FT | 2-2
Just when you thought it could've gone our way if not for these dumb fouls we've been commiting as soon as it consequently put us down to 10 man. EV rotated. And we were in control of the game but not long later, Lenglet elbowed Girona's player to be able to win back the ball. But unfortunately for the Frenchman, it was checked out on VAR and Lenglet somehow sees red and down he goes in the tunnel. Now Valverde is gonna be responsible again simply because “he didn't come up with our strongest XI.” Ridiculous. This literally could've been our first convincing game without having to rely on our strongest XI. And one stupid mistake cost us and ruined EV's interesting approach.
Great approach, EV. Now i hope we can kill the game as early as we possibly could so we'll more likely to see Arthur and Semedo the full 90. VAMOS! 🔵🔴
📰 Now, 442 games later, Messi will add another to his list and become the foreign player with the most appearances in La Liga today. The Argentine will claim top spot ahead of Dani Alves, who had the record until now. [marca]
A short appreciation post:
Little by little, Dembele is uplifting his confidence this season. Over a year ago sees him trembling under so many expectations to take plus ultimately having dealt with an injury blow. Coincidentally, he picked up this injury on Septemper as well. And now, what has he become? A player that's the 'opposite' i would say. Manage to turn himself around to become confident than ever finding a way to push himself hard without any limits. Having to start in all 6 matches so far tells alot why he has finally earned his spot from EV this time. 6 matches, 5 goals. Absolutely eletric. This is the same guy whom had rumors from Arsenal and PSG and preferred not to listen to them and kept his focus going.
Now i know he needs rooms for improvement too. His dribbling at times are scrappy but we need to know this man is regaining himself fast after the dark circumstance he had to deal with last season. When he finally reaches his peak, he'll be an absolute havoc week in, week out. Just imagine.
for picking yourself up big time 👏
🤔 Starting XI i'm opting tonight for the Catalan Derby
Ter Stegen ❌ Cillessen ✔
Umtiti ❌ Lenglet ✔
Roberto ❌ Semedo ✔
Rakitic ❌ Arthur ✔
A perfect time for EV to rotate? No doubts that he should and 4 changes would be enough personally as long as it gives balance in the team. In midfield, Raki should be rested and leave the chance to Arthur whom i think was great when he came on against PSV.
Taking into a consideration that we shouldn't be seeing any changes in the midfield apart from Arthur.
As we have seen how we're cut-open between mid and defense against PSV. So lesson learnt there. We shouldn't understimate them when they have the quality to hurt us. Portu and Stuani would be the main threat. Stuani would be their source of goals which should be looked out for.
Players i want to address quickly:
Cillessen - 9 games in only CdR shouldn't be enough for his backup standards this time around. So it should be the perfect time he stand tall between the sticks tonight and hopefully in many more
Lenglet - Should be a key player today although we'll need Umititi along Piqué to be able to keep their dangerous forward well quiet.
Busi - I'm not considering to rest Busi. We've seen how we look like a different team in a bad way against any given weak opposition.
Semedo & Arthur - Hasn't had proper gametime so far and this is the ideal match they should be featured FULLY.
⚽ Barça vs Girona
🏆 La Liga | Week 5
🏡 Camp Nou
⌚ Time: 20:45 CET
FCB 6-1 Girona
Girona 0-3 FCB
Atleti 2-0 Getafe
Real Madrid 1-0 Espanyol
Derby time! We now follow up another home match in the league this time, against our neighbours Girona who has been quite in impressive form as of late. 1 draw and 1 lost in their opening fixtures, and pulled a back-to-back victory against Celta and Villarreal in their last previous games. Really expect them to be in great spirits today. It's important we keep them off the game as they have what it possibly takes to give us a shock considering they have the quality, and the license in attack that can cause us momentary threats in the game. -------------------------
Our state right now on the table depended on Real's early victory against Espanyol courtesy of an Asensio goal which just do themselves enough to go top of the table. Great thing to recognize is that they have only 1 point difference courtesy of their draw against Athletic recently. Now we have a game in hand against Girona. On another hand, Atleti won yesterday as well but their recent game apart from that so far has been disappointing. 2 draws, 1 lost in 5 matches played so far. So it still leaves them to surely a series of doubts in their campaign.
Now the question is can we follow up another great display after that PSV game? I believe we can and hopefully we'll fancy seeing goals after goals being put at the back of the net. 5-0, 4-0, 3-0 is what we consistently need to produce against weak teams to be assertive in our campaign. FORÇA! 🔵🔴
How many more goals will he score for the remainding months of the year with the beard gone?
French wall is non-eligible to play against Spurs comes next month due to suspension. Another French steps up in our backline to be key. Does he have what it takes to solidify the backline against Spurs despite Umititi's absence?
I'm concern but i'll have my say that i'm confident on the 23 y/o. Given the fact he's played for Sevilla in 1 and a half season and has experienced the CL, i believe he have the tools to be able to prove himself in one tough game. And taking this to a concern the fact that Umtiti has been vital in our defence who likes coming upfield to give distrubutions, a player who's good in closing down spaces when needed, closing down shots very well. Lenglet particularly doesn't have the same defensive features but as we have seen him in the preseason tour, he was convincing to look out for. Wasn't anywhere near special but he was great on the ball, always behind to provide support and likes coming forward casually to give distributions. So in summary, he's good on the ball rather than he is off the ball, he's not someone who could be solid enough in our backline. So i'm concern how he'll fare up in defence having to face the likes of Kane, Eriksen etc. But i believe he has what it takes to impress us against Spurs. In fact, he's played such a key role in the shocking Sevilla away win against another top EPL club which is United which has eventually found their way advancing into the next round.
Should Valverde be given a renewal? Not the perfect time to be a yes or no and we'll see how this season developes first rather than being way too harsh.
Now i know Valverde has beeen amongst arguably the most criticized Barça manager ever. That's because he doesn't fit in our philosophy, never a manager who fits into our system/style, a coward whom never deserved a place here, has an underdog mentality etc etc... But as of now, it's inappropriate to go that harsh in my opinion. Criticism is part of the game, yes, i understand that but it's the best we don't overreact on the negative aspects considering it's the early stage, and instead see how we thrive on this campaign as i have said. Little by little, i'm sure he's still analyzing his mistakes, analyzing his methods but the matter of fact is that he shouldn't be playing his regular starters week in, week out and start to put 5 benchwarmers to have their gametime if he has what it takes to succeed more than previously. Having continue to start Leo, Piqué, Suárez etc every game given the opposition, i'm telling you that it could cheaply cost our season.
Honestly, i'm still optimistic. Simply because i don't want to be stressing out myself and throw numerous of criticism like i did previously and also, there's many games there to be mostly critical. It's still early and if EV could tackle the task in stored for October, then we're up to a good road. He has tackled our situation since Ney's departure; it didn't distrupt him from his focus and has stabilized our defence after a poor defensive campaign during Lucho's last season with us. Shouldn't forget that.
Have we seen any difference so far this season and rooms for improvement?
6 games, 6 wins so that's a really convincing road as we're gonna come into the difficult tasks next month. However, we still need consistency to be able to perform and produce positive results. We have had worrying signs in both our defense department and we lacked our fluidity of gameplay against the likes of Real Sociedad, Alaves and Sevilla. Otherwise, it was a decent like start for us but it's not an all-round promising signs so far.
As far as we're concern, we didn't taste our dominance against weak teams which would've boost our character. We weren't beautiful to watch against Sevilla, were non-clinical against Alaves, struggled to get 3 points against Valladolid, our defence was sloppy against Huesca and lastly, a poor all-round display against Real Sociedad. We still need alot to improve on despite keeping hold of the results well. Those who have been so pleased should go back and see how our 17/18 start was filled with demolition. Against Espanyol, Eibar and Juve was more enjoyable to watch compared to currently.
❗Barça are the LaLiga side with most foreign players in their side with 15 and the number has spiralled in recent seasons. The big change took place in the 14/15 season under Enrique when seven non-Spanish players were signed. The previous year there had been eight foreigners and then it went up to 13 before reaching the current 15. [marca]
A touch on Messi's freekick:
This man is utterly looking to end up with 15+ freekicks this season and he should be arrested for that. 7 in 2016, 5 in 2017, 8 in 2018 as per calendar year in the past 2 years so it's safe to say he's grown vigorously in them now.
When he takes each and every single one of them, we get that sort of feeling having ant's in our pants. It gives us the sense of predictability as soon as he's about to take that one shot, at an area/angle where he's mostly dangerous at and eventually places them top bins like a piece of cake. But, it can also be unpredictable. Just because he can hurt you where he would place that ball when he unleashes it; specifically whether it's under the wall, curl it into the the back of the net, or totally blast it. We have saw that on several of occasions recently. Did under the wall against Girona and Alaves. Blasted a shot against Las Palmas. And has curled one in against PSV. It's been unreal this specific attribute/set-piece is what he has strived on to become arguably the best freekick takers currently when he naturally wasn't in his early 20s.
Now, don't be quite surprise he'll be scoring another in some matches later again or even score 2 in one game 😂😂 but this guy never ceases to amaze us no matter how long he's been doing it now. It just takes some momentary brilliance, some technical-ease i would say it before he produces a jawdropping moment and you would already see him celebrating as soon as he executes them.
Coutinho's individual performance in his CL debut with the Barça shirt:
Not a debut we would've wanted from our expectations specially if he's one who would carry us to lead the title. Not impressive, but wasn't bad either. Our #7
played in the central role. Wasn't posing any threats, didn't had alot of special moments with the ball but that was only downside of his game in my opinion. Whenever he plays in a central role, it takes away a little of how dangerous he could be in front of goal given the fact he scores a long range goal in any of these 2 specific postion. So maybe EV needs to see that Dembele shouldn't occupy the left when he already has a natural position. Whenever Coutinho doesn't play in the wing role, it takes away how advance he is when he plays in that position he's required cemented from our former #8
for a decade long. Nontheless as he always is, he was positive going forward in the game, keeping our rhythm going, one moment where he combined with Leo beautifully, and was unlucky to not score a goal although he wasn't threatful as i said.
Rapidly and surely, Coutinho lies amongst our most important player of the season and will look to complete the missing pieces we have failed to so previously. He's a player that doesn't care whenever he misses out some games without a goal or even the particular stats. All he wants is to ooze his spark on the pitch and without him, we lose our sense in attack.
📊 After six games of previous seasons, Barça's MSN trident had scored: 10 goals (14-15), nine (15-16), 16 (16-17). Dembele (5), Messi (7) and Suarez (3) have 15 this season. Force.
Nothing could ever stop him with this look. Nothing. You already know whats coming... 😏
Coutinho: "I was very anxious before the game. Last year I couldn’t play in this competition and I hope that as time goes by I can improve and help the team."
"I hope we can fight for all of the titles and lots of big things."
"Everything has just begun but we have big objectives and hope to win important things. I hope to help the team every way I can."
Kevin Prince-Boateng: "For young footballers, Ronaldo should be the best in the world because he's the best example to focus on. Cristiano is from this world. He's from here. The best is Messi. I don't see him as from this world. Cristiano dominates this world, but Messi is above everything."