Ajax vs Barcelona

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by The Franchise on Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:56 pm

Riiiight Rolling Eyes 

We cant find anyone better than Mascherano? Really? You want to stand by that statement with pride?

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by Donuts on Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:04 pm

To be fair The Franchise if your only complaint of the game so far is Mascherano your eyes have tuned away from everyone else.

on a side note, I am on visit to United States and apparently the only station that shows champions league is Fox.. but they didn't play it on neither of the three channels they own until 8pm, mind you I understand because there are many other games but it would of been much better if in minute 3 in the bottom they stopped showing the score of the damn game along with every other result.. last time I watch a game in USA, least on Fox.

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:13 pm

All in all I'm pretty happy we lost. I always thought going in such a long run unbeaten streak was hiding certain aspects that need improvement behind the string of good results. This serves as both a reminder that hard work must be made to retain the level we achieved in previous seasons, while at the same time being a relatively unimportant game given that we are already qualified for the knockouts.

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by futbol on Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:17 pm

@The Franchise wrote:Riiiight Rolling Eyes 

We cant find anyone better than Mascherano? Really? You want to stand by that statement with pride?
I'm trying to think within the realms of reality. I'm also trying to factor in things like seniority, squad harmony etc. Otherwise I'd throw Pique and Pedro out of the squad as well but that's not going to happen. So this is my thought process:

1. Pique is going nowhere. We can't do anything about it. He's a starter and will be forever.

2. This means we need to find someone to play ALONGSIDE Pique.

3. Right now we have Puyol, Bartra and Mascherano to play alongside Pique. Not just Mascherano. But Puyol, Bartra AND Mascherano.

4. So the question isn't: "Who is better than Mascherano" but: "Who - in the winter transfer market - is better than what we have" (Puyol, Bartra and Mascherano). Who will perform better than Bartra?

5. The options are very clear. Known youngstars (Mangala, Umtiti, Balanta ...), unknown youngstars (???) or known veterans who aren't playing for CL clubs (Agger).

6. Buying youngstars would be retarded. We already have a developing, homegrown youngstar who is playing nearly flawlessy. We don't need 2 youngstars for 1 open spot. If we buy another youngstars, we'll lose Bartra. What's the point? Unless you think Bartra is a scrub anyway and we need to replace him. Then we need to discuss Bartra. Not Mascherano.

7. Puyol, Pique etc. have come out and expressed that they don't need a new CB with Bartra playing as he does. Particularly Puyol has said that the names we were linked with weren't even better players than Bartra. Once again: squad harmony. This is Barca. You don't kick out Catalan homegrown players for no reason.

8. Even IF we buy a youngstar, what makes you think Tata is going to trust him over Mascherano? He'll be eased in like he's easing in Bartra and not played in Clasicos, knockout games etc. 2 months after joining the club. Seniority and all that. Even Dongou is probably a better option than Fabregas as a CF but it's not happening. There is a hierarchy.

9. Only viable option: Buying an older CB like Agger (although I'd prefer 31 years old and not 29). Someone who can play tough games immediately but also not block Bartra's path in the next 1 or 2 years. Someone who will also accept sitting on the bench. But then a half-hearted winter buy will be our final solution. We will close the chapter "centerback" and I'm not sure an emergency winter buy as the final solution is what I want. If Agger isn't good enough to start for Liverpool these days, why would he improve Barca anyway? Just because he is not Mascherano? Has he ever been tested against Ronaldo, Benzema, Isco, Bale running at him? There is a good chance he won't look much better than Mascherano.

Puyol and Mascherano are both the kind of centerback I'm thinking about here "to fill the gap until Bartra is ready".

10. For me, Mascherano is already in the process of being replaced by Bartra. Today was a B team where we also rested Busquets. Sunday is the real game where points are at stake. If Bartra starts and Mascherano doesn't, it means Mascherano is slowly not considered first choice anymore.

11. Or we do what I think we will do. We will sell Song. Buy a centerback. And play Mascherano as Busquets' backup + emergency CB backup. But we will do that in the summer window.



Am I being an illogical, arrogant retard here or are we simply not able to properly communicate with each other?

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by CBarca on Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:33 pm

@BarrileteCosmico wrote:All in all I'm pretty happy we lost. I always thought going in such a long run unbeaten streak was hiding certain aspects that need improvement behind the string of good results. This serves as both a reminder that hard work must be made to retain the level we achieved in previous seasons, while at the same time being a relatively unimportant game given that we are already qualified for the knockouts.
Dat perspective tho Proud

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by futbol on Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:29 am



The centerbacks are pretty much the only players who are positioned correctly. Laughing

Red circle is the unmarked goalscorer.
Xavi doesn't bother marking (probably because the green circle Song should be there in the first place and not somewhere ballwatching wingers).
Yellow circle is Montoya. Tucked inside, 10 yards away from his winger.
Pink circle are Pique and Mascherano. Correctly marking the CF.

Defensively the most indisciplined team I've ever seen. Must be the most annoying job to play CB for Barca. No wonder TS didn't want to come. We'd make him look like Raul Albiol. Laughing

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by Donuts on Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:47 am

damn must be Messi's fault for not pressing right guys..?? :coffee: 

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by free_cat on Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:50 am

@futbol wrote:

The centerbacks are pretty much the only players who are positioned correctly. Laughing

Red circle is the unmarked goalscorer.
Xavi doesn't bother marking (probably because the green circle Song should be there in the first place and not somewhere ballwatching wingers).
Yellow circle is Montoya. Tucked inside, 10 yards away from his winger.
Pink circle are Pique and Mascherano. Correctly marking the CF.

Defensively the most indisciplined team I've ever seen. Must be the most annoying job to play CB for Barca. No wonder TS didn't want to come. We'd make him look like Raul Albiol. Laughing
Montoya was perfectly positioned because the crosser is not a winger as you claim, but Ajax FB. Neymar should have been tracking him back. The winger is the guy next to Montoya.

Song is also in perfect position in that snapshot.

Mascherano is also in perfect position there, but not when the cross is made. He should have been in line with Pique and could have cleared the ball, but he was in an erratic position.

Xavi should have followed the scorer, agreed.

It's a collective mistake, but Masch had a part. As well as in their second goal, were Masch bad long pass and Piqué's posterior hand raising were the culprits of the goal.

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by Khaled on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:37 am

Its simple, the players played without intensity. They didn't take the match seriously as they should. Ajax played the game as if it was a UCL Final and they deserved to win the game [completely dominated us in the 1st half]. As simple as that, making up conclusion about Barcelona this season after this match is stupid.

We have to lose a game at one point and losing this one won't affect our season, so I'd take this lose in open arms especially if its means we'll win the next 3 league games!

Neymar should have scored at least one of the 3 chances, again Alexis in doing a better job when it comes to finishing this season.

By the way, this is the last time I open a thread about a Barcelona game!
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by The Franchise on Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:56 am

@Donuts wrote:To be fair The Franchise if your only complaint of the game so far is Mascherano your eyes have tuned away from everyone else.

Did I say that was my only complaint?

That was the biggest one though because he was gifting possession with horrific passing from the back.
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by The Franchise on Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:03 am

And come on with the long posts man, im not intrested in some long discussion.

Your entire post is off, because the thread we were in was not what we are going to do, but what we SHOULD do. Look at that thread title.

So dont argue with me that your assuming Pique is going to be starting, because that assumption is wrong because the thread is about theory.

Puyol wont play alongside Pique anyway, he wont last, for the 3rd or 4th time he is too injury prone to be relied on. Bartra is fine, but that leaves 2 centerbacks you can really count on and one of them is Pique...reliable is pushing it with him.

And those "unknown" youngsters are not unknown to everyone, some people do actually watch them.

Since when did players decide what Barca need? Its just their opinion and an obviously biased one because Puyol doesnt believe he is injury prone, Pique doesnt believe he wont ever be what he used to be and neither want to disrespect Mascherano.
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by alexjanosik on Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:07 am

Horrible game from us and we deservedly lost.The intensity just was not there.
Our pressing is just atrocious.If we are going to press like that,might as well not bother doing it cause it just makes us look like idiots.Thats how bad it was.I dont understand why we press so badly.We used to be the best at it.Now I doubt whether we are even top 50.When we press,its individuals doing it randomly and not collective pressing.Just atrocious.

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by The Franchise on Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:23 am

I think at some point we got lazy with the fundamentals. All the teams/players I have coached or played in, pressing worked when it was game after game and minute after minute. Even 3-0 up with 2 minutes to go, it was still the idea.

At some point, we stopped doing it consistently (first from minute to minute and then from game to game) and since Pep left I am not sure I believe we have ever re-learnt the ideas behind it. At best we paid lip service to it, at worst it was completely ignored.

Pressing isnt just running randomly like Alex said, and it isnt just pressing when they have the ball. The idea starts before that.

We have clearly forgotten that the best time to press is the moment a ball is lost. When we turn the ball over, whoever receives it for the opponent has not yet made a decision, that is the time to press in full force and intensity because it will induce a panic decision and inaccuracy of passing.

But you can clearly tell we dont have that ability anymore. When we misplace a pass, the reaction is either slow or nothing at all. The ball is lost and if we are lucky the man who lost it will react, but the entire team should be readjusting their positions immediately and with speed. No longer happens.
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by M99 on Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:49 am

The one match where I wanted Barca to win :facepalm:

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by eelir on Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:36 pm

I kind of knew this would happen eventually, and i am glad it happened with this game.

I got the feeling our players were not really interested to win this game, and this attitude happens to repeat once in a while. I am glad we lost, our team did not try to win and did not deserve a win.
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by danyjr on Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:31 pm

@The Franchise wrote:But you can clearly tell we dont have that ability anymore. When we misplace a pass, the reaction is either slow or nothing at all. The ball is lost and if we are lucky the man who lost it will react, but the entire team should be readjusting their positions immediately and with speed. No longer happens.

  • Lack of speed midfield area. I mean all your midfielders are slow. Pressing is about 1) denying your opponents their options to pass and put them under pressure by quick a transition. But it doesn't end here as pressing will fail plenty of times and that's when 2) the players have to track back quickly. Barcelona's midfield is simply incapable of doing 1) and 2).
  • Lack of steel in midfield. If we look at Barcelona's midfield yesterday, it is blatant that there is no hustler, strong tackler type of guy in there. My father used to attribute Brazil's successes in International stages to "having a balanced team of skilful whites and athletic blacks". While this might be a statement using stereotypes, its message makes sense to me. I think you need that balance in your team. In the past few seasons, every 50-50 ball has been going to the opponent because Xavi and Iniesta are not aggressive players, and frankly, neither is Busquets. These players need to be more aggressive, hustle the opponent and use 'smart' fouls. You look at Modrić and he's a tiny guy but he goes for it and steals a fair number of balls every match. So there you go, you don't even need to be a big muscular dude in the middle. A change in mentality will suffice for the time being.

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by The Franchise on Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:57 pm

100% agree.

Our midfield is too "same-e" and I already felt like we need and needed a midfielder in the summer.

Thiago again is a another loss here because he provides energy and athleticism while not lacking technically at all.
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by Donuts on Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:48 pm

Getting a new midfielder would be a huge problem as we need to sell Song and Cesc for that..
or let Xavi have a bench role.

if we could get a midfield tomorrow though... İlkay Gündoğan would be my first choice, if he returns back to normal from injury.

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by The Franchise on Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:24 pm

@Donuts wrote:Getting a new midfielder would be a huge problem as we need to sell Song and Cesc for that..

How heart breaking that would be.....
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by Donuts on Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:34 pm

how unlikely is it for us to unload Cesc..

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by free_cat on Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:54 am

It is unlikely, amongst other reasons because he is our best CM by far this season. Xavi is in clear decline and Iniesta is in the worst form of his career, while Cesc has played very well when playing CM.

As a CM signing, I would suggest Koke as well as the acclaimed Gundogan.

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by The Franchise on Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:09 am

Wasnt aware we was talking about what is likely...seeing as we were discussing signing a midfielder, which isnt all that likely as a discussion as a whole.

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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by The Franchise on Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:10 am

Free, you seem to be saying you think Cesc has convinced you as a midfielder?
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by billy_gr on Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:29 am

I think what he's saying is that he is less dissapointed in Cesc than he is in Xaviesta this year
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by The Franchise on Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:34 am

Yeah, I get that. But I just wondered his opinion of Cesc alone, not in comparison to other players.
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Re: Ajax vs Barcelona

Post by free_cat on Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:24 am

@The Franchise wrote:Yeah, I get that. But I just wondered his opinion of Cesc alone, not in comparison to other players.
I'm not entirely convinced by Cesc, but mostly because we haven't seen Cesc play in big games as a CM. His level against normal teams has been very good at CM this season, and good enough for me. He doesn't and will never control the game as Xavi did, but who will? But he is not useless in that regard as made out to be, and can add a lot in attack. However, he should show he can do it vs great opposition too, and so far neither Tito, Tata or Pep have let it prove himself as a CM vs the best.


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