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Thread: "We have most posession and most chances so we're the best" complacency

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    "We have most posession and most chances so we're the best" complacency

    Hello guys, this is my first real expression of opinion on this forum. It's an attempted constructive review of the flaws our team has nowadays, and why the ludicrousness (chance wasting) of the two chelsea ties is not merely down to bad luck, and happened over the two clasicos in these semi-finals too. Watching the game today, I know i should have been frustrated. I honestly know i should. 4 penalty appeals, at least two of them crystal clear, all rejected (as opposed to their one claim which they were given). Them scoring 4 goals having had a total of 2 real chances discounting a dumb action by pique and two corners as chances, while we fluffed a gazillion of chances. But i couldn't help but laugh. It was the same old tune, and i've gotten so used to it now, that i honestly couldn't help but laugh at its ridiculousness. It was the bad luck from the chelsea games all over again, but this time with the opposition having a 12th player in Mallenco, as well as being way better. At 0-2 i stopped laughing as it was kind of an "ouch" moment, but i wasn't really feeling down despite that. But at 0-3, whilst i still didn't feel sad or frustrated, i realized that this is unacceptable for a team with such a blessed, once in a generation group of players. And it isn't a coincidence that this happens again and again for barca, no matter how unlucky it was.

    When Bayern lost the champions league final last may, i heard people here calling them chokers etc. While it sounded hypocritical to brand them chokers while our own dear Barca had merely been unlucky at the same time, i felt it was somewhat justified, since their german contigent have the three last international international tournaments despite their amazing depth of talent. Barca's counterpart counterpart, however, won those three tournaments. But look at them this season. Heynckes toughed them up, made them cut out the mistakes (mainly the defensive ones), and they're now an unstoppable machine. They play well, but more than that, they're professional, clinical, and are able to do their job without much fuzz. Look at the arsenal game. They didn't play particularly well, but they took their chances whilst limiting arsenal's. Heynckes have made them a rigid, mistake-free unit that seizes its opportunity to strike. We, however, are going in the opposite direction.

    I feel like it's somewhat pep's fault. As much as i love and adore the guy, he might have been too extreme with his philosophy. We went from having the majority of the posession, creating simple chances and putting them away with simple finishes (2008-2009), to having buttloads of posession, tons of complicated half-chances that we won't put away because we overcomplicate the finishes. I completely agree with the pilosophy that football can be art and it's played for the spectators, and therefore should be played as so. But there's a line between playing fantastic 1-2s, combination and great passing based football, to trying to put the ball into the net by doing three fucking pirouettes in the process. I mean, look at xavi. I know he's regressed a lot as a footballer since 2010, as sad as it makes me. But I don't believe he's completely lost his vision and ability to give long throughballs. Partly so, probably, but i believe a part of the problem also is that he was instructed to attempt them less in order to maintain a higher posession rate. Sure, it was also partly because of messi taking up a central role and therefore also assuming some of the throughball-duty. But don't tell me the difference between their throughballs is so high that xavi just passes to messi so he can attempt it even when he's himself in a much better position.

    Another problem is that the wingers have been shifted more and more wide, to provide a reliable passing outlet, making it easier to maintain posession. Sure, that's all good, but the problem is when they're essentially just secondary fullbacks, used merely for their width and tracking back. I do not agree with people suggesting, for instance, to put messi back on the right, and someone else (villa, in most cases) in the center. Our non-messi forwards are fluffing chances left, right, and you guessed it, center. Their positioning doesn't matter. Their role in the team, however, does. More and more, they're just used to defend and give messi space so he can do his thing. If they're given so little goal scoring responsibility, why would they score? After all, messi is the scorer. They're just his whipping boys. Humans step up when given greater responsibility. Be it parenthood, moving out from your parents house, or getting promoted. It applies to football too, with isco post-cazorla and SES post-zlatan as good examples.

    I think, in pep's gradual change of the system from a very technical, but yet very balanced system, to an 80 % posession, 1.72 height limit system, he went too far. I believe 2010-2011 was the perfect balance. We have to try to get back to that system somehow. Neymar could be a good start to that, but we have to give him freedom, while limiting some of messi's. No, not because neymar is remotely close to messi or even fit to wipe his boots. But because when teams triple up on messi, we're toothless. Also, we need to get rid of alexis. The entire season, i've been thinking "well, he might fuck up a buttload of chances, but at least he's getting em, indicating his movement is awesome". But seeing him not able to seize them, he's just too weak mentally. He might get better, but if we're to "revolutionize" the system backwards, we need wingers who can score. If he plays, scuffs 2-3 chances, and messi picks up his slack and scores 2, the players mindsets won't change and they'll coninue to pass to messi all the time. In a way, i gave up on sanchez today and i am now portraiting him as the scapegoat of our flaws as a team because he is the player who epitomizes it best, and he's the player who in my mind is most likely to prevent a change, even though he didn't play.

    As for the rest of the team, I honestly think we need to drop two players. Them being dani and xavi. Don't get me wrong, I love both guys and know that they've probably been the two most important reasons for our success in recent seasons after messi. But dani leaves huge space behind him, as seen with ramires given acres of space last season when crossing for drogba's winner at the bridge. It also happened again today on their 2nd goal. A quick break, and dani was caught chasing. It worked when we had abi who was essentially a third CB. But with alba, as solid defensively as he is, he is just a fullback. He defends fantastically against his opposing winger. When it comes to cutting in-field and cleaning up after the CBs, he's got nothing on abi. We need to realize this. We can't continue playing the same way on the right side when we lost abi, as our defense has gone downhill since. If anything, we can keep dani in our first XI, but just tell him to stop pushing so high, as he is still a damn fine defender (when he doesn't double up and leave his man free, that is, but i somehow believe that's tactics, as dani can't be stupid enough to keep repeating that on purpose..) We should utilize alba more as an attacking outlet, firstly because he manages to restrain himself when it comes to attacking, but also because he is so fast that he isn't caught out nearly as much as dani is. He might not have the same combinations with our forwards, or the same crosses as dani on his good days, but I feel we would be much more solid defensively, as we saw against RM in the first leg when dani focused on defending.

    As for xavi, i fear he's just been too convinced of the extreme philisophy of pep. He's not playing with any urgency anymore (although, it's probably also because he's getting older, unfortunately ) Teams wait patiently in his zone to snap up the ball and break at us at speed. I feel xavi doesn't fit in in our high risk/high reward system anymore (we put our team high so we win the ball back easier = high reward, higher susceptability to counters = high risk). He doesn't minimize the risk as good as he used to before, since he can't defend the ball and maintain posession as good as before. At the same time, he doesn't contribute to the high reward factor either, as he usually just makes a safe pass, putting the onus on his team mates to create something. Him being so patient can be a good thing in some cases, but it's usually not anymore. Him still being much safer in posession than cesc is also a plus, but he's rapidly losing that perk too. I honestly feel it's time to have thiago step up and bring us that extra urgency to create something from midfield.

    I feel that this forum in many ways is divided in two camps. The "old guard" that don't want changes, and says "lol you're clueless, one loss and you want to change all that". I'm probably going to get bashed by some of you for this post. The other camp is the "fanboys" who want tons of changes, with 10 new players coming in every transfer window. You probably think I'm suggesting too little change. But either way, I'm trying to look at this in the best way i can, thinking of what would be the best for our team both presently as well as long-term. I'd love to hear what you agree/disagree with in my post <3

    TL;DR: we're complacent, too much emphasis on posession over clinicality (? ). Messi-dependencia due to messi given so much responsibility, not because the other forwards suck. Should try to change back to 10/11 system, with messi centrally as the main guy, but still good balance. Focus on posession and technical play, but not to the extreme that we forget how to score easy goals. Should change players too, primarily a forward deemed good enough to share responsibility with messi (neymar?), xavi for thiago, dani for montoya, or simply have him stop attacking so much, if he can do that.
    Last edited by Bossquets; 26th February 2013 at 11:25 PM.

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    Bojan's Avatar
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    I don't think Xavi and Dani are cause of our problems but I do agree to what you said that both have been off and that we were exposed due to them missing when defending.
    But look at Juve. They do pretty well with Pirlo, who's their main man. Then you have Bayern who play with 2 attacking full backs as well and still have the best defensive record in Europe.

    The management should have gotten a hint when Mou started to catch up on us in Clasicos or after Inter and Chelsea match. Pep got it I think and he resigned. Maybe because he saw the problem was too much to fix or he wasn't given the mandate to make a clearout (see Tello's agent rumour).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bojan View Post
    The management should have gotten a hint when Mou started to catch up on us in Clasicos or after Inter and Chelsea match. Pep got it I think and he resigned. Maybe because he saw the problem was too much to fix or he wasn't given the mandate to make a clearout (see Tello's agent rumour).
    Link about tello's agent rumour?
    Xavi's Cups

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    Noone knows if what he said was true. He basically said Pep wanted to get rid of Pique, Alves, Cesc and Villa.

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    All the above have given signs of a complacency or laziness (maybe villa less). Well for the last two it is an open debate.. For Alves and pique idt there are ever going anywhere.. At least untill they start sitting on the bench when they play badly..

    I still hold that Pep tried to overcome the 'catching up' thing by his devisings on the 3-4-3. He left and the experiment stayed unfinished.. Tito never trusted it.
    Tactics wise, Tito might take risks, use different formations e.t.c. but i feel right now that what is missing most is Pep's emblematic figure and psychological guidance. He is a psychological maestro, Tito cannot reach even close on that level
    Xavi's Cups

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    I think Pep was mixing tactics up each game to 'freshen' things up & stop the team getting complacent, i also think he took time off as he didn't want to leave & directly join a diff club. I think he was just being smart.

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    Well that's true and obvious, cause Pep's cool, and he knows stuff. Me and (I believe) a lot of Barca fans would be pissed of if he left directly to a diff club.
    Tito only knows stuff, but I don't have the same impression I had when Pep was here. Everything seemed so much more alive, than it is now.
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