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Post by free_cat Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:00 am

@dnmac4 wrote:
@free_cat wrote:
@dnmac4 wrote:Today highlights why I have been yelling and screaming about us getting Fab. I have never seen our midfield get bossed like that since Pep took over.

Thiago is a wonderful player but he is just not ready to control the midfield against premium competition.

I will say it again, I like Thiago but scoring some goals in pre-season and under 21 tournament's is not the same as playing Madrid away from Camp Nou. I just think Fab would have settled the midfield and we wouldn't have been outshot 20-5 or whatever it was.

Pray Xavi does not pick up a long term injury.

Please don't kill me, like I said I like Thiago, but Cesc is just a much better player right now.


I didn't like Thiago today, but your analysis is completely wrong.

Thiago barely touched the ball because we couldn't bring it forward from the defence. Why? Because Keita was playing in Busi's role.

We can agree to disagree but we have played with tons of different makeshift back line's over the last two years and nothing has ever happened like tonight. Also, if you want to blame Keita thats fine too but again if Fab was there he could have controlled getting the ball out of the back and not Keita.

I'm just making a point that Fab has a place on this team and is needed. Also to be fair I don't think it was all on Thiago or Keita as it was a team effort to look that bad but when we did get it out of the back we had no clue what to do with it and couldn't hold posession. With Iniesta, Fab and Keita running the midfield I think we look a lot better then Thiago, Iniesta and Keita. Just my opinion.

I couldn't count a single time Keita received the ball under pressure and move it forward to thiago.


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Post by free_cat Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:03 am

Thiago was playing very good at the second half, when he was subbed. He was nervous at the begining and Keita didn't help him as he was completely unable to move the ball from the back to the midfield.
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Post by Dnmac4 Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:06 am

@free_cat wrote:
@dnmac4 wrote:
@free_cat wrote:
@dnmac4 wrote:Today highlights why I have been yelling and screaming about us getting Fab. I have never seen our midfield get bossed like that since Pep took over.

Thiago is a wonderful player but he is just not ready to control the midfield against premium competition.

I will say it again, I like Thiago but scoring some goals in pre-season and under 21 tournament's is not the same as playing Madrid away from Camp Nou. I just think Fab would have settled the midfield and we wouldn't have been outshot 20-5 or whatever it was.

Pray Xavi does not pick up a long term injury.

Please don't kill me, like I said I like Thiago, but Cesc is just a much better player right now.


I didn't like Thiago today, but your analysis is completely wrong.

Thiago barely touched the ball because we couldn't bring it forward from the defence. Why? Because Keita was playing in Busi's role.

We can agree to disagree but we have played with tons of different makeshift back line's over the last two years and nothing has ever happened like tonight. Also, if you want to blame Keita thats fine too but again if Fab was there he could have controlled getting the ball out of the back and not Keita.

I'm just making a point that Fab has a place on this team and is needed. Also to be fair I don't think it was all on Thiago or Keita as it was a team effort to look that bad but when we did get it out of the back we had no clue what to do with it and couldn't hold posession. With Iniesta, Fab and Keita running the midfield I think we look a lot better then Thiago, Iniesta and Keita. Just my opinion.

I couldn't count a single time Keita received the ball under pressure and move it forward to thiago.


I saw Thiago spray a lot of bad balls in the first 30 minutes and he wasn't alone, Keita did too. Also, when Xavi is in the game he will drop back deep and help bring the ball up when we (Keita) are in trouble. Thiago isn't comfortable enough yet to do that and it's understandable.

Also, Thiago had touches in the first half from Keita or not so I don't know why your insisting the midfield didn't touch the ball.
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Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:07 am

omarish wrote:Will Busquets miss the Camp Nou game? You clearly missed him and Xavi. (mostly Xavi becouse I felt like Thiago didn't do his role properly)

I think thats a bit unfair,one of the reasons Xavi and Iniesta are so good is because of Busquets and Pique behind them feeding them passes to then in turn to feed the strikers...

This did'nt happen tonight i think its unfair to judge Thiago tonight with Keita and Mascherano feeding him lol.
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Post by Albiceleste Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:07 am

Thiago had a couple of brilliant plays but wasn't too great overall, he's not ready yet, he needs to get minutes this season and I believe next season he will be prepared.

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Post by the xcx Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:17 am

It will be exciting match in Camp Nou, but beware we have our own Messi.
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Post by Khaled Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:54 am

@ChollaVille wrote:Wthout 5 players from starting 11 (Puyol, Pique, Busquets, Xavi, Pedro) we had lead.
Biggest problem is this:

Shots
Real Madrid (9+5) : Barca (3+2)

We were not playing good, but it is good result. I hope that Pique, Xavi and Busi will start in second leg.

Sanchez and Mascherano were good.
Villa and Messi showed that they are world class.
Abidal had some problems, Alves made some mistakes.
Thiago needs more time.

Real Madrid played in full strenght, and they played together in pre season.
If this is the best from Real Madrid... Malaga is favourite for 2nd spot LOL Twisted Evil

This Smile thx chollaville Smile
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Post by ChollaVille Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:30 am

We were missing Busi, he is POSSESSION, he slows down tempo, and keeps ball. He know when to pass back to defense, when to pass to Xavi, Iniesta or Messi and when to keep ball and force foul.

Keita can not play DM in Barca, he is not such player.

For second leg:
- - - - Villa - Messi - Pedro
- - - - Iniesta - Busi - Xavi
Abidal - Masche - Pique - Alves
- - - - - - - - -Valdes

Use Alexis sa impact player, but sub Pedro. Pedro should run and run and run to tire defenders, then fresh Alexis will destroy Marcelo.
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Post by alexjanosik Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:59 am

I think its unfair to criticize Thiago based on this match.
Madrid are in supreme physical shape and almost at full fitness and that was evident watching the match.
While our payers have had no pre season(the main players that is) and are nowhere near peak fitnes.
We would have struggled irrespective of who was on the field.
Am I supposed to believe that with Fab on the pitch we would have dominated under the same circumstances.
Please,the guy is famous for doing the Houdini act everytime he faces a big team.

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Post by jibers Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:22 am

Well played today guys, even with lack of fitness and sharpness and playing in the barn, you still managed to draw. La liga is going to be very interesting this season. I mean the FACT is, Madrid played you guys off the park and didn't win, I would be happy if I was as Barca fan. That means that even at your worst, you can still match Madrid. Barca are so different when Xavi, busquets and pique don't play.
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Post by kiranr Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:34 am

Real Madrid were frighteningly good yesterday although their finishing were woeful. They created atleast 6-7 great goal scoring chances and failed to put them away.

I hope we become relatively prepared for the 2nd leg...
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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:58 am

@free_cat wrote:Abidal was woeful because he is doing the Ramadan.

Oh is that it! I was wondering why Abidal played so poorly. Adriano was pretty good though. Also D.Alves last night showed his detractors that he can surely defend when he needs to.

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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:00 am

@dnmac4 wrote:
Thiago is a wonderful player but he is just not ready to control the midfield against premium competition.

I agree with that. I think he is a very attack minded and a little more of a final third player. He doesn't have the maturity as yet and maybe even the temperament to exercise quiet control deeper in midfield despite his immense potential.

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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:03 am

@dnmac4 wrote:do you know what was up with Mou and Pep not shaking hands at the end? It's kinda childish and needs to stop.

I am absolutely fine with Pep not shaking hands with the man who insulted the very essence of Barcelona - at least not till he apologizes unconditionally which, knowing what a egomaniac he is, is 99.99% unlikely to ever happen.

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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:13 am

@free_cat wrote:
I didn't like Thiago today, but your analysis is completely wrong.

Thiago barely touched the ball because we couldn't bring it forward from the defence. Why? Because Keita was playing in Busi's role.

Ps. Thiago was nervous today, he told it to the reporter right now. He was playing very good at the start of the second half.

Actually cat the whole midfield suffered. The root cause of the trouble was, no offense meant, Keita as DM. It's not to slight him but he is not a DM even in his own mind. Somehow Mascherano should have been played there - at least when Pique was brought on but Pep just didn't do that. Now without Busquets we were unable to stem the flow of their attacking moves and struggled to retain the ball. Iniesta was so tightly marked right through. Right from the beginning to almost the end somebody or the other was his shadow. Khedira started doing this and then they took turns. Hell there was a time when C.Ronaldo seemed like his marker no kidding. The minute he got the ball they took it from him at times fairly and at times unfairly. He just couldn't handle such intense physicality without the right team mates and not being fully into season fitness yet. Thiago was a little lost tactically with his off the ball movement. Having a technically weak player like Keita and a tactically lost Thiago as his partners meant Iniesta found it hard to decide where to pass the ball. Before he could think of an opening he had already been outmuscled off the ball. Just watch the match and count the number of times he is shoved to the ground even though some of these could be fair ball winning tackles but not all. Overall our team and especially the midfield was just not physically prepared to face up to such intense, brutal and in your face physicality that is now so much the hall mark of a Jose Mourinho team.


Last edited by messixaviesta on Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:22 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:17 am

Immaculate_Mole wrote:
I think thats a bit unfair,one of the reasons Xavi and Iniesta are so good is because of Busquets and Pique behind them feeding them passes to then in turn to feed the strikers...

This did'nt happen tonight i think its unfair to judge Thiago tonight with Keita and Mascherano feeding him lol.

That's very true. I would go so far as to say Busquets was missed even more than Xavi in this match. As for Pique he's considered by pundits at times as our fourth most important player after the trinity because building from the back is so essential to our style. Recall how Maradona said Argentina cannot play like Barcelona because they don't have Xavi, Iniesta and Pique. Not saying I agree with that and we can continue to debate who out of D.Alves, Busquets, Pique, Puyol, etc. is more important but this is just to stress the importance of Pique in our team.

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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:20 am

@alexjanosik wrote:I think its unfair to criticize Thiago based on this match.
Madrid are in supreme physical shape and almost at full fitness and that was evident watching the match.
While our payers have had no pre season(the main players that is) and are nowhere near peak fitnes.
We would have struggled irrespective of who was on the field.
Am I supposed to believe that with Fab on the pitch we would have dominated under the same circumstances.
Please,the guy is famous for doing the Houdini act everytime he faces a big team.

Agreed alex. I have my doubts about Fabregas as I have said before but I won't deliver a verdict so fast. Let's see how he blends in and how well he eventually does with us.

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Post by Albiceleste Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:24 am

@messixaviesta wrote:
@free_cat wrote:
I didn't like Thiago today, but your analysis is completely wrong.

Thiago barely touched the ball because we couldn't bring it forward from the defence. Why? Because Keita was playing in Busi's role.

Ps. Thiago was nervous today, he told it to the reporter right now. He was playing very good at the start of the second half.

Actually cat the whole midfield suffered. The root cause of the trouble was, no offense meant, Keita as DM. It's not to slight him but he is not a DM even in his own mind. Somehow Mascherano should have been played there - at least when Pique was brought on but Pep just didn't do that. Now without Busquets we were unable to stem the flow of their attacking moves and struggled to retain the ball. Iniesta was so tightly marked right through. Right from the beginning to almost the end somebody or the other was his shadow. Khedira started doing this and then they took turns. Hell there was a time when C.Ronaldo seemed like his marker no kidding. The minute he got the ball they took it from him at times fairly and at times unfairly. He just couldn't handle such intense physicality without the right team mates and not being fully into season fitness yet. Thiago was a little lost tactically with his off the ball movement. Having a technically weak player like Keita and a tactically lost Thiago as his partners meant Iniesta found it hard to decide where to pass the ball. Before he could think of an opening he had already been outmuscled off the ball. Just watch the match and count the number of times he is shoved to the floor even though some of these could be fair ball winning tackles but not all. Overall our team and especially the midfield was just not physically prepared to face up to such intense, brutal and in your face physicality that is now so much the hall mark of a Jose Mourinho team.
Great post, I as well believe that the midfield's problems stemmed from the DM, Keita was just bad there, he couldn't do much against the waves of attack they brought and he just seemed out of place and lost, as well as not having a proper ball playing CB. As you said, Thiago did look lost he showed good flashes of his ability and he linked up with Messi very well but he's a very direct and attacking player and when partnered with Iniesta neither can really control the game from deep a la Xavi.

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Post by BarcaKizz Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:27 am

Firstly... there's not a lot we should worry about as our team was clearly unfit and underprepared. Madrid were raring to go and rightfully outplayed us. However, they still didn't win, and we showed our players have the quality to do well even after just coming back from holidays. Madrid's players on the field had had 700 more minutes gametime than Barca's... that is a lot!

My thoughts:

Barca's all about the midfield... it shows time and time again. The midfield wasn't good today, we missed two very important players there and I'll also add that Pique and Messi are also very important in assisting our midfield. While Pique didn't start, Messi was completely unfit.

Like I said before, I don't really believe Keita has much more to give us, and I don't like him in that position at all. Tbh I'd prefer Fontas there, he plays that role very well, better than Oriol Romeu.

I was a bit disappointed in Iniesta that he didn't boss the midfield more (Xavi would have on his own), but I guess he's the sort of player who needs another passer in there to help him do that, he's never been a midfield engine. It was hard on Thiago to expect him to do that, especially with the players around him.

The defence wasn't actually that atrocious, there's no need to go: 'look we need a CB!' A defence can't be expected to be bulletproof if their midfield isn't doing anything and we were getting absolutely killed there. Mascherano and Abidal weren't great, but both showed why they have Pep's trust. As a combo, I'd rather not have them, but alongside Pique or Puyol... I'm perfectly happy. Again, they weren't even fit, so they'll be even better if this emergency happens, and I'll stress we'd only really ever use this defence in a real emergency!

Forwards? Didn't get the ball much, so I have nothing to criticise about them. Encouraging signs from Alexis (read my comments in his thread), Villa's going to be boss this year... I said it before, and Messi's literally just came back from the Argentine beaches etc. sooo... Wink


Interesting to see how Pep approaches game 2, because the players are unfit and dont have long to recover. He could rotate them around a bit. I certainly expect Pedro, Xavi and Pique to start, but Maxwell, Afellay and even Fab may as well.
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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:33 am

Lionel Messi wrote:
Great post, I as well believe that the midfield's problems stemmed from the DM, Keita was just bad there, he couldn't do much against the waves of attack they brought and he just seemed out of place and lost, as well as not having a proper ball playing CB. As you said, Thiago did look lost he showed good flashes of his ability and he linked up with Messi very well but he's a very direct and attacking player and when partnered with Iniesta neither can really control the game from deep a la Xavi.

Thanks a lot man. Agree with everything in your post but the last part. It's not yet known for sure whether Iniesta can control the game from deep or not without Xavi against top class opposition. I think he can but it's open to debate and we don't have enough evidence either way as yet. He has done it against smaller teams but teams this strong is a different kettle of fish. I can't judge him on last night. He needed the right partners ( a proper ball playing DM and preferably a CM with greater maturity and tactical qualities ) and he also needed to be more match fit to handle that kind of physicality and close marking he was up against.

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Post by Albiceleste Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:34 am

Afellay was injured in a preseason game, muscle tear, I'm not sure if he'll be back by the next game. Hopefully Fabregas plays, that would be awesome to have his Camp Nou and Barca debut vs a win over Madrid Twisted Evil (hopefully).

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Post by Albiceleste Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:35 am

@messixaviesta wrote:
Lionel Messi wrote:
Great post, I as well believe that the midfield's problems stemmed from the DM, Keita was just bad there, he couldn't do much against the waves of attack they brought and he just seemed out of place and lost, as well as not having a proper ball playing CB. As you said, Thiago did look lost he showed good flashes of his ability and he linked up with Messi very well but he's a very direct and attacking player and when partnered with Iniesta neither can really control the game from deep a la Xavi.

Thanks a lot man. Agree with everything in your post but the last part. It's not yet known for sure whether Iniesta can control the game from deep or not without Xavi against top class opposition. I think he can but it's open to debate and we don't have enough evidence either way as yet. He has done it against smaller teams but teams this strong is a different kettle of fish. I can't judge him on last night. He needed the right partners ( a proper ball playing DM and preferably a CM with greater maturity and tactical qualities ) and he also needed to be more match fit to handle that kind of physicality and close marking he was up against.
Good point, I suppose it wouldn't be too fair to judge his string pulling skills in a game like this.

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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:38 am

@BarcaKizz wrote:
I was a bit disappointed in Iniesta that he didn't boss the midfield more (Xavi would have on his own), but I guess he's the sort of player who needs another passer in there to help him do that, he's never been a midfield engine. It was hard on Thiago to expect him to do that, especially with the players around him.

I like the rest of your post but don't agree with this. I don't think even Xavi could have done too much more with this kind of setup - a little more maybe but not too much more. It's well known that a CM, even the best of all time, needs partners to be effective. Iniesta had the wrong DM and a greenhorn CM who just wasn't on the same page as him. On top of that he was not fully match fit and up against intense physicality and close marking. I would like to wait to see more matches of this kind where he faces top teams but with slightly better partners ( not Xavi's class mind you ) and at 100% match fitness before concluding whether he can be a midfield engine or not.

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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:39 am

Lionel Messi wrote:
Good point, I suppose it wouldn't be too fair to judge his string pulling skills in a game like this.

Thanks man. We agree 100% on that.

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Post by ijomer Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:40 am

Good Game, Valdes was Amazing today.. definitely changed my perspective about him.
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Post by messixaviesta Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:44 am

Amidst all this debating I forgot to mention the four most important things.

1. Lionel Messi - Even if he has just woken up from sleep he can still produce a moment like our second goal. He is Messi, plain and simple.

2. David Villa - Is he still the best pure striker in the world? Could he have an even better season this time? What a goal!!! That goal itself justified staying awake late at night for this match.

3. Victor Valdes - About as underrated and crucial as anyone could be. Many wonderful match saving moments. Think he could have done better for the second goal we conceded? Probably not because his view was blocked by his own defenders.

4. A nice quote that I read on Twitter - "Life's not fair. 90% of the time Barca are the best team. When they're not, they still manage to win."

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