Make no mistake Barcelona is one of my favourite teams; Tottenham Hotspurs and Jamaica in no particular order are the other two.
I pull from a previous post:
'I am actually getting frustrated saying Barca can't lose, pretty much like me getting tired of Bolt winning. As much as we like see both winning, it is not good for the sport. I am getting to the point where I want to see them lose because they are just too dominant.'
Oh how these words have come to past for Barcelona. Taking nothing from AC Milan or Real Madrid who played clinical, well executed games, Barcelona were far from their best.
Pulling also from a previous post, remember Barca's defence line is also Spain's defence line:
'Spain knows their defence line can't even walk fast, so they don't allow teams to test their speed (they would fail that test every time), hence them keeping the ball for long periods'
Barcelona was exposed badly today by Real Madrid; just ask Puyol. Real Madrid's speed caused constant problems and their confidence grew with every possession, hence the victory margin of 3 goals to 1. Running directly at Barcelona's backline (when you get the chance) and the diagonal passes behind Puyol and Pique will always be to their detriment. Holland did this constantly in the 2010 World Cup Final but could not convert.
Teams, enjoy this while it lasts, because Barcelona will most definitely be addressing these issues. As the saying goes, 'if it ain't broke don't fix it', seems to be the approach Barcelona took. Well, it hath been broken with two humiliating defeats; with one in front of their home crowd at Camp Nou.
Well done AC Milan and Real Madrid, you found the chink in the Barcelona armour; their lack of speed in defence and the central midfield.
The health of the Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova who is in the USA receiving treatment for an illness, may have also brought on some emotional weakness to the team. The utterances of club president Sandro Rossell may also give some insight to Barcelona's current lack of form:
"His (Villanova) health is the most important thing. It takes priority, it's more important than tonight's match or tomorrow's titles", he declared. "This team deserves to be believed in. They've been together for four and a half years and in football it's impossible to win everything. I know it's difficult, but we can't forget what they've done", he said - www.fcbarcelona.com
This may be an opportune time now for the second tier players on the Barcelona team to stake their claim for a first team place ahead of next year's World Cup.
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© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved
DisclaimerAll the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.