Cruyff's Coner

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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:48 pm

5th of June Edition:

Guardiola’s team has surpassed all expectations these past two seasons. The next will even be harder, with Madrid again as its biggest rival.

Winning two major titles, of which one is the Champions League, and add to that a Copa final, in terms of performance, that is an excellent season. However in terms of their game, they [merely] ‘nearly’ achieved excellence. And it is not because of the number of games where they played at the level of the Champions League final, but for the impression they left behind. To me, they were better, stronger, a lot more solid, and a lot more competitive than their first two years with Guardiola.

There was no repeat of the triplete because they have to come up against a very strong Madrid, but along the way they left a lot of records such as the number of wins away from home, and the number of games unbeaten. Records that, in themselves, means nothing but enhances the reputation of this Guardiola side over its two predecessors, even more so than the one that won the treble and six-of-six side. With that said, how then do you improve on this present squad? Sign a few more or a lot more? What kind of signings? Starters or substitute players? Would you keep those that are already here and add to the squad? If so, if this [current] squad is seen as the core of the team, then no one will need to leave.

Even before the start of next season is upon us, we already know some of the things that await us. First off, the two legs of the Spanish Super Cup against Mourinho’s Madrid, which is certain to have nothing in common with the challenge that was posed by Athletic Bilbao or Sevilla before them. In the European Super Cup, Porto will be a lot better than the best version of Shakhtar Donetsk, and in December, they’ll have to make a long trip [to Japan] to play two Club World Cup matches. And as for the rest of the season, it’ll be just like this one: an unforgiving face-off with Real Madrid in the league, and in the semi-finals or final of the Copa, and more of the same in the Champions League. All these [demands] have to be taken into account.

We already have a [very good] team but Madrid is not that far behind them. While their off-field antics have left much to be desired, on it they keep on rising like foam: semi-finals of the Champions League, the Copa title, and more than worthy of second place in the league, only slipping up against Sporting and Zaragoza, but above all, preventing Barca from winning one of the two duels between them this season. In the league they are only going to meet two times next season but once again they will be decisive encounters.

A case for more core players

We all know upon reaching a certain stage of the season, within a span of three or four weeks, if all the pieces fall into place, this Barca team is going to play for everything, and [that is the time when] the team starts to slow down, not because of a drying up of ideas [to kill off matches] but of [a lack of] energy. As good as they are, if the same group of players are used without break, there will come a time when the number of games becomes a burden. And this is where we should go from having [just] 11 or 12 core players to 15 or 16. And that means bringing in key players. Not only to increase the competitiveness of those already in the team but also to make up for whatever shortfall you have during that period: to guarantee all the moving parts are well oiled, and to be able to rest more than one [key player] without the overall quality of the team dropping.

What are the needs of the team then? One player for each department? Maybe we don’t have to. At the back, we have found out that Mascherano and Abidal can play as centre-backs. It is not their natural position but they have performed well and are happy just to play and participate. And Puyol is expected to rid of his right knee problem. If you add in Fontas and Pique the list that can play in central defence is long. What about at the front? It is not going to be easy to find anyone the likes of Messi in your ranks. That’s because he has everything, he is just way up there. And no one can match the Argentinean. For no matter how good they are they will fail [to fill in his shoes]. What was a thorn [on Guardiola’s side] (Ibrahimovic) can now be seen as a lesson learned. Midfielders? If the choice is Cesc, a likely starter, then there will be four of them (Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc) for three places, which also means everyone gets to play a lot of games. Mascherano? He’s the lucky one: he gets to play in two departments.

The key question: What if the budget cannot provide for all that the coach wants? Use the players that you raised yourself. The academy serves as fodder for the first team. Any surplus to requirement can also be used to raise cash. Sell ​​a couple. Those that you hardly see play. And don’t use them as bargaining chips: sell them outright to get the most benefit. Except that is for Barca B players who have yet to make their first team debut. Make sure to add a buy-back option in the deal. Over time they will have matured and become experienced players, and that is the time when you will reap the benefits. And finally, don’t ever sell those that are unique in their position (such as Deulofeu, a pure striker). But with the number of midfielders out there [in the academy], we clearly have no room for all of them [in the first team].
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Post by FennecFox7 Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:08 pm

Just want to add, he is extremely smart football wise, but he can be a troll in interviews.




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Read the whole thing btw Very Happy
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Post by Blackmore. Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:46 pm

Good, but short read.
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Post by The Franchise Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:43 pm

Giggity5313 wrote:Just want to add, he is extremely smart football wise, but he can be a troll in interviews.




Cruyff's Coner  Cruyff205_adamdavy

Read the whole thing btw Very Happy

More often then not, people dont bother reading and then understanding what he is saying.

I have seen threads in your section blasting him for saying very normal and factually correct things.

Anyway, good read as always, he makes alot of sources for debate here in terms of the way to go to increase the number of core players.

I personally believe we need a centerback and a forward, it seems we instead are getting a midfielder and a forward..perhaps just a forward.

Not sure their roles and their place in the squad either.

To be honest, I worry about us in terms of transfers, we do some really retarded things at times.
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:57 pm

I think Cruyff's point of view as far as CBs is concerned is probably Guardiola's. We have not been linked with any defenders except for T. Silva (who we're linked with every year) and this is very telling to me. We're just not looking in the market for them, although I wish we were.

Our backline is simply too fragile at the moment. Puyol's recovery is not assured, Abidal's tumor could reappear, Masche is a good substitute if you can't prepare - but we can, Fontas still remains untested. Milito is rubbish and going. That leaves Pique and... ?
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:59 pm

Also about Cruyff being a 'troll' his comments sometimes piss Madrid fans off but that doesn't make them any less true. For example see the 'negative tactics' comment that attracted a lot of attention. I can see why you wouldn't want him saying that about your club, but it's a well-supported opinion.
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