Celta de Vigo 4, Barça 1, aka “The good kind of beatdown”

Losses, even beatdowns, are good for many reasons. So when Barça rolled into Celta’s house and skulked out with its tail between its legs, you can’t help but wonder if somewhere in that cold, bloodless pit that coaches call a heart, Luis Enrique wasn’t just a little bit okay with what happened.

— Streaks are bad, and the 18 unbeaten run is now over. Streaks make a team tight, and worried.
— Celta did exactly what Enrique said they would do. Being able to say “I told you so” is sometimes of value.
— Wins aren’t really coachable moments. There was as much to be learned from Levante as Celta, though.
— The team understands that it is, truly, one mistake away from jumping into a can of whipass.

Before going any deeper into this piece, any culer who hasn’t already given big, giant ups to Celta Vigo should do so. They played exactly the kind of match they needed to play to beat Barça and executed almost flawlessly. Had they in fact been flawless the scoreline would have been even more lopsided. Watching it again left the same conclusion, which was that the final score wasn’t all that unfair. Sure, Barça should have nicked another goal or two but on basis of effort and execution, Celta earned and deserved that win. Hats off to them.

Most interesting from my chair was the list of people blamed by various culers for the beating: Sergi Roberto, Mathieu, Mascherano, Where’s Suarez, Neymar, Busquets, Alves, Iniesta out of his depth, Pique, Ter Stegen.

Now, here was the XI: Ter Stegen, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Mathieu, Sergi Roberto, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, Neymar, Suarez.

The list of blame being flung about Barça social media was, essentially, the XI except for Messi, who was left blameless even if he shouldn’t have been. The person on that list of blame who doesn’t deserve to be there, and the only one, is Ter Stegen, but more about that when we break down the goals conceded. That 10 of the 11 members of the XI were, in some way or another, deemed culpable for the loss, points to the thing most worthy of illustration, which is that this was a collective loss in which everything failed. One telling statistic is that Barça won only 31 percent of tackles attempted. Yikes.

So who is at fault? Almost everyone. Who is most at fault? Ah, this is where it gets complicated, but let’s take a broader look.

The season before, Enrique’s first, was a World Cup year. The Spanish players came back early, and the South American players got a nice, long vacation after the competition. The pre-season was easy, some moseying about Europe, then into the regular season. This pre-season was a U.S. tour, then some cup matches, all of which were intense. During the U.S. tour the team also had to get into shape while making like tourists, which meant hard two-a-days and other training methods. So is that tired, directionless mass that got slapped around by Celta the fault of coaches? Well … okay, but not much they could do because they had to get the team ready for what was always going to be a grueling schedule, under circumstances best described as crappy. How about the board that is treating the team like a cash machine? “Need money? Send the lads on tour!” Okay because hey, the money has to be there so that the club can pay for Pogba, right?

Anyone who wants to play the blame game, something that isn’t appropriate here, has a few stops before getting to any player. Cause is a preferred word for me, which brings us to the goals and what caused them but first, a bit about confidence.

The culpable Stegosaurus?

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen doesn’t fill culers’ hearts with confidence. He concedes, makes errors and costs the team goals, goes the narrative. “Things are much more secure when Bravo is between the sticks, you big dummy.” Some yearned for the days of Valdes and his 1v1 skills, suffused in the rose-colored tint of nostalgia. Others pointed to scorelines and risk, suggesting that a less-risky keeper such as Bravo is vastly preferable because the team doesn’t concede when Bravo is playing. This last is like a car crash being blamed on a guy walking to work. Sure he was there, but he didn’t have anything to do with the crash. So it is with Ter Stegen, and the four goals conceded against Celta are really a microcosm of his time at the club in many ways.

Goal no. 1: When the Celta attack began, Alves inexplicably ran to cover a player who was already covered, leaving Nolito in acres of space at the edge of the Barça box. He was probably thinking that Sergi Roberto was going to close down on Nolito, which didn’t happen. As a consequence, Nolito had all day to pick out a perfect shot, which he then hit, perfectly. Ter Stegen still got fingers to it. Perhaps had he been luckier in the genetic lottery, he would have been 6’6” and could have pushed it over the bar instead of just getting fingers to it. But this goal more than any other points to the Enrique quote, that when the club concedes, the last place that he looks is the keeper. Once Nolito was allowed to line up and execute a perfect shot, Ter Stegen was screwed. He stops that one only in FantasyLand.

Goal no. 2: Oh, Pique. You have brilliant ball skills, for a CB. The move you tried against a smaller, very talented player who was also pressing … well … let’s just call it ill-advised. A skilled striker such as Aspas, running at a keeper alone in space, means that it’s all over but the shouting. Stay on the line, and he picks his spot. Charge him and maybe you can hope he misses the chip. Aspas didn’t.

pique

Goal no. 3: Who’s back on the corner? As Barça was pressing for a goal to get them back into the match, the whole team was jammed tight into Celta’s end. So when Nolito got a ball, he knew exactly what to do, and so did Aspas, which was to take advantage of an attacking team that was overcommitted. Ter Stegen was left in the same quandary as before, with a skilled attacker running at him in acres of space. Again, he didn’t have a chance.

Goal no. 4: Oh, Pique. When he missed on his attempt to play the ball, it left the Celta player with ball at his feet, on the doorstep. Stunning for me is that some actually think Ter Stegen had a chance at stopping that goal. What he did was guess, and he was wrong. But when a player has the ball on your doorstep, as with penalties, a keeper has to take a guess and dive that way. Had Ter Stegen guessed right, it would have been a bit of luck hailed as an amazing save. He didn’t.

Those are the four goals, not a single one of which was attributable to Ter Stegen in the way his Levante howler was. Put Bravo in goal, and the scoreline is the same. Put Courtois in goal, and his big self probably reaches that first shot. So the final score is 3-1. The only shame of this whole keeper debate is that anyone questions whether Ter Stegen should be the club’s undisputed No. 1. He should be to my tastes, even as Bravo is too good a keeper to fill the Pinto role, which is unfortunate.

CRISIS!!!!

The other fascinating thing about this loss is how quickly it activated crisis mode for the entorno of a team that is just off of a treble. The kind of thoughtful analysis I read in the comments space here makes me proud, as an aside. Enrique, who just coached his team to winning everything last season, still has a tenuous grasp on the greased rope of supporter confidence. With some coaches, losses are an anomaly as the universe decides to momentarily scoff at singular excellence. But Enrique is a coach for whom things are very different. One loss and the entorno is questioning everything about him right down to what he had for breakfast. This isn’t fair, nor is it accurate. Barça had a complete systemic breakdown yesterday, moving like a team of dog-tired players, some of who are still working their way into form, such as Neymar and Messi. Tasks that are customarily performed by the team, were not. The pressing and closing down of last season that limited opponent shot attempts (the best shot is no shot) was wholly absent against Celta. Their attackers had acres of space because nobody in front of Ter Stegen was doing their job properly. Enrique will have a field day analyzing the match film, even as he will understand that such a match was going to happen, given the squad, the pre-season, the condition of that squad and the match schedule. When Busquets even has the stank, you know something is up.

Finishing is one sign of a tired side, and Barça isn’t finishing though the attack is creating chances. The team left goals on the table yesterday, most notably a brilliant attack led by Neymar, where Messi, faced with gobs of space to shoot at, decided that off the post would be cool. Pique missed a header he customarily buries, as did Neymar. When Barça decided to play, as it marshaled the energy that it had to put Celta in danger, there were chances. But the team didn’t have the juice to play like that the entire match. This was, by the by, also true of Levante but there is a vast gulf in quality between Levante and Celta.

On the up side, errors can be fixed. On the down side, the team is making many of the same errors, notably the failure to close down that resulted in the Roma golazo, and a couple of the Athletic goals. The team is also looser with possession which, when a risky scheme is played by the team. The obvious danger of that is when playing a counterattacking opponent (every team Barça plays, tactically) the defense will be in danger. Last season, the press and being more careful with possession prevented these problems from being apparent even as they reared their head from time to time. Celta laid them all bare.

enrique

The winter of our content

Still, it was only 3 points in the standings, leaving Barça one point off the top of the table. And even as my fingers type that there is no real cause for worry, the Barçaverse will worry because that’s what it does. The mantra for this season, and the reason smart money didn’t tap the team for another treble, is “hang on til January.” In Chicago, January brings snow up to the knees and temperatures that make most sane people question why they live in such an intemperate place. But January is, for this culer, hotly anticipated as Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal will fix a great many problems while creating others, particularly for those fond of Alves and Iniesta. Both of those XI fixtures will face very real competition for their spots. It wouldn’t be unrealistic to expect another loss or two before January, setbacks that will be no more a crisis than the Celta hammering was, one that I would wager has already been written off by the team, who understands exactly what happened.

But the coaching staff is focused on the bigger problems of getting through a difficult stretch with a top-class XI that is wanting for substitute players of something approaching like quality. Some of that is failure at La Masia level. If Munir and Sandro are all that you have to offer, those are the breaks of the game in a system that takes risks on youth players. Adama Traore and Gerard Deulofeu weren’t up to it, which is why they are plying their trade in the Premiership, hoping to do well enough to be brought back. The eggs are all in the basket of Messi, Neymar and Suarez as there isn’t a player on the bench capable of making a difference should the team run into trouble making chances (something that Barça didn’t lack for yesterday, even as tired finishing was a bigger problem). But that isn’t a problem as much as the blessing of having a trio of monsters. Squad depth, particularly in attack, was always going to be a complexity, so no surprise there. What player who is capable of being a competent sub for Messi, Neymar or Suarez is going to be happy sitting on the bench?

So Enrique is going to have the make the most of a short squad, featuring key players who will need rest but will never accept not starting, and defenders whose quality is dependent (as is true for almost all defenders) on a system functioning effectively. Crisis? No. Dilemma? Yes. How Enrique solves this will be fascinating to watch.

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

22 Comments

  1. deerwithwings
    September 24, 2015

    Great post Kevin. Thanks.

    Whilst I agree that yesterday MaTS was not the main culprit for any of the goals, I still that that Bravo has been in better form and deserves the starter role. I’d say keep MaTS as the tourney keeper and keep Bravo in the league.

    I prefer for this to happen to Barça via Celta more than most teams. This result in a Classico would be a press/morale nightmare. I also think that it is an ideal time. We won a few hard matches with some duct tape, but the signs of the 2012 Champions League run were all there. The team needed to be jolted and it will indeed be interesting to see how they respond.

    Also, I think there has been a lot of undeserved criticism of Suarez. Sure, he had a stinker yesterday, but if people don’t understand how much him just being there has created space for Messi (not to mention his role in last year’s treble) then I don’t know what to think. Ciaran had some reasonable worded criticism of him yesterday, but his form echoes that of Messi and Neymar. They ought to clique after a few more games.

    As much as I love LE, I do think he should have brought Rakitic on yesterday for Alves and dropped SR back. I can’t really understand bringing Munir in. But his post match comments were pretty incredible. I really like how ernest he seems, I and I think the team will recover.

    It’s also worth noting, again, that the absence of Xavi was always going to make this season hard. That void is pretty enormous, and not just his presence on the pitch, but also, I imagine, in the locker room and on the training field, all of which has been exacerbated by the transfer ban and injuries. I think fans really need to be patient with the team right now, and also with other fans who may have a difference of opinion (& I mean that on both sides of the “dude, relax” argument.

  2. deerwithwings
    September 24, 2015

    “I and I”: apparently I am using Jamaican syntax.

    Read I there.

  3. ciaran
    September 24, 2015

    I reckon that Suarez has less excuses than anyone else for his poor form. As I said, he had a full summer holiday, no competitions, a full preseason and no injuries and was even rested at the weekend.
    His touch is off, his movement is off and so he’s not scoring.
    Against Celta, Neymar’s runs carried him in behind the defense on a couple of occasions, as did Munir’s but Suarez didn’t create the opportunities for Messi to find him.
    People blame Munir for missing a couple of good chances but that is to do with rustiness and confidence. I’d rather have a striker miss chances than not get in the positions.

    Interesting deerwithwings’ point about Rakitic for Alves sub. When I saw the lineup yesterday I had the thought that I would have loved to see Sergi Roberto at right back and Dani in midfield. Sergi is tactically disciplined and more conservative than Dani and less likely to leave Nolito the freedom he had for the first goal. Dani, in turn, is better on the ball and more daring than Sergi so may have done better in showing for the ball and easing the pressure on Busquets and Iniesta than Sergi did.
    Easy to say in hindsight though.

    One last thought, I would certainly feel better if from January on we had two MSN ‘s. Munir, Sandro and Nolito as back up to Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

    • Davour
      September 25, 2015

      Funny, I also had the same thought about Alves and Roberto. Don’t know if it would work, or if it’s another one of those imaginary solutions (like Messi in midfield…). But you make a good point.

      Nolito would obviously be a great addition (and perhaps let Munir be loaned), but would he accept such a modest cameo as Pedro did? Part of me feels it would be a waste of talent, though as Barca fan it would be fantastic to have that option (especially if injuries would strike the trident). Let’s hope he wants the money and the glory!

      On Suarez: he seemed so on top of things during the pre-season, don’t know what happened. He seems to be a player in need of flow, playing on the margin (and rarely succeeding of late), and the teams so-so outings may affect his game in the way that he wants it “too much”, trying too hard, losing his head a little, or not making sure his body follows. Lack of a cool head and patience – or simply bad form (if there is a difference).

  4. Rami
    September 24, 2015

    Everyone took a good bite from the same rotten apple, I mean we can’t held our attackers responsible for conceding four goals, And you can’t blame our defenders that the hundreds of millions of euros worth front three, Found every conceivable way to miss their shots, As for our midfield, Even though their jobs aren’t exactly to shot that ball into the net, Or do a last ditch tackle, Their hands are just as dirty as the rest of their team mates., When a team like barca, Loses with such a margin, It is always the result of a collective failure.

    As for those constant waves of crisis, With time it’s not hard to notice that they rarely ever stem from a deeply rotted pathological issues in the team, In fact, Most of them of them are caused by ‘benign’ issues, Issues that most teams would shrug off as just part of the game, But not for barca fans that is, For some reason many but not all, Decided to surround themselves in a bubble, That we are the best, And therefore, Certain circumstances and rules don’t or shouldn’t apply to us, Example of these are:

    -A certain player or group of players can have a really bad game for no apparent reason.
    -A certain player or group of players can go out of form for no apparent reason..
    -We can get a string of injuries for no apparent reason.
    -The team can go in a series of bad results for no apparent reason.
    -The team can play a great game, And somehow still end up losing.
    -The team can play a bad game, And somehow still end up winning.
    -You can just lose a trophy, Hell, Maybe even all three..

    Don’t get me wrong, I do think we are the best, Yet i also understand that certain things in this game are universal, Inescapable, And they apply to us weather we like it or not, And most importantly, The bell of crisis doesn’t have to ring, Players exiled, New toys on the market are sought, Or managers fired every time they occur.

  5. Jim
    September 24, 2015

    Completely agree with the idea that this was a whole team problem. As Pep said, without the ball we are poor. He was right and we all know what a hole the small dude sitting sipping ( non alcoholic) cocktails in Qatar has left but we shouldn’t be kidding ourselves that it is a hole which doesn’t need filled. We have half a midfield. I think anyone suggesting Iniesta is past it needs to have a look and see how many incisive passes he played yesterday and how many the rest of the team managed between them before making these sorts of statements.

    They were also very good but better than that very clever. End of praise for them.

    Quibbles at the goals even as I accept that everyone made mistakes yesterday.

    Goal 1 – not saying TS would / should have saved it but I am saying his position was wrong ( again ). As the great Bob Wilson of Arsenal used to say ( I remember still watching his goalkeeping tips every week – probably in black and white) , there is no point being close enough to your front post that you can touch it. You should never be closer than a step and a jump unless the opponent is right on the byeline. Case in point. TS left three quarters of the goal to bend it into. Still beautifully judged curler but wrong position. I don’t buy the earlier inevitable result of sweeper keeper arguments because I don’t recall Valdes or Neuer being beaten from fifty yards twice in as many weeks. However, he is a great keeper and will learn that playing that way means constantly adjusting your position, not just camping at the edge of your box. Still more angry,as Kxevin mentions, at Alves and SR who show not a care in the world to close the guy down. Happened three or four times.

    Goal 2. Pique’s fault. However, have a look at the ball played to him by Busi ( ( I think). It was lobbed, slow and by the time it arrived at Pique he needed Iniesta like control to avoid that happening. Still should have just punted it first time but not entirely his fault. The reason our CBs can dice with death is that the passes are pinged to them. I’m fed up explaining to my Monday night fellow players that if you hit a slow thirty yard pass it can be in the air for three or four seconds which means that when it arrives at me there are two or three young aggressive tacklers just salivating !

    Goal 3. Seriously, only Alves back at a corner ??? When we know these guys are hitting on the break? Somebody needs to explain to me why Masche wasn’t back there. Not blaming him necessarily because he wouldn’t have gone up without LE’s blessing. More evidence of the man crush he has for him I think. Amateur night and down to the coach.

    Goal 4. I’m not sure why anyone thinks Pique is out of position here although I could understand he would feel he should have done better. . If you watch his changing position for the thirty seconds before I can’t fault him. Masche passes off his man as he should ( ideally Mathieu would pick him up ) although his attempt to close the crosser down is at best, woeful. Pique is watching both the eventual scorer and the ball across the goal, comes towards the ball with the player to close down and gets caught out on the wrong foot by a pretty accurate pass and control while Mathieu watches it all sympathetically !

    I’m also not sure we can use the summer exertions as any more than a peripheral excuse for a series of below par performances so far. I’m happier putting it down to a post treble malaise which we will sort. Again, as Kxevin says, more ammunition for the coach to insist on better.

    • ChaoticReaper
      September 24, 2015

      Goal #3, Ter Stegen should have been at the half way line to stop the counter

    • September 25, 2015

      Jim – ha ha, dont worry, Xavi will definitely get to drink his favourite wine and cocktails in Qatar.
      I know how the middle east treats the whites. The Sheikhs bent their back to hit the floor to please the whites! They get everything they want in the expatriate pockets and clubs., this even in Saudi Arabia.

  6. injohanveritas
    September 24, 2015

    Lucho: So Sergi Roberto, first, I want to thank you for being willing to play almost never, and then be expected to master half of the positions on the pitch without ever getting enough time for any of it. We are loving you at Right Back. So today we’re not going to play you there. Remember playing holding mid? Yeah, not that either. Today, you are an attacking midfielder who will also drop very deep and be our best and virtually only defender in the opening 20 minutes. We’ll slot you in front of Alves who today is just going to have one of those off days where he’s never in the right spot. You have to make up for that.
    Roberto: Gotcha coach. I can do that.
    Lucho: So Sergi, do you see what this big area of grass in the Midfield is for us now?
    Roberto: Yes, where we build up play. We need to control it.
    Lucho: No. Forget building up. Forget controlling. The Midfield is the space that stands between us and the goal. We want to avoid it, and get through it as fast as we can.
    Roberto: Huh?
    Lucho: When you get the ball, look forward. Only forward. Best to kick the ball over the midfield to the MSN trident. And if you can’t do that, dribble as fast as you can straight ahead and hope you don’t get quadruple teamed along the way. Iniesta’s been awesome at that of late, except for the quadruples.
    Roberto: What if the trident is marked? Doubled? Tripled with no space? What if our guys stand around and don’t try to get open? That creates lots of lame, low percentage chances. We’ll just turn it over and get countered, over and over and over again. Shouldn’t we try a bit of possession, mixed with some countering? Balance it a bit? Use the midfield to draw the other team out, open things up for the trident? And what about ball pressure?
    Lucho: We need to create chances in the danger area. Increase shots taken. Always look forward. Our trident is awesome. Their market value is 25 times what you are worth. They will deliver.
    Roberto: Yes, look forward first. Get in the danger area. I learned that when I was 8 years old, before La Masia. But I got it.
    Lucho: Good lad. And if Mats gets hurt too, next game we’ll try you in goal. Or we’ll bench you. Love your versatility.
    Roberto: Thanks coach.

  7. Rami
    September 24, 2015

    Also this match and the one against athletic, Both made me appreciate the absolutely tremendous effort the team placed last season to get that many clean sheets, They did it to the point where they made it look easy, Yet those two matches showed how much further that was from the truth.
    counterintuitive, There is a fine line in respect to work rate and intensity between getting a clean sheet and getting hammered, Especially in the high risk style our team plays with,
    Our team seemed a little bit off in the intensity department since the first official match of season against sevilla, And then again against athletic, But didn’t seem enough to justify the amount of goals we shipped in just two games, But maybe it’s all that was needed
    There is no linear relationship in what we do, If the team gave 100% and won 4-0, Giving only 75% doesn’t mean they’ll win 3-0, Just a little decrease can make the difference between a clean sheet and a complete humiliation.
    Last season it showed how potent it can be, And in this season, It showed how difficult it is, Everyone has to be on it, From the defenders to the attackers, 100% without compromise.

  8. G6O
    September 25, 2015

    Any comparisons between ter Stegen and Valdes should be made between the Valdes of ~2005 and the ter Stegen of now. Those who remember the days of a decade ago know what I am talking about.

    He is to blame for the first goal today — he wasn’t positioned properly and he did not jump/stretch as far as he should have. But it’s also true that he has been massively unlucky, with the Bilbao goal, especially the one against Roma, and even the Nolito one — those were all perfect shots that most of the time do not go in.

    And the second and third were entirely down to the defense — a sweeper-keeper is only useful if the defense is at least 10 meters inside its own half. Then he can intercept floated balls over the line of the defense and prevent the 1-on-1. There is nothing he can do if the 1-on-1 begins at speed at the halfway line.

    The most worrisome stat is the 16 goals scored in 9 games, with 9 of them coming in just two of those games. We can survive letting in four goals as long as we score 5.

    • ciaran
      September 25, 2015

      It’s funny that you mention

    • ciaran
      September 25, 2015

      Sorry, what I meant to say, it’s funny that you mention early Valdes in comparison to ter Stegen
      Valdes was a calamity earlier in his career at times. David Villa used to have a field day in his duels with VV. I remember Villa scoring from the half way line, closing him down and scoring off the deflection and passing the ball directly to Villa who lobbed it straight over him all within a couple of games.
      He passed the ball to opponents on many an occasion and used to flap at crosses more often than not.

      Sound familiar?
      Ter Stegen makes mistakes but he does so at times because he takes risks. Making a scapegoat out of him now will ruin him and will deprive us of a potential world class keeper perfectly suited for us.

      Is de Gea a better keeper? Sure but is he better than ter Stegen could be for us? I don’t think so.

  9. realdox
    September 26, 2015

    Collective error made by team.i for one have been expecting this kind result for a while because this is the kind result that do make barca get thier form.i belief barca will survive no matter what cox we are more than a club.

  10. Cyclops
    September 26, 2015

    Firstly, I dont buy that argument about winning streaks making yo feel ‘jittery’. Thats why yo supposed to be worldclass for pete’s sake. That thinking dosnt work for me. I thought winning streaks were supposed to give yo confidence? as opposed to to making yo uneasy?

    Yeah celta were good, but if barca were half of how good there were supposed to be, celta wasnt getting away with same scoreline. I totally agree it was a systemic failure. Its one of those times when yo make your plans, and hope like hell that yo opponent find a way to screw theirs. That happened for celta- luckily. I dont bother looking at how supposedly good celta were(not interested) but how good FCB were supposed to be.

    The pre-season argument dosnt wash for me. In that game, there were apparent tactical flaw that had nothing to with pre-season. I just cant close my eyes to that-tho’ it’d be safe and comfortable, correct those flaws first, then we’d talk pre-season mess

    MaTs at this point, not good enough. I’d had misgivings about him from day one, but hardly anyone tool notice, cause his flaws hadnt gotten highlighted by opponent then. And it never seems to me like he was working on them, he kept repeating then game in game out. His biggest flaws being his decision making, thats like the crux of his problem, he kinda make decision unintelligently. If he were working on them, well too slow, now he’d have to do better with the blazing torchlight of srcutiny and critiscm splayed directly on him.
    I just cant get enough of the talk about how he’s young and he’s learning, how long does it takes one to learn some basics thing? De gea at that age was a far better GK. Still waiting to see that GK that he supposedly was at Mochengladbach

    I think from the 2nd half, i’d have brought on Rakitic for Pique or Masche. Move mathieu to CB and Roberto to LB, while telling him to stay put at the back. Till the 60th minute if that hadnt worked out, i’d then probably bring Munir on and switched to a 4-2-1-3.
    What perplexes me with coaches is how you could see an obvious flaw in yo team, yet for a long time in the game you refused to make any changes to directly alter it.
    I dont think its a smart thing to do, to go for an all out attack on the opponent cause yo down one or two goals- and it just the 60 something minute. I’d rather wait like 15 minute to the end of a game before making such decision, cause sometimes it dosnt work out, and when it dosnt, courtesy of the large interval of time left to play, the opponent kicks yo ass pretty badly. Waiting for like 10,15 minute before going all guns blazing at the opponent limit the chances of getting a good spanking.
    Instead with the large amount of time left to play, i’d try to take other options make, other changes, and wait till late on in the game before doing risky things such as playing with just Two defenders at the back
    Meanwhile, i rather have Duelofuo or Adama on my bench coming on as subs, than Munir or Sandro anyday anytime

  11. Cyclops
    September 26, 2015

    Crisis??? Not on yout life. Though the beating was really bad. Its those defeat- that contary to the opinoin of some, shouldnt be ever be forgotten. Forget it at your own peril- which FCB seems to have being doing lately, mistakes from as far back as the Bilboa game, keeps on being repeated. Apparently they didnt learn nothing from those games- as far as recent games suggest anyways. And now i wonder, if its this game they’d actually learn anything from.
    The talks coming out from such games would be, yeah, the boys(men?) would learn, such mistakes wouldnt be repeated..moving on. And thats until the next time when they received another of such bashing. So i’ve learn to take such comments at face value, while cringing in anticipation of another of such- Defence mechanism its called, cushions the effect of such gargantuan loss of monunemtal proportions.

    But what worries me, is how we get to loss and loss badly, Hell, couldnt it have just been 1-0? 2-0? This dosnt looks good at all. A conscious effort would have to be put in this area, aside from all the tactical works of trying not to lose, cause some time yo can lose, sure, but when you do, please in the name of FIFA, can you try not to lose in such a damnning way?

    In the upside, the last time it was 4-0, and now its 4-1, looks like the guys are working on it already, i’d say.

    In the down side, we havnt lossed by such a marging in a liga competition as far back as what, 2008? not good at all
    Something should be done fast to rechristen RM as the sole recipeint of such smacking- we cant take that position from them, nuh-uh, not a chance….

  12. Davour
    September 26, 2015

    Knee injury for Messi. This season just keeps getting better and better… if it’s serious we are in trouble. Deep.

    • Davour
      September 26, 2015

      1,5-2 months. Not great, but at least no 6 months (of the reports are correct. Let’s hope they’re too pessimistic!). Here’s Pedro’s chance! Oh wait…

      And MAtS can’t catch a break. Defence screws him again!

  13. G6O
    September 26, 2015

    Now it’s time to panic

  14. barca96
    September 26, 2015

    Hmmm Messi is out. Our squad is already paper thin with so many departures, injuries and no new faces and now our most important player is injured. It’s going to be a rough couple of months ahead.

    The only positives I can look into this is that it’s better to get injured now then later. Secondly, the team will Develop a better chemistry as they won’t look for Nessi all the time.

    So now Even Neymar misses penalties.Is say let Suarez and Rakitic take the next ones.

  15. Cyclops
    September 26, 2015

    Uh.. could they happen to be any prayer warriors among cules? they should be notify ASAP, things dosnt looks good, at all. Forget Rafinha, forget Messi, Arda turan, Alex vidal et al, its prayers that’d will see us through till january….

    Its a pity Roberto plays better at LB- tho’ the opponent wasnt that strong but regardless for a once touted potential Xavi/Iniesta. To have down-slide up to this point, Its a shame. But then yo might want to cut him some slacks, its not as if he plays Midfield everyday…

    Meanwhile, i’m still trying to recognise that guy with the No 11 jersey..uh, no..yeah, that one,..the one who’s keeping the Ribery hairstyle(OK, not quite) Its who? Ney… what? Ney..Mar? NEYMAR!!!? lol, whatever happened to his Mohican hairstyle???

    In other news, ManCity got spanked 4-1 by Tottenham.. Apparently they took the lead first.
    So guys we not alone in this, hats off to City- newest entry into the drubbers/spanking club. Finally something to toast to….

  16. Cyclops
    September 26, 2015

    Lol, i meant *Robben hairstyle*…

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