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Thread: The tragedy of the 2011/12 season

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    The tragedy of the 2011/12 season

    When you think about our club's glory years,2011/12 has a special place, at least for me. It was the fourth and last year of Pep. It was the year Messi scored 73 goals(a world record to this date). It came after possibly the best 3 year span in the history of club football(2008 to 2011) and immediately after arguably the best Barca side ever(2010/11).

    Things were looking bright for our team during the summer of 2011,as our core was still relatively young(Xavi 31,Iniesta 27,Messi 24 etc) and we made two big transfers to strengthen our admittedly relatively not really deep squad(Fabregas:one of the best midfielders in Europe and Alexis:one of the best young prospects in the world).

    Hopes for a UCL repeat and a La Liga 4 peat were really high.

    However,we all know the story. A number of factors prevented the team from achieving its goals:

    -INJURIES.Many players missed big parts of the season,especially David Villa,who I'll admit was not world-class in 2010/11,but still pretty good.I remember vividly many matches we had to play with Cuenca and/or Tello up front.

    -Physical and mental fatigue. It is really difficult to obtain continuous success in team sports. No team has won 4 titles back to back in Spain or England in recent memory.

    -Failed transfers. Cesc never found a role in the team. Alexis was pretty mediocre up front. We also failed to strengthen our team in the backline or buy a proper striker.

    -Opponents got better. Real Madrid that year was simply put unplayable. They gained 100 points(joint record) and still hold the record for the best attack in La Liga history iirc. They were out for blood. While Barca surprised everyone in 2008/09 with their modern and fluid style of play,many top teams had learned to counter us by 2012. For example,Chelsea perfected the parked bus tactic.

    -Pep. I think that after those 3 phenomenal years, Pep overestimated our capabilities. He overcomplicated things at times,for example trying to play a 3-4-3 in many games. Maybe if he was a little more pragmatic instead of trying to achieve the ideal total football style,maybe the results would be different.

    -Luck.We were unlucky to score only 2 goals against Chelsea in two matches. But also...

    -We choked. I think there's no other way around it. At the end of the season we played 3 consecutive really important games. Chelsea away- Real at home- Chelsea at home. The result? 2 losses and one draw. Messi for example was not particularly good during those matches,especially in comparison to his GOAT form during the rest of the season.

    CONCLUSION

    In conclusion, I think that my feelings for this team are mixed. We played mostly great football,Messi was in alien mode etc...But one cannot help but think what we could have achieved in a parallel reality....Maybe it was just a part of a natural circle,maybe it was bad luck...But I think that we blew our greatest chance to win back to back UCLs(well in 2010 we were better,but I think that in the end it was all worth it because it fueled our 2010/11 season.)

    Thoughts?

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    that 2012 chelsea game was karma biting us back from the 2009 game where we should have been knocked out

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    When Messi missed that penalty I knew it was over.
    Se Queda

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard.H View Post
    When Messi missed that penalty I knew it was over.
    that miss still haunts me to this day. i remember exactly how sunken i felt today still

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    Oooh dont remember me at that season, in the first half people said barca will win again Cl, we were terrific. Messi was incredible against chelsea but hit two times the post. La liga lost to Real madrid and at the end we won only copa. Then Portugal lost in semifinal Euro12 - i dont like that season.

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    Do you guys think we were better in 2011/12 or in 2015/16?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bismp View Post
    -Failed transfers. Cesc never found a role in the team. Alexis was pretty mediocre up front. We also failed to strengthen our team in the backline or buy a proper striker.

    -Pep. I think that after those 3 phenomenal years, Pep overestimated our capabilities. He overcomplicated things at times,for example trying to play a 3-4-3 in many games. Maybe if he was a little more pragmatic instead of trying to achieve the ideal total football style,maybe the results would be different.

    -Luck.We were unlucky to score only 2 goals against Chelsea in two matches. But also...

    -We choked. I think there's no other way around it. At the end of the season we played 3 consecutive really important games. Chelsea away- Real at home- Chelsea at home. The result? 2 losses and one draw. Messi for example was not particularly good during those matches,especially in comparison to his GOAT form during the rest of the season.

    CONCLUSION

    In conclusion, I think that my feelings for this team are mixed. We played mostly great football,Messi was in alien mode etc...But one cannot help but think what we could have achieved in a parallel reality....Maybe it was just a part of a natural circle,maybe it was bad luck...But I think that we blew our greatest chance to win back to back UCLs(well in 2010 we were better,but I think that in the end it was all worth it because it fueled our 2010/11 season.)

    Thoughts?
    In retrospect, my thoughts are the following:
    There was no way we could win that LaLiga in 2012. Real peaked immensely precisely the moment when teams had began finding ways of stealing us points, and precisely at the point when keeping winning after consecutive successes required other-worldly mental strength.
    It was inevitable, lawful outcome.

    BUT, the biggest regret is about CL.
    We all know (especially by now) that not the most consistent team wins CL. We couldn't be that consistent to win LaLiga again with 100+ points, but we could have easily won CL.
    We were still the best team overall, and Pep had began to devise alternative efficient ways of outsmarting opponents like his 3-4-3.

    It come down really IMO to two reasons: First of all was luck. It seemed that it was somehow written in the starts that a crappy Chelsea side would go all the way to vindicate and redeem their losses in crucial games between 04-09 when they arguable deserved at least one CL title.

    But, I wanna emphasize (agreeing with you) that CESC was the downfall of this team in many ways.
    And although Alexis had confidence problems and didn't provide all that was expected from him, he didn't mess up things when he played as Cesc did.
    Cesc didn't fit at all, didn't have the capabilities to play Pep football, and the tragedy was that Pep was trying somehow to shoehorn him in the side.
    He was making him play close to CF, or second false nine close to Messi, because he couldn't play any other role further behind without dismantling the passing game with his slowness in thinking and acting.

    Having said, I am still skeptical about the conditions under which his transfer took place (as all the transfers that summer), and how much input Pep had.
    We know by now how much the Rossel administration undermined Pep, and that undermining was a huge factor in Pep deciding to leave.
    We have also heard the leaks that Pep wanted a squad overhaul to continue, and reclaiming his authority. He wanted to discipline players like Pique and Alves -> he had seen already in embryo the self-entitled mentality that was about to grow and fully develop later in the Amigo culture.

    All in all, it's a pity, because we could have beaten that Bayern in the final, and that CL would have solidified Pep's legacy and contribution to the history of the sport.
    1992

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdy View Post
    In retrospect, my thoughts are the following:
    There was no way we could win that LaLiga in 2012. Real peaked immensely precisely the moment when teams had began finding ways of stealing us points, and precisely at the point when keeping winning after consecutive successes required other-worldly mental strength.
    It was inevitable, lawful outcome.

    BUT, the biggest regret is about CL.
    We all know (especially by now) that not the most consistent team wins CL. We couldn't be that consistent to win LaLiga again with 100+ points, but we could have easily won CL.
    We were still the best team overall, and Pep had began to devise alternative efficient ways of outsmarting opponents like his 3-4-3.

    It come down really IMO to two reasons: First of all was luck. It seemed that it was somehow written in the starts that a crappy Chelsea side would go all the way to vindicate and redeem their losses in crucial games between 04-09 when they arguable deserved at least one CL title.

    But, I wanna emphasize (agreeing with you) that CESC was the downfall of this team in many ways.
    And although Alexis had confidence problems and didn't provide all that was expected from him, he didn't mess up things when he played as Cesc did.
    Cesc didn't fit at all, didn't have the capabilities to play Pep football, and the tragedy was that Pep was trying somehow to shoehorn him in the side.
    He was making him play close to CF, or second false nine close to Messi, because he couldn't play any other role further behind without dismantling the passing game with his slowness in thinking and acting.

    Having said, I am still skeptical about the conditions under which his transfer took place (as all the transfers that summer), and how much input Pep had.
    We know by now how much the Rossel administration undermined Pep, and that undermining was a huge factor in Pep deciding to leave.
    We have also heard the leaks that Pep wanted a squad overhaul to continue, and reclaiming his authority. He wanted to discipline players like Pique and Alves -> he had seen already in embryo the self-entitled mentality that was about to grow and fully develop later in the Amigo culture.

    All in all, it's a pity, because we could have beaten that Bayern in the final, and that CL would have solidified Pep's legacy and contribution to the history of the sport.
    Great post,I agree with most things you said. Maybe Cesc was a wrong "Galactico-like" transfer by Rossell,but Pep admittedly had a history of bad transfers with us,so I don't rule out the possibility of him wanting us to evolve in a 3-4-3 system with 2 false 9s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bismp View Post
    Do you guys think we were better in 2011/12 or in 2015/16?
    that's a good question, but ill go with 2011/12 just because it was such a joy to see messi bag hattrics, pokers and doubles every weekend. most of our core players were firing on cylinders, it was pure spectacle. until the 2-2 Copa del Rey with real i believe also that we had beaten them like 5 games in a row or something. i remember because casillas said something in those days like "fuck me they have us fucked" (in spanish) after continuously losing to us

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    I don't have the clear memory of this season that some of you have, but I remember some of these games being among Barcelonas best.
    I was always against the transfer of Fabregas beforehand, but he positively surprised me when he came and his understanding with Messi was great, I thought they worked very well as a tandem, with the rest of the team more focused on control.

    But I got the impression that Pep was becoming very stressed, feeling the need to change stuff in order to be 'fresh', after being almost too good and winning too much before. I think they were all a bit tired and maybe not hungry enough when everything was to be decided in the spring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bismp View Post
    Do you guys think we were better in 2011/12 or in 2015/16?
    2015/16 with the peak MSN, classic Iniesta, so on. We were unstopable till the international break then everything went wrong. But still won domestic double.
    2011/12 with highest peak Messi that scored hattrick out of nothing and simply the best in football the world ever seen. But only one Copa del rey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vegitot View Post
    2015/16 with the peak MSN, classic Iniesta, so on. We were unstopable till the international break then everything went wrong. But still won domestic double.
    2011/12 with highest peak Messi that scored hattrick out of nothing and simply the best in football the world ever seen. But only one Copa del rey.
    Yeah but in 2016 we almost lost La Liga. If Real were more consistent like 2012,we would have probably lost in 2016 too. In fact it was almost laughable how badly the team imploded during the last few months. Although I would agree that November 2015 to March 2016 we saw the peak MSN and probably the strongest Barca ever,we were killing teams left and right scoring 4-5 goals with ease.

    On the other hand though,the 2012 Barca team was no joke either. Yes we were fairly inconsistent in comparison to the previous 2 seasons,but still got 90+ points. Real was just too good. In addition, we almost qualified to the UCL final,while in 2016 we got knocked out badly in the quarters.By Atletico of all teams. Again,it was almost comical that we got knocked out exactly the same way as 2014.

    So,all in all,I'll go with 2012 too myself.

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    That Chelsea game was surreal. The universe just didn't want the ball to go in.
    Zehahahahahahahaha


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    Good analysis and great read.

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    Good points. A little bit off-topic but since I've been watching Barca (2004) there are two seasons which were quite painful to me. First 11/12 and then 18/19.