfield game, dominate it and feel no worries. Against Inter, He played a modifiable 4-2-3-1 that turn to 4-1(Carrick)-4-1 and was able (with no surprise) to generate more threat than Barcelona did playing the 4-3-3 against a club of less defensive quality like Lyon. Is it the first time I say it’s not the number of forwards that make you dangerous?

2) When you are 1-1 in an away game, and it’s the last 5 minutes, and you are already satisfied with the result, and you have two more substitutions in hand, USE THEM! Is it a silly remark? Well that kind of numerous details decide collectively if you are a team to compete for a title or a team that can actually win. Watch the last minutes of the game where the ball was all in our half.

There are Facts that we need to start to take them as they are:

- Henry is a threat when he gets into the box, on the flank as a pure wing he is not useful and never been. If you can’t create a system to make him move into the box more often then don’t start him. A wing need to be able to smoke his marker in a 1×1 battle cutting into the box and creating chaos, Iniesta do it, Henry cant. He is the perfect guy on the left WHEN he plays as a fake wing/Virtual striker.

- Puyol is a perfect third CB when Abidal is not there. But he is NOT a left back. Against espanyol we used Puyol to do Sylvinho role. Against Lyon he moved forward more than Abidal originally does.

- Barcelona style suck lot of energy, no depth squad can give you enough fuel to keep playing that way all the time, you need to be more selective in the games, when to play attractive high pressure possession game and when to play more tactical and direct tactics. The Champions’ league is not a show business, its a Mission to make possible.

- To go far in the CL we need to be able to slowdown the opponents counters, filling the space behind our offense operation Zone. Whenever we lose the ball the opponent counters seems to be so fast as if sucked through a Vacuum tunnel from the first edge (opponent box) to the other edge striking our defense. One Yaya to act as a tunnel cork is not enough, and when he join the party upfront then even that Tinny cork vanish.

I still hope we improve and that Pep and Co will be fast learners. But that’s more an emotional hope, while in the back of my head I know, our realistic hunts for this year are the League, and the cup.

Nico said...

We won the CL 3 years ago because we were 2 times better than any other team, Valdes was the same "idiot" as he is now.
I can't understand why you keep defending this guy! Can't you see that his unstable? Do you feel safe with him under the post? Honestly tell me.

kamikaze kontiki said...

*(chuckles)* .. thats almost a post Ramzi.

Good point though, there are other teams playing as many matches as us with as many players in the squad. Guess we are a little extra sympathetic though because of the high standard of play we saw earlier in the season.

Toure doesn't look too tired, Alves maybe a little, Henry should be more fresh, he has had a few breaks since Iniesta returned, Busquets in his first season should be too exuberant to complain, Eto'o doesn't seem tired either, he has other problems.

Xavi and Alves are probably the players most affected. The stats dont show that Xavi has probably started the last 4-5 matches and played all 90 mins and he has to cover a lot of ground in each match. If we just had a player who could fill in for him I dont think we could make the excuse of fatigue anymore.

pep said...

Ca, I make a post of that, Ramzi?

Ramzi said...

hehe I just had no time to do the Make ups to turn this to a post, I am at the office -so it was more a fast primary analysis-and it will be a late meal to be eaten cold after few hours, so I just dropped it here.But pep, if you want me hunted by fans, do what it suits u:)

Kamikaze, we can play without Xavi/Alves, Xavi only played once in the cup and we outclassed Atletico without him.

When Man Utd Rotates, they change the system a little to fit the names selected. When we rotate we want players to perform identical missions, thats what make the deference.

t.ball6 said...

i think it would be very useful for barca to also learn another formation, at least a little
obvioiusly these teams have better players, who can defend henry/messi, at least sometimes. With some of our attack taken away, these teams then counterattack very quickly
i wish i could use one one of ramzi's cool animations to show you this
but the reason they can counter so quickly is they have so much space on the sides of midfield, as our midfielders stick to the cente ras they should
now i realize that it is very hard to play more than one formation well, but i think it is something to look into, because as these teams get better, they will exploit us more effectively
as an example, man u
they play who knows how many formations
theyve even played with no forwaards, just soemthing to look into though

pep said...

I like fast primary analysis without make-ups, so prepare to be hunted down, Ramzi!

And you should now this blog isn't about the lay-out... at all! ;)

kamikaze kontiki said...

True Ramzi, I have started to despair of Guardiola ever trying anything different. We replace Hleb with Messi and expect him to do the same as Messi, Xavi with Gudjohnsen and are surprised when the distribution is poor.

Bojan is not used enough and Henry who can provide a variation in our attack by playing center isn't selected for that position either. I really want to see Messi switch to the left once(maybe with Henry center), Pep has him come center but not to the left. If Iniesta did such a great job on LW can't Messi do so as well ?

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