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Thread: CL | Round 2: Sporting CP - FC Barcelona 0-1

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_bleed_blaugrana View Post
    It's simply the midfield.

    I understand the pessimism but I would say the team overall is playing better football than under Lucho. We just look nervy and we aren't necessarily taking all the chances we create. I'm hoping Dembele will help offensively too but I'd say we much stronger at the back with Nelson at RB and Umtiti in inspired form. He was arguably MotM for me.

    While Rakitic simply needs to go. Too. Many. Times. This dude turns the ball over with a sloppy final ball in an attack, trying to force a direct pass forward when it's not on. It's all on Iniesta at this point to create in middle 3rd and that cannot continue. On current form, Paulinho has looked better and surprisingly is linking up well with Messi.

    We just need another MF to step up right now and help Iniesta. Not sure how y'all saw it but we looked to be in the diamond tonight despite them displaying Iniesta on the LW. I actually don't mind it; similar to what Zidane is doing with Benz out with Isco but we should try Denis and Alena in that role, not Paulinho.

    I have some faith for our chances. Again despite a terrible window, at the very least we can really see who has it and who doesn't in MF. Raki, Denis and Gomes all need to show something this season or be swiftly moved on. The season is very young and who knows how things will play out down the line.
    It's the midfield but it's also the system itself. Bayern have the same problems as we do with completely different players. Better off-the-ball players upfront and a completely different midfield. Against top sides their midfield also can't create much and they cross the ball. This "position yourself as high as possible in the opponents half and slowly create through 10 defenders" tactic with anything less than Xavi, Iniesta, Alves in their primes turns to stale sideway passing until the opponent can quickly break and get easy 1-on-1s with the backline.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamDav1982 View Post
    Real played a similar way with Ronaldo and Bale up top away to Dortmund.

    The pace, movement and work rate of those two is light years ahead of Messi and Suarez. Ronaldo not always defensively but his work rate when Real have it is unreal to try and find space.

    Could maybe get away with Messi and another pacey work horse who will run in behind but even then dont think Messi suits it.

    Playing a front pair of Messi and Suarez wont work.

    Bale and Ronaldo led attack even with that Barca mid would have put 3/4 goals by Sporting tonight in my opinion.
    Not true. Dortmund played a high line and it suited real perfectly. It only took one ball to get past their defence. Sporting played with plenty behind the ball. Real would have had the same problems. I think real only beat them by a goal last year

  3. #123
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    You guys Barcelona is in big trouble this season.. watch.. this will definitely catch up to us.. definitely... watch... rakitic, Suarez, Pique, the bench just mediocre.. if we don't change our game play we'll be in big trouble.. in a couple of weeks we play Atletico madrid in their stadium..

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    Well, sure, I prefer the super-entertaining Barca, but that's just not going to happen 60 games a year, especially away CL games against a defensively very good Portuguese team.

    Both teams put in excellent defensive efforts. There were some very special defensive performances by Sporting players, against a Barca team that did look tired on offense. This was one of Barca's best defensive performances we will see this year, on a night when the team was obviously not feeling great.

    I have no idea why Valverde did not sub earlier, so many of his players were showing fatigue. This would have been an ideal game for more of Paulinho.

  5. #125
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    A lot of our pace and creativity upfront disintegrated with the Dembele injury. Those are the kid's two most valuable assets.

    We're VERY unlucky. Our September schedule has been pretty easy games and would have been the perfect time to integrate OD into the squad. But now our attack will likely suffer in the upcoming months without him and he will probably need time to integrate into the squad once he returns. This is, unfortunately, time that we don't have.
    Puyol #5

  6. #126
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    Well nothing but to put faith in the current system, our manager and players. I believe if we can act as a team, with confidence and heart, we can win trophies.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devils View Post
    A lot of our pace and creativity upfront disintegrated with the Dembele injury. Those are the kid's two most valuable assets.

    We're VERY unlucky. Our September schedule has been pretty easy games and would have been the perfect time to integrate OD into the squad. But now our attack will likely suffer in the upcoming months without him and he will probably need time to integrate into the squad once he returns. This is, unfortunately, time that we don't have.
    Come on Devils I know you LOVE Demebele but our pathetic showing yesterday had nothing to do with him, he is no way that important to us. You made it sound like he was Messi...

    We have had plenty of showings like this in the last coupe of seasons under Luis Enrique. It is down to the midfield and the front line being so slow, lethargic and static. We constantly complain about being crowded out by defenders and having no openings to capitalize on, but if our lazy-ass players just stand there like light poles and don't want to create those space and chances for themselves they have nobody to blame but themselves.
    Sóc Culer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luftstalag14 View Post
    Come on Devils I know you LOVE Demebele but our pathetic showing yesterday had nothing to do with him, he is no way that important to us. You made it sound like he was Messi...

    We have had plenty of showings like this in the last coupe of seasons under Luis Enrique. It is down to the midfield and the front line being so slow, lethargic and static. We constantly complain about being crowded out by defenders and having no openings to capitalize on, but if our lazy-ass players just stand there like light poles and don't want to create those space and chances for themselves they have nobody to blame but themselves.
    Missed Neymar massively yesterday for his pace, movement, creativity an work rate and Dembele closest thing in squad.

    Team are playing high lines as not scared of anyone getting in behind them. Messi gets less room and his movement is not great to open it up himself and when he does get on it there is no one running in behind bar Alba if he is far enough up the park.

    In theory Dembele means teams wont be so confident to defend that high line which gives Messi more options and space.

    More than ever I think against decent teams need the right players to get best out of Messi. He is easier to stop than in the past if thats not the case.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luftstalag14 View Post
    Come on Devils I know you LOVE Demebele but our pathetic showing yesterday had nothing to do with him, he is no way that important to us. You made it sound like he was Messi...

    We have had plenty of showings like this in the last coupe of seasons under Luis Enrique. It is down to the midfield and the front line being so slow, lethargic and static. We constantly complain about being crowded out by defenders and having no openings to capitalize on, but if our lazy-ass players just stand there like light poles and don't want to create those space and chances for themselves they have nobody to blame but themselves.
    Barca need an outlet to transition from midfield to attack and OD is the perfect player for that. Suarez absolutely cannot do that, big doubts over the quality of Deu and Vidal and Messi can when he has space, but in the Girona and Sporting matches he was completely marked out of the game.

    Neymar was that outlet for us in recent history helping us transition from mid to attack from wing play but he was super wasteful at times, especially last season. But we still NEED that kind of outlet in the team.

    I think we would perform much better if we had OD in the team and benched Raki in place of Roberto.
    Puyol #5

  10. #130
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    I concur. Barca looked laboured last night... Even when they had a fast break going they'd slow to a crawl.

    I'm also of the opinion that Valverde has tinkered too much with the formations and the players in both midfield and attack. It's nice to be flexible but he is tinkering as much as Klopp at Liverpool... From what I can see, Messi has zero faith in Deulofeu and rather looks for other passing options so maybe it's best at this stage for Messi to move back to the right wing with Suarez back at centre forward and Denis on the left wing.

    Other than that it is what it is at this stage... You're never going to be able to replace Xavi but a midfield general is required who can get in the box too and who isn't afraid to shoot from distance but I'm not aware of anyone with a profile capable of playing the Barca way.

    Other than a midfield general, Coutinho, if the price was better would have been a good signing because he is very creative and can play as both creative midfielder and forward. We'd have more options now...

  11. #131
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    This was a very poor game and there is much work ahead.

  12. #132
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    The way I see it, we lack speed and power. We are slow. Oddly, our defense is the best compartment in the team. Semedo, Umtiti, and even Alba are top players. Pique is having a period of bad form, but hopefully he wil come back, as will Suarez.

    So, our defense is a lot better than given credit for, and Valverde has worked well to fix the issues we have there. The midfield is failing us by allowing our opponents to have chances, but the defense is bailing us out by stopping a lot of attacks before they get to that point when only the keeper can save you. So, this is nice, but as a Barca fan, when the defense has to work too much, the other compartments are not doing the job right.

    Imo, we have 3 issues, and some of them are down to personnel (lack of), some or them are down to tactics, which aren't exactly spot on, and some of them are down to the motivational state of the team. Imo we have reached a point where we simply need to build a new team. Now I think we have started to do that, by adding Umtiti, Dembele, and Semedo, but the rate in which we do that is too slow, because everytime we signed a top young talent, we signed 1-2 players that didn't deliver, or aren't the profile we need. Which makes me think that even the good players we signed are pure luck. As far as midfield is concerned, the board, Segura, Robert Fernandes, they have no idea what is needed.

    Now, the parts that are down to Valverde are the last 2. Hunger to win, and tactics. So far, I've not been impressed with either. Doesn't look like that team is working hard enough to come back on top. This can improve with time, but if it doesn't improve, then it's hard for us to do anything, as long as we're playing against good or great teams who just want it more than us. At this rate, if we maintain this good, but not great effort, the only hope we have is to regularly beat the smaller - medium - good teams in La Liga, and take as much points as possible from the matches with the giants from Madrid, Real and Atletico. Because the way we're playing is just not good enough to beat the elite sides in a consistent manner. This is the first time in many years that i feel our peak level of play may just not be enough to beat some of the sides we face. And as if that's not worrying enough, we even have problems in accessing that level of play consistently.

    The tactics aspect is extremely important. First, what I'm seeing is way too closer to Lucho's Barcelona. I see a team that wants to be compact in defense, like most teams do. I don't see a team that shows desire to get the ball back at all times. I see a team that won't try to press and force teams back, because probably they don't have the drive to do it, except rarely, and they don't have the legs to do it anyway. Maybe we can pace ourselves in a way to show up with a high fitness level in the really important matches, and this is a thing we can learn from Madrid. How to pace yourself to arrive at the biggest occasions in the best shape. Last season we showed up for some huge games as if we were hungover from a massive party the night before the game. Unacceptable. The management team must make sure that the team shows up in the conditions that allow you to win a game. And that means 3 things. Right tactics, proper motivation and hunger to win the game, and good physical state. If you don't have these 3 fundamental things it's pointless to even talk about personnel. These basic things precede all kind of talk about individual quality of the players. You see Napoli for example having all these 3 things and losing vs Madrid because of the individual qualities of the players being higher in Madrid. Sarri for example gives Napoli all 3 things required for success. In Napoli's case, we can speak about personnel being the main issue. But in our case, we can't do that. We play worse than Napoli, with better players.

    So, I like and don't like Valverde. Like his style of a manager, quiet, hardworking, respectful, it shows class and that makes him likable imo. Very hard to hate. But I just dislike some of his ideas and doubt his ability to make this team deliver one great final season before it has to be rebuilt.
    Last edited by serghei; 28th September 2017 at 04:19 PM.

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursegor View Post
    It's the midfield but it's also the system itself. Bayern have the same problems as we do with completely different players. Better off-the-ball players upfront and a completely different midfield. Against top sides their midfield also can't create much and they cross the ball. This "position yourself as high as possible in the opponents half and slowly create through 10 defenders" tactic with anything less than Xavi, Iniesta, Alves in their primes turns to stale sideway passing until the opponent can quickly break and get easy 1-on-1s with the backline.
    I think the fundamental thing is to move more. The less you move, the easier it is for an opponent to block you. And the only way you can get past that opponent is to try to solve 1 vs 1 duels. The key here is to move the other team around and and bring more players closer to the ball. You won't move them around as well if only the ball does the moving and the players stay pretty much in their more or less fixed positions. Valverde is a lot less fluid than I thoght so far, but maybe he will realise that he needs to get rid of the stiff players and bring players in midfield who are mobile enough, and smart enough to bring some fluidity in our game.
    Last edited by serghei; 28th September 2017 at 04:33 PM.

  14. #134
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    The problem is not the system. Giving the players we have, meaning 70% are mediocre and not even bench material in any top team, the only way is to give Messi complete freedom and to get him as close as possible to the front line. In summary the false 9 role (or close to it). In that regard suarez is a serious issue knowing that he doesnt provide the depth he used to, which is more important than goals.

    We lack quality players thats it. We are just paying the price for garbage mercatos for more than 4 years.
    Last edited by gatsu; 28th September 2017 at 11:17 PM.

  15. #135
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    Valverde hasn't inherited an easy job but getting Messi in the False 9 role is the one thing he got right as far as I'm concerned, but without Dembele on the right wing and Suarez only occupying the half space on the left, it's left to Alba to provide the width on the left. It will soon be too predictable if it hasn't already...

    I honestly feel, with the players we have, that in Dembele's absence Messi should revert to the right wing position with Suarez as centre forward and Denis as left wing, but this also exposes us to fast counter attacks with Messi's tendency to drift into the half space and centre. Lucho's conundrum all over again which would see Barca play a 3-4-3 formation to gain defensive balance in midfield...

    Dembele's injury has really put a halt on any kind of long term system being built. Deulofeu and Vidal's decision making is just way too poor to play the role game in game out. They also average about 75% passing accuracy which is not good enough for Barcelona...