FC Barcelona – A Big Boobed Side


No, this article is not derogatory. Yes the title is to grab your attention. No, you may not irritate us about it. Rather, think of this as a transfer preview/review/fan view and stop judging me for liking top-heavy things (women, Football Clubs, women… you get the gist).

Football is a game of balance, starting with the goalkeeper and back-line, the ball is to be moved around and put in the back of the opposite teams’ net. Few teams do this better than Barcelona (yes, I can hear 0-7 jokes already. No, I do not care.) – and you have to admit it. In my mind, in the past five years on their day, no one can move the ball on a football field like Barça can. Starting with the goalkeeper, (that infuriating b****rd known as Valdes) to the back four (Three? Maybe two?) to the midfield quarter with the lung-busting otherworldly runs of the two-wing backs and the forward three, Barça camp in the opposition half. Admit it. Out of ninety minutes, at least fifty are spent by other teams watching Barca pass and move in a metronomic mind-numbing fashion.

Even Casillas once said ‘Their passing is hypnotic, rhythmic, very easy to be drawn into a silly foul, into a shove, a moment of slipping up and they’re in behind you, a slight lapse, and they have the ball in the back of the net’

Yes, well said San Iker, cheers to you on your brilliant tactical analysis from the Bernabeu dugout as Diego Lopez puts in another brilliant shift between the posts for Madrid. But enough mocking, enough of praise. For all of Barcelona’s pass-and-move and their fluidity, there is a certain irritant – the back-line. The ‘No one is in our half, let me leave Mascherano and Pique behind’ attitude of the full-backs infuriates me. This is another reason I am frustrated by Barcelona not holding onto Abidal. With half a liver and maybe with one leg, he’s better at tracking back and covering than Alves or Mascherano are – sometimes both put together. Let’s admit it, Barca are brilliant, mesmeric when going forward but tracking back their centre-halves lack the balls to commit, knowing if they do, they have Valdes (infuriating baldie) between the posts and he isn’t the most confidence-inspiring goalkeeper, especially since his contract fiasco.

But what infuriates me even more so, and this is where I have inexplicable fits of rage and murderous intent for the Barca backroom staff – is their non-stop insistence on adding attacking talent to the first team squad. Let’s just read you a  list of players competing for the six slots ahead of the defence at Nou Camp shall we? We have – Messi, Villa, Pedro, Alexis, Tello, Cuenca, Iniesta, Xavi, Mascherano, Busquets, Song, Thiago, Fabregas and Adriano on occasion filling in six slots. And now we have a €57 million ‘wonderkid’ (unproven against anything but mediocre defences in Brazil which make a fat Ronaldinho look like he’s worth double that price tag) who has a tendency to go for a swim but find that he’s on a pitch and not on a diving board. This is like a woman who has 36 DD breasts, but insists on undergoing surgery to get a pair of 44 Triple E’s done! There’s so much there, you’d get swallowed into a vortex of suffocating on boob. I admit, a death worth dying, but one that will come slowly and painfully.

Similarly, Barcelona are overloading their front lines with way too many signings. It’s time to lose the weight, and to send out the younger ones on loan. With Cuenca heading back to Ajax AFC and Tello also a wanted target by many, we should let them gain valuable first team experience. That said, we also need to sell the old dog Villa, who on his day is the best finisher around. However, with one year left on his contract his value is dropping faster than a man falling without a parachute from 15,000 feet.

While Barça may win many more titles with a brilliant attacking side, they will die a slow painful death (suffocation by tits type of Death) and this Barça team cannot afford that. With the signings being made, a rumored expansion of the Nou Camp soon and wage bills that tower over the La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, this is where the buck must stop. And it starts with the manager.

Vilanova needs to put his foot down or just leave. He needs to adapt and tinker with what is widely regarded as Guardiola’s Barça and make signings at the back-end that won’t go foraging for goals and runs forward. Barcelona also need a re-think to their scouting policies, as at the lower or youth levels they lack an exciting prospect who will be a sure-fire starter in the future. The club needs to scout out young defensive talent or risk having even more competition for the slots already filled by players of the caliber of Xavi et al and a defence that is lacking in depth once Puyol retires leaving Pique is to marshal a back line.

nou camp

Finally, two issues that really bug me are the lack of success in landing a top goalkeeper so far this summer and the treatment of Thiago Alcântara by the people in power.

First up – the Goalkeeper issue. When Valdes announced that he wished to leave, they should have dropped him in favor of Pinto. When he has played, he’s been admirable and with more game time would surely to better. And Barcelona should have made a move for a young goalkeeper (there is still time) and make him adapt to the Barça style. Not all goalkeepers have a brilliant pair of feet with which they can play the role of sweeper, picking up the ball and passing it, recycling possession as Valdes does. This is the only reason we need a replacement before his contract runs out. Some time to adapt would certainly help and the competition would make Valdes better too.

Now to Thiago. When he made his first team debut, we all knew this kid was special. Now he’s just proven it by guiding the Spain Under-21s to a convincing win at the U-21 Euros and is in the public eye. Thiago in my mind has two brilliant feet, amazing movement, great skill on the ball and the eyes for a pass that doesn’t seem feasible. He is of Italian and Brazilian heritage, having physical and flair attributes imbibed in him and has been trained at Barça’s La Masia where passing is the name of the game. With these traits, he can play anywhere in a midfield and is deadly no matter the situation. The infuriating bit is Vilanova’s lack of awareness of the finer points of his contract and the lack of playing time he received. From a prohibitive €90 million, his release clause drops, till August 1 to an affordable €18 million. And Manchester United are sniffing around. A player we hoped would replace Xavi may be on the cusp of leaving due to bad management and Barça are to blame.

Taronish Elavia is a part of the @Football_P family. You can follow him at @Trollonish

Taronish Elavia

Supports FC Barcelona, sells lies in the form of advertising. Occasionally writes poetry, always makes people smile.