Another Clasico, Another Day: Real Madrid – Barcelona
RM 2, Barça 1, aka “It has to come from the players”
Canadian, cule, corporate wage slave. Came late to the beautiful game, but fell under FCB's spell in 2006 and never looked back.
RM obviously fielding a team to play for a draw. None of their first choice forwards and mid-fielders to rest them for the ManU match but a strong backline to prevent us from doing a manita at the Bernabeau. FCB has pretty much their first team except for Xavi, with fans’ long awaited return of the MVP front line. I say the goal today should be 3-0, 4-0 or 5-0. That would pyschologically erase the bitter taste of the Copa. Also, provides good practice for the Milan game when the imperative would be score as many goals as possible.
Pathetic. Yet again.
We are suddenly a VERY average side…
Dsnt help when the ref is blind but we didnt deserve to get anything out of that. Another depressing performance.
Is it lost confidence or, are they thinking too much of the Milan return leg? There should be red flags going out at Camp Nou right now.
Knew I should have slept through this match. I watched all season long last year, even knowing that the team were not going to win liga. At least the team was playing well and were trying. I don’t know what’s going on now.
This is the best team in the world.
Who’s next on our list?
Madrid have beat us comfortably today without breaking sweat. We have no chance against Milan because they WILL score, so lets hope we limp home in La Liga and win that…
Don’t worry guys, everything is fine, just a matter of inches.. (not a dig at kxevin)
LMAO! How is that NOT a dig at Kxevin?
Barcelona did not deserve any points from that game. It was as toothless as I have seen the team.
And I hope the penalty or not is not a topic here. I am just disappointed in how the team seemed to have no drive whatsoever.
And what would you expect from Roura? he’s the fall guy now for scumbag Rossel.
Was a penalty but the players have to look past that and examine why we didnt gr for the jugular against a rotated 11. A penalty and 2-2 would not mask how terrible that half was.
i feel sure there are red flags – this is not a small dip in form, as many have noted. there are some serious problems, and it seems likely this will have a pretty difficult effect on the players.
hard to take, especially ahead of the Milan match.
“the league is theirs to lose” should not be taken as a challenge.
visca barça ~
sending all the guys some encouragement and love – hard to be so good at winning and then lose a bunch in a row.
They don’t need encouragement, they need a verbal thrashing. They have been utterly bad today, no excuses.
They won’t be taking it lights as in two weeks time that could be the only hope.
Encouragement? They don’t even deserve a shower…
Something is wrong, and we need a fix FAST
That’s 3 losses in the last 4 games, 4 games against quality sides, games where you should make a statement.
Houston, we have a problem.
And not talking about it it’s not going to make things easier.
It’s becoming obvious that this team needs a real coach on the sidelines. The team has lost momentum and need a stiff telling off.
From watching the team in the last few weeks, I always felt that Busquets need to up his game against high pressuring game. When pressed he may not be losing possession, but his release ball to the team mates is putting them in serious trouble. May be I am wrong at least I felt it.
Anyways there was no change in the tactics much only personnel changed. Once again we looked completely lost off ideas in the attacking third.
The way we are playing against Milan we won’t be having much chance. Anyways there won’t be any change in formation. But for trying we should start with Tello on the left, Pedro is not an option now.
I didn’t even recognize them out there….
No control in midfield,
No ideas in attack,
This was just so…weak
At least this will give the “glass half full” type a reality check. Outplayed again… We had possession but they had the chances on goal. These Clasicos and the Milan game show that the False 9 formation has been figured out. Its not the first formation to be nullified tactically remember when people played 442???
Our performance level was a bit better but with a congested and narrow team with defenders as good as Milan and Real have our formation is neutralised we have to play inch perfect passes to get a chance on goal they have space to play. We were hanging on in the last 15 minutes.
No more false 9 formation 4231 I think is the way to go. With Messi behind a proper 9 and Fabregas and Busquets as the sitting two. Those calling for a formation with 3 defenders wake up… Its never worked and it will never work with a team as attacking as ours.
4-2-3-1 formation would not work. There won’t be any urgency for Milan to come at us and chase the game. They will set back and then what good does 6 defensive players gonna get you.
But the thing is its not 6 defensive players, Alba and alves are ahead of our wingers most of the time, the only way to defend with two attacking full backs is a double pivot. Plus busi can cover for pique when he makes his runs….
then isn’t it better to have a three man defense and Pure wingers running from midfield.
I would respectfully have to disagree. I think that playing 4231 will give us the option of playing Messi behind a proper number 9. Playing a proper 9 gives us counter-attacking options, long ball options and a runner to create space ahead of Messi but most importantly it gives us the ability to utilize the crossing opportunities that teams like Madrid playing a narrow formation will give us instead of consistently cutting the ball back in crossing positions because no one is in the penalty area.
We had two shots on goal this game..unacceptable.
That’s an improvement over the Milan match 🙂
Why didn’t Villa continued with the game? Why wasn’t Pedro substituted at half time with Tello, why was Iniesta left on the field when clearly he is off form these past few weeks.
Why is Song not played at all? He can’t be worse than this?
Agree on Villa although I thought we’d learned that he should be played in the centre ahead of Messi.
With regard to Iniesta I shiver at he thought of him not being there today. Who would you play?
Pep, please, take over for the rest of the season!
Nah we don’t need a coach. We just need to keep the faith n shout Anims Tito! after every loss. Cus this isn’t Chelsea, we don’t make management changes during the season right?
The immense talent we have still needs capable direction. I still say they should have brought in a functional manager in January.
Anyway, Milan awaits.
Well Cesc didnt force Iniesta to the wing and we were still shit. Everyone is noticing the left wing but on the right Pedro is a black hole in the attacking third. We might have to play Adriano out there against milan to have a chance.
No running, no pressing, slow passing, no ideas.
It is a crisis!
I wouldn’t give the players a day off tomorrow. Everyone in training and bench Messi, Iniesta for the Deportivo match.
We’ll already be missing Pique and VV so why not? Sit ’em out and let them watch.
I want Iniesta and Messi to be benched. Let the squad players play and show them to stop living of on past glory.
Tomorrow for training, military style punishment training.
Yes, we have to HUGE BIG ENORMOUS wholes in the both flanks in attack. Our forwards are everything bar attackers.
But we don’t need them, cause, we, do, not, attack!
I don’t think we were pathetic you guys need to chill we were outplayed by a team who’s formation and movement nullified ours.
Give credit were its due… Varane is one hell of a defender I remember during the week some guy said something about “Barcelona can only buy certain type of defenders blah blah”… Give it a rest. A great defender is a great defender… No more converted defenders buy real ones.
Valdes was great till he lost his head, Thiago played well enough for a developing player but with Villa, Pedro and Sanchez so bad I’m really starting to worry about goals. Team tried but confidence once again took a hit. We have to find solutions and progess. Visca Barca.
They rested seven players. The one one time we went and stretched their high line we scored. They didnt really nullify us more like our approach did ask question of theirs.
I am sorry, developing player is not an excuse for Thiago as he has been with the first team for long enough. I love him but he was simply not good enough today. And to be fair, neither was the team.
2 shots on goal. Let’s talk about that statistic a little bit.
Shocking stat for a team of this quality, I am convinced that there is little to no tactical prep being done for any of these games.
Pep used to prepare for every game like it was a final. Each player would be given a ridiculous amount of instruction for every particular game.
This just goes to show the importance of good coaching, and will eradicate the notion that anyone can coach barcelona and they would still win.
People calling VV a bad loser but at least we know he isnt leaving because he doesnt care. We need our players to find their fire again. Something like Pep’s Mourinho el puto amo speech. Anything to wake them up.
obviously it is a coaching problem, not a problem of the players.
– It’s official now. We are simply not good
enough. It’s as simple as that. We can’t
beat a Madrid team with 5 of it’s key
players out. Don’t tell me that we have a
few players missing too because our players
are missing because of injury, not because
we think we can make do with the squad
– Morata played the full match. Which
youngster can we put in a match versus
It looks like our Barca babies are losing out
tomorrow Madrid babies at this point of
– We can’t beat a quality team. We can only
beat teams that are financially
Our player’s should take a
wage cut. I don’t think they showed their
worth. Let’s not compare our player’s to Getafe,
Mallorca, Levante players. Compare apples
to apples. I see more fight and will in the
Madrid and Milan players (the only 2 big
sides we’ve come up against recently).
– Now we’ve lost 3 out of the last 4
matches. That sounds like a crisis to me.
Morata played the full match. Which
youngster can we put in a match versus
You could put Tello in there and see how he uses the pace. There is no point in bringing him when 10 minutes are left.
And the MF of them all, RM fields a weakened team compared to what they have and we still look like complete bunch of lost in the space. No game plan, no desire, no heart, not enough life.
As for the cure, i have no idea.
I’ve been saying for months now, Messi and
Iniesta are passengers.
And besides that, I’m bitterly disappointed
at them for not showing leadership. They as
the 2 best player’s of the team should show
more courage and trying to lead the team.
Iniesta probably saw the nickname that Kxevin gave him and thought that he really should be one. Messi just doesn’t
seem bothered anymore. Really
disappointed at them.
If I was a coach, I would play player’s that are 100% in it. Enjoy is enough choose players based on paper and not form.
“Messi and Iniesta are passengers.”
I stopped reading there…
Better not comment at all if that’s all you can say.
Please stop the messi doesnt seem bothered thing. He even tackled pepe today. Passed the ball with his right foot too pedro who was as usual too slow to get away from the defender. And set up our only tiki taka attack.The other players should try pulling their own weight for a change.
Jordi, this is the first time in years that I’ve criticized Messi so please don’t put me in the Messi is lazy camp.
I know Messi did all that you mentioned, but they were all in the first half.
Where was he in the 2nd half? How many touches did he make? He didn’t offer himself at all.
A match is 90+ minutes long. Not whenever you feel like you want to get involved.
Im replying to you but I just mean in general to people who often say that. If for example tello had come on for pedro at half time and we had pushed villa in front of messi it might have been better, but we only sub when we concede.
It’s funny that when they find something that works, Villa – Messi – Tello, only for them to not use it ever again.
For some reason that loss hurt more than the one midweek. Even though it meant a lot less and it was away and the scoreline wasnt as bad, the attitude of our players compared to theirs was just so depressing. If we didnt have such a commanding lead of the league then I couldnt see this team winning anything right now.
Don’t bank on that. Our boys form are simply capable of losing the Liga too.
I know we “can” afford to lose this match, but this is too much to take. The impact of these 3 losses in a short span of time scares me.
15 games played
second round of Liga
7 games played
we are winning around 55%
is Liga in the bag? i hope so.
It’s like being an Arsenal fan right now. Seeing your team play like crap back to back with no consequences. I don’t think the team are working hard at all in training. We can only blame the coaching staff for so much but, it looks like the players themselves have forgotten how to play football.
Every hater used to say with these players you don’t need a coach, pffff!!!! Everything that worked so well in the first half of the season is going wrong right now. I wouldn’t be as worried if it was just EE beating our asses coz they are a quality side but, it seems as if any team is capable of beating us right now. To give Mou credit on tactics will be to much respect, every team has been sitting back and counter, if anything, Barca are not doing themselves favours by being so horrible. If we play like this with Milan, we will lose 3-0.
Exactly. And to make matters worse this RM team is not playing that great too. They are just prime and prepared to beat us all the time now. And we do make it so easy for them.
Awful. Just awful. We looked lifeless. Couldnt control the midfield, too many misplaced passes, lost the ball easily, huge lack of pressing, no danger to their goal, late subs(again), constant fouling near our goal,another goal conceded on a set piece. What else am I missing? Like this, we’re not getting through Milan. All I know, is that even if we do go through to the quarters, we are sure as hell NOT winning the UCL.
Id like them to prove me wrong of course.
We can tiki taka until the end of the season without showing desire to do something with that tiki taka.
Results do hurt, but not so much as our attitude towards the games.
It’s obvious, nobody is coaching them, and they are left only to their qualities to win matches.
A bigger problem for me is that we came to a point where NO team is already afraid of us. We came to A point where we are afraid of big teams, big games. It will hunt us in a long run.
Barcelona did not deserve any points from
that game. It was as toothless as I have
seen the team.
And I hope the penalty or not is not a topic
here. I am just disappointed in how the
team seemed to have no drive whatsoever.
And what would you expect from Roura?
he’s the fall guy now for scumbag Rossel.
I thought that the Milan game was more toothless. At least we have 2 shots on target, 1 goal and ran a whole lot more.
Agreed on the penalty. I wouldn’t want us to get a point in that manner, in the injury time.
What does rosell have anything to do with the results on the pitch?
You wanna Rosell to get a new coach and release Tito?! What will you say then? Rosell is heart less?
Song for central midfield.
First priority next season is not a central defender, but a big striker who can help defend set pieces.
What kind of logic is that? why not sign a tall defender to defend set pieces????
Because we also need a big striker, so you get two for the price of one, rather than buying a lumbering Ox at the back who can’t play the Barca style.
Then we’ll just have a big lumbering ox at the front (aka imbrahimovic)
You’re over-simplifying a bigger problem
I want a lumbering Ox who doesn’t stray too far from their penalty box, who crunches CBs, who is always there to toe-poke a goal (instead of Barca watching the ball dribble across the goal mouth again). Teams don’t respect us in the middle, so they don’t respect us on the flanks, which means they can play narrow and chock us off.
I see an ox forward as necessary to the survival of tiki taki, not its end.
And as a bonus you get a big defender for set pieces.
There were various stages in the game when we wasted time with possession with no intent. That came back to hurt us later on.
Now we have lost against a second string Madrid side and all the momentum has shifted to them. Lets hope we don’t blow the league. I don’t feel we are that bad but clearly the level we are playing at is the lowest in 5 years.
I don’t what we need to do have a shot at beating Milan. Rest at Depor? 3 CBs in a 3-3-1-3 ? It would be a damn shame if we were knocked out but there seems to be no signs of recovery. Its an unfortunate situation that puts undue pressure on both Tito and Roura. What a mess.
In order to discuss our game off, I’d like to raise a discussion about RM’s defending.
After a number of succesful Barca seasons, teams figured out that best way to deal against a posession style footbal is “parking the bus”. Although rarely did that completely nullify Barca.
It’s one thing to tell your players to form 2 solid lines in front of Barca and completely another to give them more special instructions. It seems Mourihno found a more niche way to deal with us than just “parking a bus”
Below is the picture of what I’m going to be talking about. Field is divided into 3 parts:
1) Our half of the field.
Madrid’s forward line fiercly defends. 2-3 RM players constantly run at Barca player with posession to try to force an error and transition into a quick counter attack. This rarely works, but it makes it difficult for us to approach half the field where our posession style footbal is the most dangerous.
2) Half of their half of the field.
This is the most important part. When we bring the ball to the half line, RM players start running, but not at our players, but back into what we now know as “the parked bus”. If you decide to re-watch the match, carefully pay attention to this. Madrid do NOT care if we have the ball, they do NOT contest it, they simply form their formation. That is all they are worried about. They send 1 player to apply pressure (just stand in front of Barca player with the ball to reduce the angle of a pass he can make) but they DO NOT CHALLENGE FOR THE BALL. This is the crucial point. This allows RM to transition into their defensive formation and DISARM our main way of creating opportunities – creating space and through passes.
3) Last ditch defending.
This is what RM do NOT want. It’s very clear they get nervous when we get beyond the yellow zone. Mourihno puts all of his eggs in one basket, and that is that Barca only gets to this point with a through pass, the traditional tika taka. He hopes 10 players that are on his half of the field will prevent that from happening and the solid defensive formation that is emphasized in that “transition” space will help.
There’s a point in the game where Inesta and Messi play a game of passes back and forth. RM just stand there and watch. Nobody challenges for the ball and runs at our players. They’re in the yellow “transition” zone. I believe this is the most important point. It’s basically a game of chicken. Crowd starts booing and, for some reason, our players start attempting to make forward passes (we’re an attacking team, remember?) but we fail to get through their defensive formation right in front of us because we haven’t beat a single player yet (they don’t challenge for the ball).
It took Mourihno a handful of losses to us, but he found a way to deal with us effectively.
Now, that being said, in my opinion the best way to deal with this isn’t completely changing the way we play, nor is it signing a tall CF, nor is it asking for Pep to come back, but simply continuing playing our game.
Seriously, what the hell happened? Why do we not cherish posession anymore? Why do we force to make plays so hard? It almost feels we’re desperate. Feels like the team wants to score, it NEEDS to score 4-5-6 goals to regain confidence. But why is that? For me, with every single pass we make our confidence has to grow, the longer we have the ball the more confident and lethal we should become. This is what Pep was amazing at. He was able to calm down players and make them believe that holding onto the ball for 2-3 minutes WILL allow us to find the perfect opportunity for that last pass into the penalty area.
Best way to deal with RM’s rigid defensive play (or Milan, it’s very very similar) is to hold the ball for as long as we need until one of their players moves 1-2 inches which is enough for that perfect pass forward.
We have to start playing the game our way again. Today, Iniesta was the only composed player in the midfield for me, he didn’t rush anything, he didn’t force plays, he just played his game confidently and he never gave away the ball.
Player that I believe tries “too hard” to make something happen is Messi. So many times he gets the ball, looks forward, sees a SLIGHT opportunity to make a through pass and makes it .. only to lose posession. He drops deeper and deeper every game but it isn’t to create play but to force plays. Shucks.
Anyway, my $0.02, and this post will probably get lost when the new thread about the game review is up, haha
I wish I knew how to make a wall of text easier to read, hah. Sorry about that.
Interesting. But do you rather have Messi and co trying to force play (more direct and high risk) or play safe and keep pinging the ball endlessly (Milan)?
“Play safe and keep pinging the ball endlessly”
That’s our game and that is what we’re best at. Just like not a single team in the world can adopt our style of play we can’t just change tactics especially in the most important part of the season. This is our philosophy, this is our game, why are we doubting it when it doesn’t work out?
Truth is our players are not 100% fit. We force players to play with pain killers, some players are too stubborn to admit when they’re sick or in pain, some players break their legs and sustain long injuries because of that too.
We have to be smart. Just like Mou can bench Ronaldo against us for 60 minutes we should be doing the same with Messi. Why does Xavi have to sustain an injury before we finally decide it’s a good idea to sit him out?
That’s because of the pressure from the club and fans. Look at your comments, read what everybody here is saying. A classico is a classico, and nobody cares that this game is MEANINGLESS to us. Even Mou gave up and started with a completely different line up, an “experimental” one even. Barca fans and administration wants to smash their eternal rival so hard we forget that this game has ZERO importance. What would happen if one of our key players got injured ahead of the Milan match? Did you see how angry Mou got when Dani hard tackled Ronaldo? He got scared that his main weapon for the Man U game might get injured, the weapon he was preserving all match long.
We have to me smart.
Spaniards are very passionate people though. EE has the advantage here because they have more Spanish players (lol). Even cool headed Iniesta lost it when we didn’t get the penalty and got carded. When emotions drown rationale, we lose.
Arthur, that is a brilliant analysis. But I’m not sure about the solution, because its a devilishly difficult problem. For a start, i don’t think players like Tiago have the necessary patience. Nor is he very good at shielding the ball in midfield. Funnily enough, the player who most resembles Xavi is Song, but he won’t get much game time under this regime.
I still maintain the solution is to make team s worry more about Barcas wingers, and that means a big central striker who can knock in crosses (and defend set pieces). At the moment, Mou is a lot more worried about through balls than crosses.
I disagree, one of Thiago’s biggest strengths is operating in very tight spaces, but the area of the pitch that he’s best at is operated by Messi. Just like almost every single player on the team apart from Messi he is forced to play out of his favorite position. (a bit of exaggeration :p sorry)
Fantastic points, I’ve also noticed this advanced bus tactic used by madrid and even other teams we faced this season. Teams are more inclined to control zones and spaces than actual players. The fact that we developed and impatience to holding the ball doesn’t help at all.
Get that advice into Roura now!!
this is similar to what i wrote on the Milan post as i noticed Milan employed the same tactic. However, I doubt it’d be the same in a return leg because they don’t need goals. They’ll probably park the bus and let us keep passing the ball to death. I wish Tito is in a better condition in the next ten days so he can come up with something that can bring our players confidence back.
Today, Iniesta was the only composed player in the midfield for me, he didn’t rush anything, he didn’t force plays, he just played his game confidently and he never gave away the ball.
Roura: “Satisfied with the attitude of the team, we were close to getting a point at an always difficult stadium like the Bernabeu”
I mean that says it all now doesnt it. Satisfied with the attitude of the team!!! REALLY???? Oh and since when is getting a point a satisfactory result for a team like Barcelona, home or away. Complete lack of leadership. No wonder we are on a downward spiral.
It this lack of management that scares me more than anything, its like they dont even see the problem!!!
Those are the musings of a low level coach narrowly beaten by a high level team. Not what you would expect from somebody in control of a team of our stature. And it speaks toward his attitude in managing this team. Not a comforting response at all in the face of our current form.
I agree. They need to address the coaching issue ASAP. It’s like we’re floating with no clear direction and leadership. If these series of losses isn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what is.
He doesnt have the authority to bash them publicly, nor do I think someone like Pep would either.He always praised the team after our worst games. The worry is that Roura cant shout at world cup winners in private either. No track record, the players wont respect him.
Does this dip in form coincide with any recent big news?
VV not continuing? Tito to NY?
Something is not right. They’re not fighting for each other anymore. It’s like they’re a bunch of individuals. Not as a team.
If I was the coach, I would take them on a bonding session. It’s a must and it has to be done asap.
Is it time to panic yet? #BringBackPep
I don’t see all these problems y’all seeing. Its just a coaching issue. Every little problem in some way leads up to the absence of a COACH. This is modern football, there is nothing more important than the COACH. If we weren’t so talented and possessive, we would probably have seen the signs earlier and clearer.
So if you were expecting us to win it all without a coach, too bad. Since the management didn’t bring in any interim one(which is a topic for another day), I suggest ‘calmly’ enjoy the rest of the season.
Well, if I recall correctly, when Tito got sick again and had to go to NY, Rosell wanted to get an interim coach but, the players said no and wanted to continue with Tito’s plan for the season. Off course, this if when they probably didn’t know that he’d be out for this long. Initially, it was meant to e 10 days of treatment. Then 6 weeks now, no one knows when he’s coming back. I think it’s too late to try and find some one of quality right now. Maybe Luis Enrique could come in and help Roura as he knows the system already.
I think that the players are getting off without a yelling at or consequences as well. I hate the guy but, Mou got the team responding after he benched the BIG guns. He made a statement that they had to work harder. Tito was doing the same thing as well by benching Alves and resting Messi as well. We seem to be playing as bad as EE were in the first half of the season.
‘@barcastuff: Vilanova is now going through the hardest part of his cancer treatment. He’s expected to stay in New York for another month’
That was earlier this week. Its safe to say we are mostly on our own tactically and in terms of discipline.
Exactly. Obviously time for us to lower our expectations. I used to watch a match up of wits, Pep v Mou. Now, I’m just hoping we don’t get a big thumping. That’s just being realistic. We have no coach. We’re going to limp out of this season and a new coach needs to be named for the 2013-14 season. That would be the fairest thing for all. Tito can hopefully be well enough to be assistant again. Bring Luis Enrique in to sit next to Roura. To save face, we need o concentrate of becoming much more defensive. To ask more than that at this time is crazy.
We are on the same page. However, Tilting towards being defensive a bit more sounds like a very good plan like 3 weeks ago. The Milan game is probably the only ‘game’ left and we need to attack. We can still try to do that sensibly though.
Right. Attack at Milan game. I don’t see that we have what it takes to win that game but its the only approach we can take. Then we need to concentrate on defense, collect our trophy and regroup for next year.
There is a rumour on twitter saying VV punched the ref and got arrested. Barca staff denied the rumours. VV has some bit to him ha? GRRRRR!!!!
Been confirmed as false
Well, Messi ran/defended/pressed/tracked back more today than the passed 4 matches combined so there is that. We looked good (minus the goal) in the first half. They had some pretty good impact subs to put in off the bench.
So what does Song have to do to get some time?
I want our next CB to be 6’5″,fast, and built like a brick…
Visca Barca and Glory, Glory Man United (this week)!
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