Barcelona are in bit of slump at the moment. After losing 2-0 to AC Milan in the champions league, they were eliminated from the Copa Del Rey by their arch rivals Real Madrid. Here I will explain to you possible causes of their dip in form.
What is going wrong at Barcelona?
Loss of First Team Coach
First off they are without their coach Tito Vilanova, who is getting cancer treatment in New York. I wish him all the best in his recovery.
Without him, I’m not sure if assistant coach Jordi Roura is to get the tactics right and make the key decisions in the big games. I’m not blaming him fully but you can see there are a lot more mistakes with him in charge.
Importance of Messi
The over reliance of Messi is another key factor. It shows that if your mark him out the game and keep him quiet, like AC Milan, their main source of goals is gone because there are no other consistent goal scorers in the team.
Age of Players
This team has been together for a number of years and they are not getting younger. It’s clear to see when quick players like Ronaldo and Di Maria run at the defence, they do have problems stopping them. Puyol found this out first hand when Di Maria turned him inside out and made him do the splits. There is not much pace in the Barcelona team so when they face quicker opposition, it does pose as a problem for their defence.
Barcelona’s style of play seems like one way and one way only. Teams that have been successful against them in the past have often defended deep and narrow against them, defending on the edge of their own penalty box. This is because Barcelona tend to attack through the middle rather then use width to cross the ball so when this doesn’t work, Barcelona don’t have a plan B and just end up passing the ball around without threatening the goal.
Vulnerable to the Counter Attack
As Barcelona push their full backs forward and plays the majority of their football in the opposition half, they are always vulnerable to the counter attack. Look at Real Madrid’s first two goals last night, two long balls down field and it was 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2 against the Barcelona defence which Real ultimately scored from.
Even though they lost against Real in the Copa Del Rey, they are still 12 points clear at the top of La Liga and by no means out against AC Milan.
I just feel that maybe this team is not as invincible as they seem and there are ways to beat them. However I think the majority of their problems at the moment are because of the loss of their coach.
I’m not sure when Tito will return but something needs to change. If they lose to AC Milan, it would put even more pressure Barcelona to win La Liga even though they have been ahead for so long.
Let me know in the comments what you think of Barcelona. Are they starting to lose their edge or is it purely down to the loss of their coach.
- Real Madrid bests Barcelona to reach Copa del Rey final (cbc.ca)
- Ronaldo enjoying Nou Camp form (skysports.com)
- Cristiano Ronaldo Proves Value over Lionel Messi in Copa Del Rey Victory (bleacherreport.com)