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elpresidente On November - 9 - 2011

Barcelona Observer: End of the Run?

There have been whispers around, in the media and amongst us the twitterati, that the powerful Barça dynasty, that dominance that they have enforced over the last 6 years is running its course, that lesser clubs are testing them and have found them out or at least that they themselves have finally managed to lose the war of attrition that all clubs succumb to: age strikes at all clubs, and all of them lose sooner or later.

I think FC Barcelona are finally coming to the realization that the tandem of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique are not going to be reliable even in the short-term. I don´t think the innovation of using three at the back, or using a converted midfielder like Mascherano or a reliable fullback like Abidal out of position, is going to lead to success in the long-run and I don´t think that they´ve answered the question of replacing Xavi Hernandez even by buying Cesc Fabregas. They are not the perfect squad that everyone makes them out to be; Pedro is showing some sophomoric tendencies and injuries have hampered the development of Alexis Sanchez and Ibrahim Affelay. The experimentation with three at the back has limited Dani Alves´ game, Thiago Alcántara is hot and cold as is anyone with such a bright promise at such a young age, and maybe the most telling statistic is the play of Barcelona strikers over the last six years that aren´t named Lionel Messi. David Villa is t he most prolific striker in the history of Spanish football. Even in his last year playing at Mestalla, he was easily the best Spanish striker in the Spanish league. Granted, he isn´t the same age he was then, but how does he go from being the focal point of his club to an after-thought? Is he any different from Thierry Henry during his time at Barça? Can we look past the demented rumblings of Zlatan Ibrahimovich and say that maybe the key problem to Barça´s fortunes is their greatest asset?

Are they really too Messi-dependent, or specifically is that the case for Pep Guardiola´s management style in general? He is the greatest player of his generation, better than anyone else playing in Europe at this time, but he´s not unstoppable and neither is FC Barcelona and Pep Guardiola has staked his career on the coat-tails of the midget from Rosario, Argentina. Clubs have caught up to FC Barcelona, Real Madrid looks the toughest challenger to them both domestically and internationally, but until the trophies are won and the season is over I´m not willing to concede that the crown is anyone else´s but FC Barcelona. They´re 3 points behind Real Madrid and they aren´t playing as well as they have in the past few years, but only idiots (or madridistas) would bet against them at this point of the season. I think it´s too soon to tell if it´s the end of the run for FC Barcelona.

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11 Responses so far.

  1. eddie says:

    The Barca rot started as soon as Mourinho steps into Madrid. Just as Barca was impeded quite regularly by Mourinho in the champions league whem the latter was with other teams.

    Barca is still the best team in the world and until they lose winning trophies, they will remain the best. That is the only yardstick to measure. But Barca has already lost one trophy the 1st yr Mourinho was in charge of Madrid. Barca may have lost another if not for the sending off of Pepe and the magic of Messi. Messi is Barca. Without Messi, Barca would be nowhere.

    Spanish King cup was lost to Mourinho in his 1st year. In Mous 2nd year, there is more than an even chance more will be lost by Barca. I am prepared to bet on it. Anyone willing to put real money on this serious wager?

    • Gandi says:

      I bet barca wil leav nthg 2 madri. Kings, la liga, champs.

    • francis T says:

      am ready to bet real money with u,madrid will not dethrone Barcelona, wether mourinho is in his second season,afterall.Gourdiola won everything in his first year incharge as a Barcelona coach. I dont have much to say until after the first el classico. Visca Barcelona

    • elpresidente says:

      It´s obvious it´s November. The madridistas are out, they´re playing well and everyone is sky high celebrating trophies. Does anyone remember that about a month ago they were this close to pulling the plug on Mourinho? There was mutiny in the dressing room and people were still talking about the eye-poke incident? Winning smooths over lots of wrinkles. Putting up 5 or more goals on cannon fodder like Zaragoza, Rayo,or Osasuna also distorts what they´ve done. This next month will be a test to see if Mou has really changed the club: Valencia, Atleti, Sporting, Barça, and Sevilla. If they can run that table then I agree that it´ll be tough for Barcelona this year. Right now? You´d be foolish to put up serious money.

  2. Andrew says:

    this article was written because Barcelona are 3 points behind Madrid in November? Someone needed to fill their article quota..

    • elpresidente says:

      You sound like my editor. Wait, I´m the editor. No, this article was written in response to what´s already being talked about. By the way, I agree with you. Did you read the last paragraph, or did you do what most people do when reading blogs and skim right past it after reading the first few lines?

  3. Ryan Whelan says:

    What a load of shit!!!! eddie u clearly no nothing about football talking about losing trophies. they are defending champions of UEFA CL and la liga and u want to talk about a rot. people always want to talk shit early on in the season. Is it a rot if barcelona finish 1 point behind la liga at the end of the season NO!

    i can say without ronaldo madrid is nothing! messi is not a team hence argentina didnt win world cup. messi needs iniestia xavi and co to play well so he can operate at 100%

    • elpresidente says:

      Look, the article was written because I wanted to spark a conversation, but the important thing to remember is that until Real Madrid has faced Barcelona and beaten them in the league, something Mourinho has yet to do, then all of this is moot.

  4. Ninh says:

    Blah, blah, blah! Ill wishers are out in drove nowadays!

  5. football bear says:

    Barca does have potential problems, which might get severe if the event that Messi or xabi will be injured for a long time, however at the moment they still look like the best team in the world.


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