41 Comments

  1. K_legit in Oz
    November 24, 2011

    I heard somewhere that all the words one speaks before the word ‘but’ or ‘however’ are meaningless

    • K_legit in Oz
      November 24, 2011

      that got truncated

      “I heard somewhere that all the words one speaks before the word ‘but’ or ‘however’ are meaningless”..and Pep needs to realise that they are significant defensive frailities in the 3-4-3 he is adopting.
      Attacking wise is a different matter…the way Messi, Cesc and Xavi attack as a unit is a treat..
      i sincerely felt that we’d score every time one of them made a slalom run forward!

      • November 24, 2011

        I think it depends. For example, against Machester City a 3-4-3 might work very well defensively.

        On the whole though against sides playing a 4-3-3/ 4-2-3-1 it has significant limitations.

        Milan’s first goal demonstrated that. A simple shift of the Milan line to the Barca left and a forward run into space by Seedorf overloaded the Barca backline while amplifying that 4 vs. 3 advantage by forcing those 3 defenders to have to defend the entire width of the pitch. Too much to feasibly do.

        • K_legit in Oz
          November 24, 2011

          I think a major attribute that the 3-4-3 has over a standard 4-4-2 is that you can essentially have more numbers in each position and how teams change the 4-4-2 is that they stretch the 2 forwards wide, kinda like what Villareal tried to do…

          I don’t understand why it would work against Man City to be honest. They essentially have a similar formation to Milan’s..Just by replacing Seedorf for Silva, Ibra for Dzeko and Pato for Aguero, I reckon they can play like Milan did and overload the back 3, only this time I guess the forward line would shift right and overload our left flank..Is that not how they would do it?

          Also, this match shows how essential Alves is to this formation (3-4-3) or otherwise. his energy in covering that flank is irreplaceable almost

          • November 24, 2011

            City plays a somewhat odd formation. Kind of a hybrid. Their two holding players generally play deep. Otherwise they often form what can function as a 4-2-2-2. Three at the back could work against their front two.

            The key would be for the midfielders to track Silva and Millner’s runs. But those two tend to spend significant time in midfield as it is rather than further upfield.

        • November 24, 2011

          It seems to me that the problems with the 3-4-3 have stemmed from player choice. A true winger with a great work rate (tracking back) has to be in place or the CB is left too exposed. With Adriano or Alexis playing on the wing, most of the defensive vulnerabilities are mitigated. It’s also worth noting that when Alves plays as the CB in the 3-4-3 his speed is invaluable. He gets a lot of stick for his defense, but it is all misguided, he’s an incredible defender.

  2. blitzen
    November 24, 2011

    Reading the comments in my tweeter timeline, you would think the team played like the Keystone Kops last night. Watching the game with the benefit of knowing the scoreline in advance, it didn’t look nearly that dire to me. Admittedly, there were some defensive issues, and no, I’m not going to get into tactics—it seems like we don’t discuss anything else around here anymore—but overall the team played well considering the 3-man backline and the way Milan were pressing relentlessly. It was great fun to watch. And now for some blitzen awards, the musical edition. Because I can.

    My Blue Heaven Award: I wasn’t sure at first if I liked Valdes’ blue and red kit, but I soon realized how very good he looks in it. At any rate it helped to distract me from those awful minty green kits the rest of the boys had to wear. I never did like those.

    Army Of Me Award: Thiago! What a monster he was last night! He was confident, alert, effective in both attack & defense, and utterly fearless. Some boys his age might be intimidated by a historic club like Milan. Not our Thiago.

    The Bitter Taste Of You* Award: Ibra was literally spewing bile near the end of the first half. Much as I would like to think he was choking on his recent comments regarding Pep &The Schoolboys, it probably had more to do with this post-match statement from the Ninjasaurus: We were tired in the second half because in the first we ran a lot. Barcelona make you run a lot. 😛

    Hit Me Baby One More Time Award: Poor Keita. Not only did he take a hard shot to the goolies, he was also on the receiving end of a very ill-conceived ninja kick to the head from Ibra. And he’s not even one of Ibra’s teammates anymore! Ouchie!

    Thank You For The Music Award: Messi, who has received plenty of criticism around here (including from myself) for being a bit selfish lately on the pitch. Well, not last night. Not only did he provide that fantastic pass to Xavi for the goal assist, he even let Thiago take a free kick! I hope we see more of that, Thiago is one of the best free-kickers we have right now, certainly miles better than Dani Alves. Remember that gorgeous free kick he scored from in the U21 final last summer?

    Jazz Hands Award: Puyol attempts to communicate with the ref through the medium of interpretive dance. He was either explaining that the defender couldn’t avoid the ball contacting his shoulder or inviting the ref to Jump! (For His Love).

    Like The Desert Needs The Rain Award: Did anyone else think that Pep seems a bit unsettled without Tito by his side? I have always thought that Tito keeps Pep grounded and is the glue that keeps him from fraying into a bundle of nerves. Get well soon, Tito, and hurry back!

    Clarence Seedorf Award For Being Clarence Seedorf: Clarence Seedorf. Yes, he gets his own award. This man has done more for the good name of Dutch football than all your De Jongs, Heitingas, and Van Pummels (with his nasty scissor tackle on Xavi) combined. Pure class. I will be sad when he retires.

    *Just let me say one thing
    I’ve had enough
    You’re selfish and sorry
    You’ll never learn how to love
    As your world disassembles
    Better keep your head up

    Your name, your face
    Is all you have left now
    Betrayed, disgraced
    You’ve been erased

    So long, so long
    I have erased you
    So long, so long
    I’ve wanted to waste you
    So long, so long
    I have erased you
    I have escaped the bitter taste of you

    (Bitter Taste, by Three Days Grace)

    • Blau-Grenade
      November 24, 2011

      Best Blitzen’s in a long time!!! Keep ’em comin’.

  3. Jim
    November 24, 2011

    Great review, Euler. I would actually absolve the team (largely) for any responsibility for the nervous night we all had. I thought the work rate was tremendous.

    However, I am worried that Pep watched the same game we did and didn’t do anything to alter it until about half way through the second half ( imo). I’m also concerned that he didn’t even identify it as Thiago’s job to provide support for Puyol if he found himself isolated. You can’t play three at the back and not have a strategy for covering the FBs. The leisurely way Thiago trotted back at the first goal seemed to imply to me that he wasn’t concerned that he had been caught out. I’m not really buying the marking the Milan FB idea as he was no danger to us.

    I am glad that your analysis makes clear that Puyol was not to blame for being isolated. I also thought he had a great game ( apart from actually being skinned at that one point) and is well on the way back. You could see the formation was annoying the hell out of him throughout the game. As a great reader of the game he was probably thinking the same as us but did his best to carry it out.

    I do worry especially that we are only a few weeks from the Clasico and we have no idea what our defence will be. I see no merit in experimenting with the 3-4-3 unless he is toying with employing it there ( my nerves won’t stand it). Pique and Puyol need as much time together as they can get after injuries.

    Finally, I have a feeling Cesc will be sitting out the first half of the classico, not through any fault of his own. Last night showed us that Xavi needs Iniesta in the midfield with him. RM will come at us even more than Milan and only those two ( plus Busi and Messi) can keep the ball in those situations. My only question left for lineup for that game is who partners Messi up front. Villa does look short of confidence and I haven’t really been impressed with the last couple of times I’ve seen Sanchez. I’m starting to think that the videos I watched of him zipping past or tricking his way past defenders were bogus ! The game may also be too big for Cuenca who has gone missing at times already and Pedro is well short of match practice.

    4-4-2 with Villa and Messi playing centrally up front for the Bernebeu anyone ?

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      November 24, 2011

      I do worry especially that we are only a few weeks from the Clasico and we have no idea what our defence will be. I see no merit in experimenting with the 3-4-3 unless he is toying with employing it there ( my nerves won’t stand it). Pique and Puyol need as much time together as they can get after injuries.

      my thoughts exactly.

      and thank you, Euler, for your dedication to Barcelona and this blog.
      I’ll read your review later today.

    • November 24, 2011

      I am worried that Pep watched the same game we did and didn’t do anything to alter it until about half way through the second half ( imo).

      This is usually his approach though. I think he believes so much in the ability of his players to fix problems he tends to not want to implement changes off plan or early.

      But just by Busquets change in positioning to start the second half – it was clear he saw the problems.

      I haven’t really been impressed with the last couple of times I’ve seen Sanchez.

      I thought he played very well in the time he got vs. Milan. He did exactly the tracking back and defensive work to support Puyol that you wanted Thiago to do (it’s a more explicit role of the winger in that set up which is why Villa did that work on the left when he was in).

      He’s played very little with the team. Think he needs more time. I watched him play a lot last season. He was one of the world’s 10 best players.

      I have a feeling Cesc will be sitting out the first half of the classico, not through any fault of his own.

      RM will look to utilize their pace and athleticism to press Barca in their own half as they try to build play from the back.

      To address that close ball control becomes a premium skill set. Cesc has good close control – but not great. And it’s not on the level of either Xavi or Iniesta.
      I’m also concerned that he didn’t even identify it as Thiago’s job to provide support for Puyol if he found himself isolated.

      The thing is – it’s not necessarily Thiago’s “job” in this set up to defend in the way you are describing. A limitation with a 3-4-3 when it faces systems that attacks wide is that there aren’t natural defenders to pick up and track flank attackers.

      It’s an adjustment that needs to be made in the system more than it is a decision that Thiago himself has to make.

      Both Xavi and Cesc did the same thing defensively when they switched out to the right. Puyol was still isolated. It’s a system issue more than an individual issue.

      • Neel
        November 25, 2011

        “I am worried that Pep watched the same game we did and didn’t do anything to alter it until about half way through the second half ( imo).”

        Hard as it is to stand, IMHO it has something to do with this. Pep has always stood by his players and he always makes sure not to discourage any player. No matter, what the situation, what occasion, there is always a larger picture…that of maintaining the team fabric and individual players mental strength. It is for these reasons that Pep does not jump on to make obvious substitutions. There are many players who have been disaster to begin with in different positions but persistence with them have helped in the long run.

  4. Jafri
    November 24, 2011

    Not to oversimplify things, but can’t Barcelona function as a 3-4-3/4-3-3 hybrid? Wouldn’t it theoretically be possible for Busi to drop back and act as a CB while Barcelona defends, and push up to DM when they attack?

  5. barca96
    November 25, 2011

    I missed the first 40mins of the match so I don’t really know how they played but for the rest of the match, I thought they were careless with the ball.

    1) We didn’t control the ball over a long period of time
    2) Because of them losing the ball quite often, it also leaves our 3 man defence in great danger.
    3) Pressure. For the past few weeks, they haven’t been pressuring much.

    We only played Milan. Can you imagine playing like that vs. Madrid at the Bernabeu? Madrid is faster, keep the ball better and are more aggressive.
    I really can’t imagine. They will surely score a few on us, definitely.

    • BarcaGirl_Indo
      November 25, 2011

      I was going to reply your comment few hours ago, but I still had a a lot work to do.
      this one really surprised me : we only played Milan

      maybe you didn’t mean to be arrogant or disrespecting Milan, but it sounds like that. and I think you are also underestimating our achievement.

      surely EE is a better team than Milan, but not that far, imo.

      It was San Siro, against AC Milan, a great opponent, the serie A champion, with their quality players and coach. they were so motivated to beat Barça and they were playing with full team.

      before Barça, Milan conceded only 4 goals this season in whole competition. and Barça scored 3 in 90+ minutes.

      • November 25, 2011

        Yep, that was a world class team we beat in one of the sacred temples of European football. Also their world class players, especially Ibra, were highly motivated to win. Not something to be sniffed at.

      • BarcaGirl_Indo
        November 25, 2011

        I mean, *4 goals at San Siro*

  6. Gogah
    November 25, 2011

    Like i’ve always said, if there is one thing that is becoming markedly better with each pep stays here in charge, it is the defense. this is easily reflected through the numbers. there is no reason to panic just because of a few games. We are creating chances no doubt, but are somewhat casual in finishing. we are actually letting in fewer goals but also scoring fewer and thats where the crisis lies.

    I always enjoy your tactical analyses, but there is one thing i just can’t understand. you talk of villa maintaining tactical discipline always hugging the touchline. you also talk of pep’s tactical innovations, specially in the 3-4-3 which is characterized by constant switching of positions from the attackers in the front 5.
    Then why for the love of god does villa always stay on the left. why doesnt he interchange positions along the right and center. i just feel his skill sets are of no use in the extreme left. he is so predictable and has, frankly run out of moves and imagination. He is born to play in the center or center-right. we have seen alexis play in the left (udinese), we have seen pedro play in the left and they all do as well if not better than villa. yet it always has to be ‘the kid’ on the left. i’d be grateful if you can throw some light on this issue. what is pep thinking? as much as i love our villa and as much as i hate showboating young overhyped brazilians, i now see the value in the club bringing Neymar for our left front. It just makes us more dangerous, doesn’t it?

    As for our defense i’m not that worried. i always feel we bring our best game against madrid. And i refuse to look at madrid all the time. It will always tend to make us look unsure.

    • barca96
      November 25, 2011

      Speaking about the wonderkid Neymar, I decided to watch Lille play in the CL. I was impressed with Eden Hazard in the 20mins that I’ve seen him play more than I was after watching over 200mins of Neymar.

      Eden Hazard is quality! That kid means business, no showboating, no step over. Atm, I rate Munaian & Hazard as the best wingers/attackers the highest for the left/right spot.

  7. November 25, 2011

    Well, I haven’t seen the match yet, but I did see highlights via EuroSport. I wouldn’t say that we “only” played Milan. We beat one of the world’s top sides in a match they really wanted to win, in their house. Don’t underestimate the quality of that accomplishment.

    Seems like there was our usual allotment of spurned chances and fluffed lines, to boot. We still have no idea how good this club is. It is still coming together as a unit, and is usually at its best for Clasica and knockouts. We will have to see about this season.

    • Humphrey Bogart
      November 25, 2011

      I agree with Kxvin on this: to expect a manita against Milan is disrespecting the opponent. They are no pub team, but one of the biggest teams in the world, CL title wise even bigger than we. They may have lost some of their glamour but with Allegri they have a very good team again and they really wanted to win this game. I can not remeber the last time I have seen somebody like Ibra or Robinho so hard, and with Nesta and T.Silva they have some of the best defenders in the world.

      We had our difficulties, but at the end we also got the win, that is the most important thing, no 2:2, but a win after a hard fought match, an important morale boost, that is

    • blitzen
      November 25, 2011

      our usual allotment of spurned chances

      Heh heh! Yeah, there were quite a few. Cesc, Messi, Villa all had groaners, and Puyol and Sanchez performed some kind of comedy routine to miss one together. I meant to give that an award, shoot.

      The worst miss of the night, though was Robinho skying the ball over a completely open net from short range. Lucky for us, embarrassing for him!

  8. Humphrey Bogart
    November 25, 2011

    On an other note: NexT Gen and Juvenil team, what a team they are. Dongou, Samper and Grimaldo are outstanding. Unfortunatly now the scouts will come even more, in particular from a certain London club, to poach them. We must do all we can to cling to them

  9. K_legit in Oz
    November 25, 2011

    Defensive frailties aside, our attacking in that game was pretty awesome…Whenever Messi or Cesc started making a forward run the spaces were very apparent and had it not been for an inhuman performance from Abiatti the score could well have been 2-7 instead of 2-3

    • Gogah
      November 25, 2011

      I really don’t want to spoil the positivity.
      but that’s another common misconception isn’t it?
      how often has it turned out that the opposition GK is the motm.
      Sure our attack is awesome. but offlate we have been banging way too many shots straight at the keeper. These shots make for some great stats and even makes the keeper look like some formidable beast. but the reality is the lack of sharpness in the attacking third.
      no disrespect of course to abiatti or the sevilla keeper.

      • K_legit in Oz
        November 25, 2011

        True..against Varas this was absolutely true but Abiatti’s saves against Villa and Cesc (from point blank range) were pretty impressive

  10. Blau-Grenade
    November 25, 2011

    People, I was on vacation and have missed this match. Can somebody point me to a website where I can find the download links to this match? Tried Rojadirecta.me but could not find the match page. Thanks.

  11. blitzen
    November 25, 2011

    If you are looking for gift ideas for that Football fan in your life, consider getting them a subscription to FourFourTwo magazine. It is fantastic value for the money–chock full of brilliant articles on every aspect of the game you can imagine. The level of writing is top quality.

    No, I have no affiliation with the magazine, I am just really enjoying my subscription. Working in the publishing industry, I always like to give a boost to deserving publications and writers.

    Which reminds me, I’m sure most of you are already to buy Graham Hunter’s forthcoming book on FCB. You can preorder it from Backpage Press’s own website:

    http://www.backpagepress.co.uk/books.htm

  12. adopted cule
    November 25, 2011

    It didn’t look like a 3-4-3 to me out there and the diagrams support that view. Looked a lot more like a very muddied 3-5-2 with strange personnel decisions. The lack of possession was the most disturbing aspect of the game for me. Yes, 60% is a good number against Milan, but Barcelona weren’t playing their usual game out there and I don’t think that can all be put down to Milan’s effort. The possession game seems to suffer greatly when Keita is on the field, particularly when he and Villa are paired together on the left. I don’t think Keita had a bad game at all, but leaving him off the starting line up and replacing him with Sanchez from the start would have cleared up every single one of the issues Euler brings up: Busquets would not have been redundant. Cesc could have played at the tip of the diamond where he is most effective. Thiago could have provided the width out right in midfield to cover in front of an out of position, though capable, Puyol. Two forwards would have provided width up front while Messi could be free to be Messi.

    I don’t believe that either the possibilities or the limitations of the 3-4-3 were on display in this game and Barcelona certainly didn’t play the personnel that have the best chance of utilizing the 3-4-3 most effectively, even if they had played true to the formation.

    That being said, it was still a 2-3 win at the San Siro, with two goals allowed that VV certainly could have done better with. We had a good majority of possession and created many more good chances than Milan, a quality side, did. Every side left in this competition would take a win at Milan, and we did it playing far from our best either tactically or with regard to our usual possession style. Our quality shone through on the day.

    • November 25, 2011

      It didn’t look like a 3-4-3 to me out there and the diagrams support that view. Looked a lot more like a very muddied 3-5-2 with strange personnel decisions.

      You raise a good point. As always, due to its fluidity the system is difficult to characterize. At some level so descriptive nomenclature is “accurate” because the system is so dynamic. It’s a convention.

      That said, the system is best described as a 3-4-3 (for the sake of being able to talk about it, the convention is useful). I don’t think a 3-5-2 is as useful or accurate a description. Here’s why. In the usual understanding of a 3-5-2 there are wing backs who play very wide and move up and down the pitch. So often in defense the team is playing a 5-3-2, for example.

      At no time did Barcelona have wing backs functioning in this role. As I pointed out in the post – in fact the entire right flank in front of Puyol was exposed because the right sided midfielder (whether Thiago, Xavi or Cesc – whoever happened to be there) was tucked in towards the middle.

      A 3-5-2 would have been more effective vs. Milan. But that doesn’t allow Pep to get all of the players on the field he wants to. He’s trying to figure out how to get more middle oriented players on the pitch – hard to do with wing backs.

      It was an unorthodox formation – especially with Keita, Busquets and Xavi’s positioning. But the 3-4-3 is the best description of it and from comments made after the match that seemed to confirm some of these issues.

      • adopted cule
        November 25, 2011

        I didn’t mean to imply that 3-4-3 wasn’t the intended formation or the best way to describe it, but rather that in the actual game, it all broke down and became confused. Cesc as the false nine and Messi on the right, along with the nebulousness that the personnel in the midfield created meant that Barcelona didn’t play a very effective 3-4-3 for all the reasons you pointed out. I was just trying to say that this clearly isn’t the best example of how Barcelona can implement the 3-4-3.

  13. aaron88
    November 25, 2011

    Euler,

    As a long-time reader and rare commentator, I wanted to express my continued amazement and thanks for your writing. You have an unbelievable sense of tactics what they mean for the team.

    As I watched the 1st half, my mind was flying around trying to understand Barca’s formation. Yes. 3-4-3. …. But wait, where’s Thiago playing. Why is he on the 18-yard box ahead of Messi…Where is Xavi…..

    To my eyes, the structure seemed so free-form and hard to understand. I figured there was one, but I couldn’t see it very well. Your review of course, fleshed it out.

    In my professional life as a jazz musician, people always think that musicians get up on stage and play whatever, whenever. Just “feeling it.” In reality, there is generally a strict script/sketch with big thoughts about where things should go (and much advance preparation). From the script, we elaborate, improvise, and hopefully make memorable music. It is not possible without.

    Thank you again for illuminating Guardiola’s design. Still, I am in awe of the way midfield works.

    BTW, I really missed watching Alves in the team.

  14. November 25, 2011

    Then why for the love of god does villa always stay on the left. why doesnt he interchange positions along the right and center. i just feel his skill sets are of no use in the extreme left. he is so predictable and has, frankly run out of moves and imagination.

    Gogah,

    This is a very good question. The short answer – Villa stays out there because he is a team player and wants to function within the larger concept of what the team is trying to accomplish.

    The balance that Pep is always trying to balance is fluidity vs. organization. Fluidity heightens the attack and the ability of the team to press.

    However, there is a limit to how fluid a team becomes before it turns disorganized.

    Barca weren’t disorganized vs. Milan. However, there was so much fluidity between the midfield 4 and Cesc and Messi that it left the team with poor spacing of the pitch.

    Many of the Barca players, if not most, are most comfortable playing in the middle. Without some simple rules and players willing to fill tactical roles Barca would end up with 6 players clustering in the middle of the pitch and no one on the flanks.

    So Villa is caught between being able to express himself and being required to fulfill his role – which is tactically crucial.

    Sanchez is going to experience the same thing – last season in Serie A he was one of the world’s best player. But he played his best in the middle between the lines – the exact place messi and cesc like to move in.

    So Sanchez is going to have to stay wide to open up the pitch for the interior players.

    Villa is encountering two additional difficulties coming in from the left. He is asked to play wider on the left at Barca than at Spain. When a player is that wide, it really helps to have explosive acceleration to join play in the middle dynamically. That’s not a strength of Villa’s. In fact I think he’s lost some pace from a few years ago. Just a step or so – but he’s less able to get behind defenders.

    The second issue is that Barca is so often defended deep and narrow to create numbers in the middle that when he does move inward he has to fend off multiple defenders. The issues are similar for Spain, but club level defenses are more organized and better than most NT defensive systems now.

    You can see the evolution of what Pep wants. It’s very interesting – I’ll try to write about it in a post. Basically he wants the two wide flank attackers to function as players who provide “structure” to the system to allow the players in the middle to play more fluidly.

    The wide players have to sacrifice for those on the interior to make the team more than the sum of its parts.

  15. blitzen
    November 25, 2011

    Very interesting quotes from former FCB staffer Marc Ingla on the time when they considered hiring Mourinho as first-team coach:

    ”We had a meeting with him [Mourinho] and his representative in a bank in Lisbon but we never seriously wanted to negotiate with him,” Ingla told AS. ”Jorge Mendes [Mourinho’s agent] was very insistent he wanted to see us.”

    He said: ”(Pep) was Txiki’s first choice and because Mourinho told me he was not going to change his attitude towards the media we were not entirely convinced with Mourinho at the time.”

    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/988071/jose-mourinho-%27wanted-pep-guardiola-as-assistant%27-at-barcelona?cc=5901

  16. Ardian
    November 25, 2011

    Euler, let me congratulate you on the review. We’ve been missing these kind of reviews. I’m glad you are back.

    Going back to the match, do you think Pep is experimenting with the 3-4-3 to get ready for Madrid or he used 3-4-3 due to the absentees. But as far as i see it ain’t working for some reasons. Don’t you think it is better to return to our normal 433, try to improve our system and get ready for el Clasico in a better way.

    On another note, I sense A.Sanchez is going to be a big player this season. His work rate on the flank is extraordinary. He helps us defensively so much. But that was in a 3-4-3 system. What’s the better choice in a 433? Do you think he could play well in that right flank. Having a good understanding with Alves is crucial. One last question: how do you think will line up against Madrid ( injury free, ofc? how do you rate our chances? 🙂 I guess Pep likes this underdog role.

    Keep it up my friend.

  17. barca96
    November 25, 2011

    surely EE is a better team than Milan, but not that far, imo

    The gap between the 2 world’s best (us & EE) and the 3rd is quite a distance imo. We all know that Seria A is not as strong as they were in the past few seasons.
    Last season, Milan lost to my below average Ajax! And later on to Spurs who were knocked out silly by EE.

    Many people didn’t take Milan seriously but why is it only when we have trouble beating them at Camp Nou only people take them seriously. I still find them an average side.

    to expect a manita against Milan is disrespecting the opponent

    Nobody mentioned about manitas. I at least never did.

    These are the points that I raised earlier;
    1) We couldn’t control the ball over a long period of time
    2) Because of them losing the ball quite often, it also leaves our 3 man defence in great danger.
    3) Pressure. For the past few weeks, they haven’t been pressuring much = more time on the ball for the opponents.

    CL title wise even bigger than we

    C’mon. Just because they have a bigger history doesn’t mean that we should be able to dominate the match vs. them. Their history is history, what matters is now.

    I’m sorry if I came off as arrogant but I really have a doubt that they can cruise anymore especially on away games against above average teams.
    Hunger is one thing but the carelessness while in possession is really worrying. Of course I’m not talking about Mallorca or Osasunas but I’m talking about Valencia & Milan.

  18. Helge
    November 25, 2011

    Where exactly do you get these pictures from?

    I don’t like the new UEFA match center, the old version had more details, for instance distance covered by the whole team (I can’t find this stat anymore…).

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