2 part midfield question

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2 part midfield question

Post by The Franchise on Mon May 27, 2013 9:50 pm

Do you think it would of been better signing Javi Martinez (even for that overpriced figure) for back up holding midfielder and Keita-ish physical pressuring advanced midfielder in one instead of signing Song and Cesc?

Second, your opinion on how close Thiago merits being a starter? How many games in relation to Xavi should he play? Basically what increased role, if any, should he receive?
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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by windkick on Mon May 27, 2013 10:11 pm

Yes to Javi Martinez. The club of Barcelona IMO, lets pride cloud there judgement allot of times. What I mean by that, the bringing back of Cesc to his club he played at as a child and given he is a true Catalan, was enough merit of pride to the clubs proof and joy of it's la Masia academy's greatness. That imo, was the leading reason for bringing back Cesc....and might also be in bringing back Reina (via being a Masia product). While I am also proud of the number of la Masia products playing fist team ball, I also think that in a football sense, the Cesc signing didn't make a whole lot of sense. Javi was younger, and playing amazing for youth Spanish NT squads and for Bilbao at both DM and CB. He unlike Song, could of brought the grit and understanding of the Spanish way of playing that could of really challenged Busquets for his role (which would of made Busi even better with some one breathing down his neck-he would of also became the automatic 2nd string CB we need when either Puyol or Pique get injured). He has also proven to be a better CB than either Song or Mascherano. And again, younger than them. For the price we got Cesc and Song, it would of made more sense to just spend that cash on Javi. A part of me also believed the Song signing was in part a lets replace Keita with some one Cesc knows so he is happy with some one from his old team. I'm sure it had allot to do with Cesc's recommendation. I could be wrong in this theory, but it's possible. Pretty much Cesc wasn't needed and Javi could of done what Song and Masch do just as easily if not better. Thiago could of been both Iniesta's and Xavi's back up easily imo. He would of got plenty of time on the pitch this way and Iniesta would of never been pushed to the left wing to make room for him. But, at the end of the day, I think the club let its Catalan/Masia pride get in the way and passed a possible signing that could of helped us leaps and bounds this season.

2. I think Thiago should play the majority of our La Liga games against the mid to lower table teams right off the bat. Xavi should get all the hard assignments and UCL group games. While Thiago is younger and has a high ceiling, Xavi is still the best midfielder on the planet. I am no suggesting Thiago "bench" him, but more so extend his career.

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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by BarcaKizz on Mon May 27, 2013 10:28 pm

Yes to Javi Martinez. I agree with Windkick. Though he's exceeded my expectations at Bayern and hard to say he would have been so key here. He would have played a lot more in CB at Barca I feel.

Thiago? I've said it many times. We need to start using Xavi like United used Giggs and Scholes. He's a very passionate player who wants to play all the time still, but he's also a very smart and loyal player and I think if given the reasons he would accept them.

Thiago should basically play as many games as Xavi. He should be the starter in all insignificant games and a majority of La Liga games. While Xavi should be rolled out for all big games and a fair share of others. No need for him to be doing leg-work against a team like Zaragoza for instance.

Ultimately, if you're asking who should be the XI to play most minutes next season I'd go with Thiago-Busi-Iniesta in mids.

I also think Thiago has been our best midfielder in the last few months anyway. Has nothing to do with potential, his quality NOW is good enough.
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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by messixaviesta on Mon May 27, 2013 11:55 pm

dani, interesting questions. Here are my thoughts.

1. Fabregas and Song were both needless signings as I have said several times before. What we needed above all is one central defender (we really should have gone all out for Thiago Silva) and less than that one utility midfielder capable of being a backup to Busquets and even playing as Iniesta's understudy if needed, although that may only be rare. The reason for this is Thiago would be the first option for the latter function. Instead this player could also be used as a substitute to provide extra pressing and thrust when needed. Martinez was one option. Vidal as you mentioned some time back was another (we could have approached him one summer before). Let's not forget that Bayern went for Martinez only because they missed out on Vidal. We could have looked at others as well.

2. First of all we must sell Fabregas. His presence causes imbalance in the team and makes Thiago more and more insecure. Thiago has to be developed in two roles - his primary being Xavi's understudy and his secondary being Iniesta's backup. Thiago can play say one in four games for Xavi and one in eight games for Iniesta. That means we can start him in about 40% of the games. We of course start this practice with the easier looking games and see how it goes. Other than this he can get a good number of substitute appearances. All this is hogwash though unless we sell Cesc which very likely isn't happening.
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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by messixaviesta on Tue May 28, 2013 2:08 am

Let me elaborate a little more about why I keep saying sell Fabregas. I am not a hater of his. He is not the kind of player one would feel that kind of emotion for. It's just that I don't think the club or he are being helped by this association.

If we don't sell him I cannot see how we can give Thiago a future. You can suggest that we divide the responsibilities between the two. Now most of us think Fabregas is a misfit for Xavi's role. Personally I don't think he fits Iniesta's role either. As for the Messi role even there we should be trying Alexis and/or Neymar. Anyway let us assume that we give one or two of the roles, say first replacement for both Iniesta and Messi, to Fabregas. So can we have it clear cut written down that for Xavi, Thiago will be the first replacement invariably? Here's where the problem starts. What will actually happen is that Fabregas will be first replacement for any of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi. Hence Thiago will see little scope for himself. Considering that it's hard to blame the kid too much if he wants to leave.

Now consider this from Fabregas' perspective. He is meant to be a trequartista or second striker. At Barca Messi operates as a two in one doing both the number 10 and number 9 roles. Hence we just cannot accommodate a trequartista or a center forward and thus shouldn't be buying them either, especially world class ones. If Fabregas moves to a team playing 4-2-3-1 and plays in his best position behind the striker he will probably become one of the world's best players in no time.

Last but not the least we have invested heavily on Neymar and need to invest some more. Fabregas sale is the best way to recover some money. Several clubs seem ready to pay big amounts for him.

The more I think of it the more this seems to be the most logical way ahead. Unfortunately logic often takes a backseat to other things.
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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by MaraVilla on Tue May 28, 2013 9:51 am

one thing i dont like about barca recently is once they set sight on a target, they dont seem to even bother think about any other players that might fit in better (wish we had our sights on suarez instead of sanchez, woulda fit in bettter imo)

Xavi needs more rest! i was looking at player stats and saw that xavi has played over 3300 minutes this season, pretty high numbers considering xavi is 33. We should let thiago start more often against team that are in the bottom half of the table whilst we let xavi get more rest.

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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue May 28, 2013 11:06 am

I think Javi over Song + Cesc is preferable because he is a very versatile player. But I fear he would just get used as a CB for us. I think most of us are sick at this point of using midfielders as CBs and thus I doubt he would be a solution to our problems there. It's true that under Bielsa he played predominantly at CB but I suspect this is because Bilbao had no one else good enough at that position to bring the ball forward, which is clearly not a problem for us with Pique.

I've been saying for a while that Thiago needs to be rotated heavily with Xavi. Xavi's body can't keep up with him anymore, and he should not be starting every game. Thiago needs the development. If this means benching Xavi in some important games then so be it, we're making a bet on the future and Xavi will be the first to understand, as much as he might not like it. So in my opinion we should bet 50% of the games on Thiago and 50% on Xavi. The one in better form should play big games.

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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by messixaviesta on Tue May 28, 2013 1:13 pm

All this talk about resting Xavi for several games brings another point to my mind. Pirlo is one year older than Xavi and he is still playing so many games for Juventus. I don't think Xavi will like the idea of being asked to rest often.

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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by The Franchise on Tue May 28, 2013 3:43 pm

That's true but to be brutal, they rely on Pirlo as much as we do Messi..let alone Xavi. Also Pirlo should be rested more, I think he suffered more this season than last because Juve were in the CL. Not disgareeing with you, I am just puttng that out there.

On Javi Martinez I agree with the general feeling. I think too that even if well had signed him it wouldn't go as well because I'm pretty sure he would see more minutes as CB than anywhereelse..which would be a big shame.
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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue May 28, 2013 3:46 pm

Xavi's personally been through a transition period where he gradually started replacing Pep, I'm not sure he would like to step aside but he probably does recognize the need, not to mention that this season proved that he needs more spaced out playing time.

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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by Mr Nick09 on Tue May 28, 2013 4:23 pm

Few months back i made the argument that Thiago's problem was Cesc, because he was ahead of him in the pecking order of substitutes. Now, that Nerman has arrived, it's another problem for him because Iniesta's days playing in the attacking 3 well over.

i think Iniesta's position, like Messi's is set in stone, and Nerman will be pushed strongly as a starter on the left wing, letting the other forward to fight off for the remaining spot on the right.

So Thiago has to deal with Xavi, and Cesc looking for play time. Not an easy position for the kid to be in, and as much as Xavi says that Thiago should wait, is he going to willingly sit on the bench when he feels like he can play for Thiago' sake? my experience with old legends is that when they are fit, they want to play and sitting on the bench waiting for their turn is not something they enjoy much.

kid is in a tough spot.

As for Javi, i think he would have turned into your new centerback and you would still be looking for a back up for busquets. Song on paper wasnt a bad idea for you, but Cesc? oh my

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Re: 2 part midfield question

Post by messixaviesta on Wed May 29, 2013 2:08 am

@Mr Nick09 wrote:Few months back i made the argument that Thiago's problem was Cesc, because he was ahead of him in the pecking order of substitutes. Now, that Nerman has arrived, it's another problem for him because Iniesta's days playing in the attacking 3 well over.

i think Iniesta's position, like Messi's is set in stone, and Nerman will be pushed strongly as a starter on the left wing, letting the other forward to fight off for the remaining spot on the right.

So Thiago has to deal with Xavi, and Cesc looking for play time. Not an easy position for the kid to be in, and as much as Xavi says that Thiago should wait, is he going to willingly sit on the bench when he feels like he can play for Thiago' sake? my experience with old legends is that when they are fit, they want to play and sitting on the bench waiting for their turn is not something they enjoy much.

kid is in a tough spot.

As for Javi, i think he would have turned into your new centerback and you would still be looking for a back up for busquets. Song on paper wasnt a bad idea for you, but Cesc? oh my

nick, excellent comments.
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