Barca now vs Pep's Barca

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Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by BarcaLearning on Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:10 am

Hi guys, I haven't posted in a while and have just kept reading the forum every now and then, obviously it has been awesome for us last season and so far this year Smile

Personally couldn't be more happy with the team and Luis Enrique, although of cos I think had doubts especially since Pep left the team has gone through a couple of managers, player changes and style change a bit. What Im trying to get is though what exactly in terms of style changes has taken place since Luis Enrique took charge? How much of the success is down to this change if so, or is it mainly just becos of MSN being so good that it just lifts the team overall? I cant exactly pinpoint what the style change has been if you can call it that, or exactly which elements we have improved or got rid of in order to reach the team level and performances we have today.

I thought last season was a bit strange and certainly surprising that we did win the treble considering the circumstances, it was really quite an achievement, since for me I really thought our best era has past Razz Some of our players have dropped off their levels in the previous few years or so, and Suarez started slowly who would have thought he would explode so successfully after the turn of the year to help us win the treble Smile Rakatic I thought was also key I felt.

This season we have seen improvements of many individual players, most obvious is Roberto, Busquets, Neymar, etc., most of the team as well and we have become far more dynamic, flexible, effective, direct, etc. I remember the past few years there often was talk amongst fans about various issues like if we should go back to the Pep days when we pressed like crazy, how to replace Xavi, how we needed new CBs, etc. Im not sure exactly how but all these issues seems to have been solved?

One big issue for me was I always though Pep's style as good as it was had its drawbacks, namely the team would eventually burnt out since the pressing requires so much energy, the attacking is so frustratingly one dimensional and inflexible (no effective plan B), and prone to suffer from good counter attacking teams. Im so happy to see nowadays that we are so much more dynamic and flexible without having to be so rigid and trying to walk the ball into the net like in the past sometimes. On a side note and a question I have is Pep seems to have changed his ways at Bayern somewhat, in terms of being able to be more direct going forward and attacknig the goal, but still seem to have the weakness of exposing his back like we have seen in some games of Bayern every now and then? What do you think of Pep's style at Bayern now?

So enough of my points and I hope you understand what Im trying to ask, just want to see what everyone thinks has changed and what exactly has been the keys that have improved the team to it is today?

Thanks!



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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by Bankz on Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:28 am

The fact that we now have an effective plan B (that's if u don't call it a plan A), and the fact that we have MSN. So, the main difference to me is basically the options of direct football (counters, shooting on sight) if need be as against tiki at all cost and the fact that barcelona has other equally genuine options besides messi in attack.

Before is was basically tikitaka (playing from the back and all) with some messi ice cream on top of it. But now its tikitaka, counter's, with dem different flavours of MSN of top of everything.

One more thing, its not just about MSN individually but its also bout MSN as a unit. Probably the best and the most unselfish trio in history.
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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by Lucifer on Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:35 am

Peps Barca all the way for me. Not because of nostalgia but due to fact we played arguably the most beautiful football in history of game in that period . I always have prefered aesthetics over results so though this team is capable of winning more or has already won so much it will not match with Peps Barca for me.
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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:51 am

I'd say:

1. Barça's attack under Enrique > Barça's attack under Pep

2. Barça's midfield under Enrique < Barça's midfield under Pep

3. Barça's defense under Enrique < Barça's defense under Pep

4. Barça's goalkeeper under Enrique >>> Barça's goalkeeper under Pep

5. Quality of football under Enrique < quality of football under Pep.

6. Efficiency under Enrique < Efficiency under Pep


Closing notes: Although, Enrique failed to win the sextuple unlike Pep, Barça now play more direct football, sort of a tiki-taka/counter hybrid with permission to shoot from long range.

I still think Pep's Barça is considerably superior to Enrique's...for the time being. But this could change over time depending on how well Enrique does in the next few years.

On a personal level, I think Pep is a much better tactician than Enrique.
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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by Winter is Coming on Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:58 pm

Its a mix of both. Enrique plays more to the team now and has a fixed XI for the big games. Players have stepped up also to the plate, new arrival have also been solid like Neymar, Suarez, Bravo, ter Stegen notably, and Alves, Busquets, Iniesta, Pique finding form.

Enrique has more direct football as well as counter attacking, but Pep also had these in his game, just not as notable and obviously wasn't our plan A.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by futbol on Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:48 pm

This team is probably better for winning games although nostalgia might prevent people from accepting it. Yes, Pep's team was better in keeping, circulating and not losing the ball and also pressed higher up the pitch to regain possession quicker. And it was more beautiful (matter of taste though) and more dominant from a pure footballing perspective. But at the end of the day football is won by scoring goals and this team does it easier with 3 individual match winners while still maintaining elite level midfield and possession play.

I cannot imagine this current team struggling so much in the final third as 10/11 Barca did once Mourinho put Pepe on Messi. Villa and Pedro on the wings didn't have the ability to take on players so manmarking Messi in the middle killed 90 % of the final third danger of the team. Can't see it happening with this Enrique team. With Messi on the right and Neymar on the left teams can be stretched to the maximum, manmarking anyone would be completely pointless. Even if Messi is heavily manmarked he'll find Neymar on the opposite wing with a diagonal pass.

Creating chances comes a lot easier to this team IMO under any scenario. You press high, you get killed on the counter with MSN running into space. You stay low and you invite MSN to put pressure on your for 90 minutes. You have a phase where you dominate us? One of MSN can still pull a rabbit out of the hat against the run of play. I don't think Chelsea winning the CL would have happened if Barca had MSN upfront instead of Cuenca, Fabregas, Alexis, Pedro getting at the end of chances.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by The Franchise on Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:49 pm

This team is still evolving and isnt finished that process, we should wait and judge the totality of it before comparisons in my opinion.

I have my (obvious) opinions on my preferences, but still we must wait.

I wont answer the question regarding what has changed because it has already been well answered.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by The Franchise on Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:54 pm

What your saying futbol, just dont make sense.

Pep team never got embarased in its prime like this team did vs Bilbao.

They had difficult games of struggle, games where they couldnt break through and disappointing results like vs Inter. But I never felt the embarrassment and shame of that Bilbao game.

So I dont really want to hear this team is better at winning games and nostalgia is blocking our views. Thats a cheap cop out.

You say you cant imagine this team struggling vs 10-11 Madrid and I can say I cant imagine that team getting assaulted like they did at Bilbao. It goes both ways.

Any way, more important is that is a horrible example. Your talking about a Mourinho team who played Barca over and over and over again until it found a solution. Common sense says if you play one team enough times you figure out ways to do it better.

Of course this team wouldnt struggle like that, because that Madrid team would never have experienced it before.
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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by Bankz on Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:32 pm

@Dani. Yes you're right it goes both ways, but Well, that game against bilbao didn't have Neymar, (one of the MSN) and it was barely the beginning of the season in which he and messi didn't even have any pre season games. I doubt that happens at the business end of the season with MSN in full swing. I doubt barca doesn't smoke chelsea home and away in the CL, I doubt barca doesn't smoke inter home and away in the 2010 CL..

*Even the game away to bilbao last season, the game was at 0 - 0 and needed NEYMAR to come from the bench to salvage the match with a brace,

*Against almeria last season, Barca needed NEYMAR to come from the bench to open the scoring in that game as we eventually beat them away 2 - 1,

*Against getafe last season where barca drew 0-0 we even had to play without NEYMAR (he was injured after the psg game)

*against the loss to real sociedad, we had MESSI coming from the bench.

*Even this season too, the loss against sevilla didn't have MESSI in it also.

*Against bilbao (0-4 loss) this season, barca played without NEYMAR in that game too.

Most of those losses or bad games either one thing in common, barcelona either didn't have NEYMAR or MESSI in them.

So my point is this, with the season in full swing and with MSN present and fit, I doubt any team humiliates barca except some fluke of a result.

But in peps barca, man marking and parking the bus was a well known and utilised tactics that worked against us then. Repeat the game again and you still get thesame result against peps barca. Meanwhile, beat this enriques barca, and I doubt the team would even know or pinpoint what it did right to beat us.. Repeat the game again and the team gets battared by barca.
Here, there are no known tactics that work against this team except it was just meant to be that day.

Btw, there's no way in hell peps team annihilates madrid at their backyard WITHOUT MESSI.. Infact, if not for messi's late introduction in the game, barca would probably have had a manita against madrid that day. Things that can't be said bout peps team imo.

Pit MSN barca against peps barca then Manmark peps messi and the team gets confused but how do you stop MSN? save for some once in a life time flukish result ala celta vigo..
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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by The Franchise on Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:51 pm

I dont think that game had a single thing to do with who was missing. He was utterly outplayed in all 3 departments of the field. We barely crossed the half way line in the first half.

You doubt we lose to Inter or Chelsea? This is just theory, I dont know that at all. We talking about totally different times.

Surely we can only talk about what actually happened?

No tactic works against this Barca? Really? I highly debate that.

Plus this is Barca is 1 season and 3 months old? Lets slow down and wait like I said to begin with. You think teams wont come with different tactics to trouble us in the future, as they did all the other great teams? I assure you they will.

Your just talking about theories here. Pep team wouldnt beat this Madrid without Messi? What the hell man Laughing

I dont know where to start what is wrong with this statement. I will just say one thing, trying to say what that team (who played 5 years ago) would do in mythical battles against teams of today is a foolish exercise at best.

Your sounding like you think this Barca team is unbeatable, I think your going to end up being disappointed.



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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by Lucifer on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:36 pm

According to me this new version of Barca has face of Suarez all over it. He is main reason of our directness and counterattacking if he isn't in team that dimension does seem to be less effective. And we go from ruthless to toothless.
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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by alexjanosik on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:46 pm

I think enough has been said about the differences between this team and that one in other threads.
That one was based on winning the midfield battle and creating numerical superiority all over the pitch among other things.
It was a thing of beauty and I havent nor will I ever see better football again in my lifetime.
This team is reliant on the individual brilliance of 2 all time greats in Messi and Suarez and an up and comer in Neymar.
That is it in a nutshell.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by windkick on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:50 pm

No tactic works against this Barca? I mean....what?

I mean have people forgot we have got out played and ran over against the likes of Bilbao, Sevilla, Celta and even Roma and other games to some extent? And that's just this season which is still not even halfway in. Last year we were regularly out played in random games but MSN or Bravo bailed us out.

Peps Barca faced great attacking teams that did absolutely nothing to us because we held the ball so well and completely neutralized them. I don't see how this midfield of Rakatic, Iniesta and Busquets with Sergi and Gumbau coming off the bench would be able to handle Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets with Thiago and Keita (or Cesc later on or Yaya before that) coming off the bench. Not to mention prime Alves/Pique/Puyol/Abidal (Marquez in the first Pep year) vs this defense.

You can argue all you want that MSN was a better striking trident than Messi-Villa-Pedro or Messi-Henry-Eto'o or whatever trident you want to use that Pep got to work with, and I would agree with you...but that neglects the rest of the squad and how they played aside from the front 3. The rest of Peps team was better man to man, and also played better under superior tactics.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by Myesyats on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:53 pm

It's hard to choose between Pep's completeness and Enrique's mix of everything. Although Messi-Neymar-Suarez seems impossible to top, the magical times of 2008-2011 are something indescribable.

I, personally, still stand by Pep - for all the joy he brought us. Although if Enrique keeps his football up for 2 more years at least I will be willing to put him in the same bracket.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by Lucifer on Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:59 pm

Assume we facing Juve in kinda form that they displed against city,solid as rock, gritty, physical and cunning in winning fouls. Which team of the two teams would get 3 points against them at their own backyard?
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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by futbol on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:02 pm

@The Franchise wrote:What your saying futbol, just dont make sense.

Pep team never got embarased in its prime like this team did vs Bilbao.

They had difficult games of struggle, games where they couldnt break through and disappointing results like vs Inter. But I never felt the embarrassment and shame of that Bilbao game.

So I dont really want to hear this team is better at winning games and nostalgia is blocking our views. Thats a cheap cop out.

You say you cant imagine this team struggling vs 10-11 Madrid and I can say I cant imagine that team getting assaulted like they did at Bilbao. It goes both ways.

Any way, more important is that is a horrible example. Your talking about a Mourinho team who played Barca over and over and over again until it found a solution. Common sense says if you play one team enough times you figure out ways to do it better.

Of course this team wouldnt struggle like that, because that Madrid team would never have experienced it before.


I don't take a result like against Athletic Bilbao seriously in the grand scheme of things. It happened at the beginning of the season when the team was clearly still in holiday mood. That's not a measure of the team's capabilities. Enrique's teams tend to have a slow start to the season judging by Enrique's last 3 seasons (both Celta and Barca). Has been like that even when he was Barca B coach.


Last edited by futbol on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by Myesyats on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:05 pm

Futbol, Peps team also went through holiday mood spells. I'm with Dani on this one.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by The Franchise on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:05 pm

I am done with the comparing, I didnt want to compare to begin with because it doesnt make any sense at all. Most of all because this team hasnt finished its cycle. You cannot compare using a team which hasnt finished its evolution, because the greatness of any team is going to be defined by how it evolves, what challenges it faces and how it overcomes them.

I repeat, this team simply isnt ready to be compared yet untill it faces the cold truth of these moments. The story has just started.

But I can tell you one thing (I dont mean to make it sound like a fact, I dont mean to be so arrogant sounding, I simply cant phrase it better) and I am confident in it. This front 3 is something different, something never seen before...but even it, is not impossible to stop.

I have seen glimpses in different games, the PSG game, the Madrid 2-1 win last season, the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half 1st leg Bayern game and a few others...which point to some clues of how teams will start to devise plans to stop this team. In all of those games, you could see even this front 3 were stuck and struggling to create chances, while the opponent (less so in the Madrid game) were actually looking the better team in parts.

But the counter to this is that this Enrique team has more time, is learning more, the front 3 are improving their understand and we have other options now with improved Roberto etc etc.

But this is just more reason not to compare because this team isnt done yet.


Last edited by The Franchise on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by The Franchise on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:07 pm

@futbol wrote:
@The Franchise wrote:What your saying futbol, just dont make sense.

Pep team never got embarased in its prime like this team did vs Bilbao.

They had difficult games of struggle, games where they couldnt break through and disappointing results like vs Inter. But I never felt the embarrassment and shame of that Bilbao game.

So I dont really want to hear this team is better at winning games and nostalgia is blocking our views. Thats a cheap cop out.

You say you cant imagine this team struggling vs 10-11 Madrid and I can say I cant imagine that team getting assaulted like they did at Bilbao. It goes both ways.

Any way, more important is that is a horrible example. Your talking about a Mourinho team who played Barca over and over and over again until it found a solution. Common sense says if you play one team enough times you figure out ways to do it better.

Of course this team wouldnt struggle like that, because that Madrid team would never have experienced it before.


I don't take a result like against Athletic Bilbao seriously in the grand scheme of things. It happened at the beginning of the season when the team was clearly still in holiday mood. That's not a measure of the team's capabilities. Enrique's teams tend to have a slow start to the season judging by Enrique's last 3 seasons (both Celta and Barca). Has been like that even when he was Barca B coach.

And im sure the volanco which hindered Barca's travel had an impact on the Inter game. These are either excuses or good reasons depending on what side of the fence your on.
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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by futbol on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:12 pm

@windkick wrote:

Peps Barca faced great attacking teams that did absolutely nothing to us because we held the ball so well and completely neutralized them. I don't see how this midfield of Rakatic, Iniesta and Busquets with Sergi and Gumbau coming off the bench would be able to handle Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets with Thiago and Keita (or Cesc later on or Yaya before that) coming off the bench. Not to mention prime Alves/Pique/Puyol/Abidal (Marquez in the first Pep year) vs this defense.


That's what I'm talking about when I talk about "nostalgia". "Teams did absolutely nothing to us"? Arsenal in 10/11, when they actually had a fully fit team for the first time in ages, were launching counterattack after counterattack. Here is a reminder how Fabregas and Arshavin (Laughing) are wrecking the "teams did nothing to us" Pepcelona on the break:


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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by futbol on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:25 pm

@The Franchise wrote:
@futbol wrote:
@The Franchise wrote:What your saying futbol, just dont make sense.

Pep team never got embarased in its prime like this team did vs Bilbao.

They had difficult games of struggle, games where they couldnt break through and disappointing results like vs Inter. But I never felt the embarrassment and shame of that Bilbao game.

So I dont really want to hear this team is better at winning games and nostalgia is blocking our views. Thats a cheap cop out.

You say you cant imagine this team struggling vs 10-11 Madrid and I can say I cant imagine that team getting assaulted like they did at Bilbao. It goes both ways.

Any way, more important is that is a horrible example. Your talking about a Mourinho team who played Barca over and over and over again until it found a solution. Common sense says if you play one team enough times you figure out ways to do it better.

Of course this team wouldnt struggle like that, because that Madrid team would never have experienced it before.


I don't take a result like against Athletic Bilbao seriously in the grand scheme of things. It happened at the beginning of the season when the team was clearly still in holiday mood. That's not a measure of the team's capabilities. Enrique's teams tend to have a slow start to the season judging by Enrique's last 3 seasons (both Celta and Barca). Has been like that even when he was Barca B coach.

And im sure the volanco which hindered Barca's travel had an impact on the Inter game. These are either excuses or good reasons depending on what side of the fence your on.


That's silly, man. A team not looking match sharp at the beginning of the season is completely natural. Supercups and Community Shields are often seen as preseason games.

Traveling from Barcelona to Milan by bus takes about as much time as traveling from Munich to Hamburg. Laughing Spending a couple of extra hours in a luxury bus has surely not had such an impact. The team simply got wrecked by physicality and counterattacks the same way it did a year before against Chelsea (but Chelsea didn't capitalize while Barca's first shot on target in the 93th minute went in).

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by futbol on Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:35 pm

@The Franchise wrote:I am done with the comparing, I didnt want to compare to begin with because it doesnt make any sense at all. Most of all because this team hasnt finished its cycle. You cannot compare using a team which hasnt finished its evolution, because the greatness of any team is going to be defined by how it evolves, what challenges it faces and how it overcomes them.

I repeat, this team simply isnt ready to be compared yet untill it faces the cold truth of these moments. The story has just started.

But I can tell you one thing (I dont mean to make it sound like a fact, I dont mean to be so arrogant sounding, I simply cant phrase it better) and I am confident in it. This front 3 is something different, something never seen before...but even it, is not impossible to stop.

I have seen glimpses in different games, the PSG game, the Madrid 2-1 win last season, the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half 1st leg Bayern game and a few others...which point to some clues of how teams will start to devise plans to stop this team. In all of those games, you could see even this front 3 were stuck and struggling to create chances, while the opponent (less so in the Madrid game) were actually looking the better team in parts.

But the counter to this is that this Enrique team has more time, is learning more, the front 3 are improving their understand and we have other options now with improved Roberto etc etc.

But this is just more reason not to compare because this team isnt done yet.


In general I agree with this. Can't compare 4 years vs. 1 1/2. This team could still end up winning no more trophies or it could win back to back trebles. But that's what makes a discussion right now more interesting, doesn't it? Judging afterwards is always easier.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by windkick on Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:00 pm

@futbol wrote:
@windkick wrote:

Peps Barca faced great attacking teams that did absolutely nothing to us because we held the ball so well and completely neutralized them. I don't see how this midfield of Rakatic, Iniesta and Busquets with Sergi and Gumbau coming off the bench would be able to handle Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets with Thiago and Keita (or Cesc later on or Yaya before that) coming off the bench. Not to mention prime Alves/Pique/Puyol/Abidal (Marquez in the first Pep year) vs this defense.


That's what I'm talking about when I talk about "nostalgia". "Teams did absolutely nothing to us"? Arsenal in 10/11, when they actually had a fully fit team for the first time in ages, were launching counterattack after counterattack. Here is a reminder how Fabregas and Arshavin (Laughing) are wrecking the "teams did nothing to us" Pepcelona on the break:



Hey I'm also not saying we never lost or teams wouldn't havd spells of good moments against us. You could also point to the Hercules or Getafe embarrassments, but my point still stands that Peps team were able to control a difficult situation better and could put themsleves in a situation to win on a more regular basis. Luchos Barca has been marveled by its front 3 and keeper heroics, not because we impose our will on games as a full team strategy. I would have confident is Peps midfield to neurtrilze Luchos; which would in turn make it harder for MSN. People forget how many games under Lucho we look completely lack luster but then later all people talk about is how MSN did something magical to win the game. Peps entire team set up was magical (i still remember the total football game we played vs Villarreal)

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by futbol on Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:54 pm

Pep's team got outplayed and had difficulties to break down defenses plenty of times. We even got outplayed by Stuttgart at some point. Outplayed by Pellegrini's Real Madrid when Ibra scored that goal out of nowhere (pretty similar to last season's Clasico in Camp Nou in fact). Valdes kept us in the game quite a lot:



Outplayed by Mourinho when he stopped being defensive and started pressing high (should have gone out in the Copa del Rey 11/12).

People are just forgetting and making things up now. Individual brilliance has bailed Pep out more often as well. Messi slaloming entire Madrid team, Iniesta golazo, Messi assisting Sanchez by dribbling through half the Madrid team etc.

My memory isn't that blurry.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

Post by messixaviesta on Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:09 pm

@The Demon of Carthage wrote:I'd say:

1. Barça's attack under Enrique > Barça's attack under Pep

2. Barça's midfield under Enrique < Barça's midfield under Pep

3. Barça's defense under Enrique < Barça's defense under Pep

4. Barça's goalkeeper under Enrique >>> Barça's goalkeeper under Pep

5. Quality of football under Enrique < quality of football under Pep.

6. Efficiency under Enrique < Efficiency under Pep


Closing notes: Although, Enrique failed to win the sextuple unlike Pep, Barça now play more direct football, sort of a tiki-taka/counter hybrid with permission to shoot from long range.

I still think Pep's Barça is considerably superior to Enrique's...for the time being. But this could change over time depending on how well Enrique does in the next few years.

On a personal level, I think Pep is a much better tactician than Enrique.

Very nice comparison but that fourth point is unfair. Victor Valdes in his best days was very good and didn't leave us short in any way.

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Re: Barca now vs Pep's Barca

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