How Much More Defeat Will Barcelona Withstand?

By Olushola Oloyede.

It’s been couple of days from the last time the Catalonian giant, the almighty Barcelona, suffered a horrible and disgraceful defeat from their arch-rival, Real Madrid, in the semi-final of the Spanish Copa del Rey; a defeat many football enthusiasts considered as the reckless fall of a mighty giant. It was indeed a reckless fall but a comfortable white-wash on the side of the Los Blancos, in far away Camp Nou, the home of Barcelona, recording three goals to one against the home team. For sure, the trauma and the pains of this un-expected defeat would no doubt still be very fresh in the blood stream of the Barcelona players as well as their supporters everywhere in the world, even as they engage in another El-clasico today in the Spanish La Liga.

Let's not forget the fact that the team was just recuperating from last week’s shock, experienced in San-Siro against an AC Milan side that bewildered them with a two goal to nil in the first leg of the second round of the UEFA Champions league, putting the team in a difficult position of qualifying for the next stage of the competition. And lately, it has become a general opinion that, the elimination of the team in the semi-final of the champions’ league last season, by a massively defensive Chelsea side exposed other teams to acknowledge a tactical defensive approach when playing this skilful and attacking minded Barcelona side. And to a large extent, this opinion has proven to be true judging from the fact that the regular penetration of the team in previous seasons into the opponent's attack is now facing a threat through this "all can defend approach "adopted by their opponents. Some have also blamed these major defeats on the ill-health of their present coach-Villanova. But whatever might be the cause of the present ridicule of this Blaugrana team, the question is “how much more of these defeats can this Spanish Lord withstand?”…  “Will the team ever have a plan ‘B’ when faced with their new threat?”
First Training Session
The Copa del Dey El-clasico witnessed a Real Madrid side led by Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring their first two goals through a counter-attack after observing an openness in the defense line of Barcelona with Gerard Pique demonstrating a total flop while trying to put a challenge on Ronaldo in the eighteen yard box. This resulted to a penalty, and Puyol on the other end, performed a show that is now tagged "bend down low" as he slipped through a tricky left-footed Di-Maria’s dribble also in the eighteen yard box giving Ronaldo another clear chance to double the lead in the 56th minute. The third goal came from Raphael Verane, while Jordi Alba gave the sleeping giant a consolatory goal just some minutes before the end of the final whistle. Real Madrid was certainly on a tactical defensive approach. They were only capitalizing on a counter attack which they later used to quench the energy of their major Spanish rival, who was unable to penetrate into the opponent's goal area because of the blockade mounted by the ever conscious Madrid. It could be re-called that Chelsea also had this similar game plan, scoring from a counter and defending wisely, when they defeated Barcelona in the semi-final last season.
Perhaps, this defensive approach seems to be the only option when faced with a Barcelona team that has an accolade of great players at the midfield and in the attack. A midfield that is jam-packed with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Febregas and Busquets. These are players whose weights in football cannot be under-estimated. Talking of the attack, one would not easily forget Barca’s almighty Lionel Messi, a player who has been adjudged as a genius in the game of football.
It is not surprising that most teams that have escaped the spells of this great team have always based their strength on a compact and a more physical defense formation. Some of them have even gone ahead to over-ride the Barca side with a counter attack, just like Real Madrid did on Tuesday making Barcelona beatable like an ordinary team. The likes of Inter, Chelsea, Milan and Celtic who had once adopted a discipline of good defensive character at one time or the other against Barcelona, had also enjoyed the dividends of the intrigues of playing this Catalonian team. And obviously, other European team would be following suit, meanwhile, exposing the weakness of this team across Europe.
However, it is very funny that Barcelona has no plan "B" when faced with such a defensive challenge from their opposition. Records of various crucial matches, lost by the team have shown critically in recent time, the in-ability of the team technical bench to over-turn the situation when faced with such challenge. And over the years, the team has been criticized for this lack of plan "B” that would have been so much useful when playing an aggressive defensive formation which many are now adopting against them.
Meanwhile, as the team lost to Real Madrid on Tuesday, it is very interesting to know that the team will be playing another El-clasico by the today (Saturday) leaving the team with two options, to either console themselves with a league win over Madrid or get battered again by Real Madrid. The second option, mind you, might likely be desirous, not to Barcelona's league title race, but it might put more pressure and demoralize the team when they face the Italian side in the return leg of the UEFA Champions League at home. Any un-comfortable win or even a draw will definitely oust the Spanish and former European champions in the competition.
By and large, it is a known fact that the world’s famous attacking Barcelona side still remains a major threat in the world. But the team is now, also facing a great challenge of massive defensive football and without mincing words, the team is having a serious fever from this challenge, which its technical crew has not been able to handle tactically. They have allowed the team to become a subject of ridicule in the past weeks. And if this threat continues to bewitch the team winning ways without the coaching crew fashioning a plan "B" to tackle this just detected enemy on the field of play, the Catalonian giant might find themselves falling in a thousand time to the same fate, and losing their respect in Europe. Having said this, it is also good to note that, a lost, whether against Real Madrid in the league match or against AC Milan in the second leg of the Champions League would not be good for Barcelona again. It might as well lead the team to a possible "go down low" situation, making the season a bad one for a team that is bestowed with world class players over the years.
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About Eustace Dunn

16 comments:

  1. Up Barca! We wil trash Madrid today.

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  2. The plan b ıs ımportant.

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  3. For me, I wish barca well in there match cos Messi is my man.

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  4. Barca wil win today cos I support barca

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    Replies
    1. It's good to read from you Ada. It's been ages....
      On the issue of discussion, I can guess that the tricks of the so called "Mighty Barcelona" have been unveiled. We've all seen it and we've all felt it too....
      Madrid of today still remains the "BOMB", where Barcelona is just an ordinary "One round KNOCK-OUT"

      Delete
  5. So bad ıt happened agaın!

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  6. So finally no caution was taken by barca to beat Madrid?

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  7. I cried again today. After reading this article in the morning, I decided not to comment until after the match wit d hop of seeing barca win. But to no avail.

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  8. @chinyere,dunn,ada,anonymous... Its a pity u guys still live in fantasy world. U support a team without plan B. U better start preparing for another heart break in d champions league against AC Milan. Everybody knows what it takes to beat Barca.

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  9. @Ayo dont worry, u wil be surprised soon.

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  10. Barca is still going to be a force in football for years to come. I think form is temporary but class is constant. They lost form and miss their coach but they will bounce back sooner or later

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