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Discussion Starter #1
Yes. We're exactly in the midle of the season. Time for some roundup.

I know we talk about this all the time, but if you could try point out (say, 3 points positive & negative) the most important remarks about that past half of the season, what would they be?

I guess mine would be (the order not relevant in this case):

:thmbup:
1. We have a 100% world class striker.
If Eto'o continues with this scoring rate he'll end up with 28 goals at the end of the season! And even if he doesn't I think we can agree that we finally have the striker we've awaited for years.

2. No more so called 'Ronaldinho-dependance' or 'Puyol-dependance'.
I know it's not good that their form dropped so badly (espeacially Gaucho's), but looking at the bright side - we realize now that our results no longer depend only on them. We have now more players who can push our game forward. One of the best midfields in the world: Marquez-Xavi-Deco-Ronaldinho. We have matchwinners in the team like Deco, Eto'o, Larsson, Xavi and of course still Ronnie. They earned many prescious points in difficult times.

3. Atmosphere and ambition.
There is a great atmosphere in the team and in the whole envoriment. No conflicts, no scandals, everybody knows his place. Press is being really friendly (obvious with there results :D). Even though, we had some minor setbacks no wining was heard which was very good for the team. Also, notice that after every loss (Milan, Betis, Villarreal and Gramenet), Barça won the following game!

:thmbdown:

1. Ronaldinho’s form drop
We can’t deny. He’s nowhere near the peak he was at some year ago. His play is not a total disaster of course, he scored some important goals (most form the spot, though), but we all know it’s not even 50% of his potential. The only moment that I saw the same Ronaldinho as before was when he fired that brilliant shot against Milan. As I said, luckily, we don’t have the ‘Ronaldinho-dependance anymore, but he’s supposed to be our biggest star. I guess it may just be a temporary form drop. After all he’s been voted player of the year.

2. Set pieces
We have Xavi, Ronaldinho, Deco, Marquez, Gio, Iniesta, Giuly and we score like 2 goals directly from free kicks (Marquez vs Getafe and Deco vs Levante, with lucky deflection) and only 2 scoring headers after corners (Larsson vs Numancia and Eto’o vs Sociedad)!!!!! We don’t have a many tall players and Larsson’s been out for a large part of the so far season so I can understand a bit with the headers, but free kicks? I simply can’t understand how it’s possible with the players I mentioned.

3. The lack of depth
In the Summer already, when the Liga was starting, we all new that a 20-player squad is not enough. With Primera Division, Champions’ League and Copa del Rey games ahead, I don’t see why our board didn’t hire some more players or why let some of our old players go so easily. I realize it’s really a lot of bad luck to have 4 serious injuries in the team in just 3 months, but it revealed even more that a team playing in different competitions needs more than a group of 20. With some other, less serious injuries, it decreased our squad to even 14 players. We may have some quality in reserves, like Messi and Damia, but that’s just not enough. Well, it’s been quite enough so far, but we’re in the midle of the season and the players are not gonna get any fresher, are they?

Thank you for your time :)
 

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I pretty much agree on everything. Our main problem is lack of depth. What does it say when a "large" squad selection for us is 16 fit first team players? Hope the board doesn't screw the team over by not signing enough players, I feel bare minimum is 2, but 4 is an ideal number but I highly doubt we will get 4 new players.
 

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I agree with pretty much everything except about the Puyol-part? Dropped his form badly? What are you talking about? He's had a couple of blunders which usually happen to the best, but he's been superb for us this season, and definitely our most important player. We should thank higher powers that he has been fit in all games this season. I don't want to think about our defence without him.
 

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What I like about the team so far:

1. We play football, the exciting way!
2. We are a TEAM, and play like one!
3. Most importantly we are winning!

What I dislike so far:

1. Missed chances, it gonna bite us in the ass one day if we don't make full use of them.
 

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Very good analyis, Voyteck. As you said our most glaring weaknesses are lack of depth, caused in part by injuries, and our poor aereal game. Etoo has been magnificent but I still feel that we lack a goal poacher, a different type of striker that can lead the line, someone able to score tap-ins and from headers. The problem is how to accomodate that type of player in our current system.
 

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Angel_Culé said:
Very good analyis, Voyteck. As you said our most glaring weaknesses are lack of depth, caused in part by injuries, and our poor aereal game. Etoo has been magnificent but I still feel that we lack a goal poacher, a different type of striker that can lead the line, someone able to score tap-ins and from headers. The problem is how to accomodate that type of player in our current system.
it is actually difficult for example look at Ruud in Man Utd they play most of the time 4-4-1-1 with him being the only striker up front until Rooney came and they started playing two strikers they used to let Ruud stay up in front and they would keep on crossing the ball for him. I am not quite sure but alot of their goals come from set pieces and corners. I was actually amazed when Eto'o scored that goal, Kluivert used to be an amazing striker but his time is already finished at barcelona we gave him enough time for him to get back to his form.

With a system like ours we depend more on wingers opening more spaces for our attacker which is in this case eto'o to break through their defences and score goals. It is actually a bit difficult to play quick football and manage to score alot of headers. We can argue alot about corners and the fact the players like our defenders should be scoring alot of goals from corners. Let's say for example Marquez i believe that he should be trainned on scoring goals from corners so as all the defenders because they can push from the back towards the goal.
 

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Puyol_Culé said:
I pretty much agree on everything. Our main problem is lack of depth. What does it say when a "large" squad selection for us is 16 fit first team players? Hope the board doesn't screw the team over by not signing enough players, I feel bare minimum is 2, but 4 is an ideal number but I highly doubt we will get 4 new players.
signning 4 players now is impossible, alot of the old teams players had to leave because of their wages for example Reiziger left because he didn't want any pay cuts in his wages. Overmars retired even though after barcelona let him go free, he had alot of problems with his knees. Cocu left because he wanted to extend his contract for 2 years but barca only wanted him to extend for 1 year. Kluivert everybody knows why he had to leave.

I wont be surprised if barca sign 6-8 players in the summer because i believe that we need players that can play the role of rotating our players i know that many of you would say we dont have the money to do that. Look at this season and the season before it, we bought 6-8 players each season which means that we are building a whole new team, we need actually alot of players to cover the midfield some good defenders and for sure we need a striker or two.
 

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FC Barcelona9 said:
signning 4 players now is impossible, alot of the old teams players had to leave because of their wages for example Reiziger left because he didn't want any pay cuts in his wages. Overmars retired even though after barcelona let him go free, he had alot of problems with his knees. Cocu left because he wanted to extend his contract for 2 years but barca only wanted him to extend for 1 year. Kluivert everybody knows why he had to leave.

I wont be surprised if barca sign 6-8 players in the summer because i believe that we need players that can play the role of rotating our players i know that many of you would say we dont have the money to do that. Look at this season and the season before it, we bought 6-8 players each season which means that we are building a whole new team, we need actually alot of players to cover the midfield some good defenders and for sure we need a striker or two.
6-8 players in the summer? I think we only need a great central defender and not much more, except I would like to see Riquelme back. When Larsson, Edmilson, Motta and Gabri come back, we have many more options. The only player with Gaspart-wages left in our squad is Gerard (apart from the players loaned out) and he looks likely to go on bosman. So I don't really understand why we should bring in lots of new players in the summer. If we can re-negotiate Riquelme's wage, I'll be very glad to have him in our squad. A squad with Larsson, Eto'o, Iaquinta, Giuly, Ronaldinho, Messi and Riquelme is plenty for the attack. In midfield and defence we would also be well covered with two players battling for each spot.

By the way; did you know that we still pay half of Kluivert's wages? At least according to this source:

http://newcastleunited.rivals.net/default.asp?sid=893&p=2&stid=8370641

"Barcelona are currently paying half his wages, but that stops in the summer, and Newcastle have an option to dump him if they so require. And that is looking more and more likely."
 

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I still think that we rely too much on Puyol in defence. Oleguer is too average, we should get a better CB.

Anyway, half of the season is past us and it's looking good so far.:)
 

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Negatives
1)The defense is still a worry i think. At times the defense looks quite shaken up.
2) Set peices both for and against are a worry. Corners(apart from the past match) have been useless. Still trying to remember the last free kick from which a goal was scored.
3) Injuries and lack of squad depth as everyone has mentioned.

Positives
1) The attacking game
2) The attitude of players and the will to win, lacking in the players who played a few years ago.
3) A world class player in Ronaldinho who can change the match on his own (the Milan game). We missed such a player since Figo left.
4) A GK who looks to be a long term solution. Goal keeping was a big problem. Thopugh VV might not be the best goalie, he is a pretty safe bet.
 

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it is not only Valdes Jorquera and Ruben are also good i think we watched them play and they seemed like they are really experienced goal keepers. Valdes is doing a great job, i still would love to see Milito pair with him in defence instead of Oleguer. Belleti and Gio are doing just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
mrigank said:
[...]
3) A world class player in Ronaldinho who can change the match on his own (the Milan game). We missed such a player since Figo left.
[...]
That's true. We have such a player. The Milan game was the olny one he won himself, though.

After Figo left, we still had Rivaldo, who still won a lot of games on his own, just to mention the memorable Barça-Valencia 2001. :proud:
 

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Voyteck said:
That's true. We have such a player. The Milan game was the olny one he won himself, though.

After Figo left, we still had Rivaldo, who still won a lot of games on his own, just to mention the memorable Barça-Valencia 2001. :proud:
oops sorry, it should be Rivaldo. He won a lot on his own. My mistake.

As for Ronaldinho he has decided the fate of a few other games, the away match at Madrid in which his audacious chip passed the ball to Xavi is one i can think of. Anyways big matches are now coming up and he can show his mettle now :).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
mrigank said:
oops sorry, it should be Rivaldo. He won a lot on his own. My mistake.

As for Ronaldinho he has decided the fate of a few other games, the away match at Madrid in which his audacious chip passed the ball to Xavi is one i can think of. Anyways big matches are now coming up and he can show his mettle now :).
Of course Ronaldinho won many of Barça's games on his own, but I started this thread to sum up the past half of the current season.
 
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