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Three Key Changes Needed at Barcelona, and Fast!

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With the 2013-14 season all but mathematically over for FC Barcelona, everyone involved with the club knows they need to bounce back next season. Now that the transfer ban has been lifted temporarily, the management needs to analyse the current situation, and consider what needs an overhaul and what needs to be scrapped completely.

Here are three things I would change if I was the Director of Football at the club:

1. A new manager

tata martino 644x362 Three Key Changes Needed at Barcelona, and Fast!

Tata Martino – out of his league?

Tata Martino started off well enough, but lately it seems he has lost the plot a little bit.

With his tactics failing, he seems out of new ideas. The insistence on preferring an out-of-form Neymar over Alexis or Pedro, forcing Iniesta wide by starting Fabregas in big matches, the general lack of the intense pressing that defined Barca, and a deep defensive line with vertically challenged defenders like Mascherano are all been signs that Martino is not the man for the job.

He lacks the charisma and motivation skills of Pep Guardiola, as proven by three back-to-back losses in three different competitions. The result- Barcelona finishing the season trophy-less for the first time in 6 years.

The answer – Frank de Boer

The Ajax manager would be a perfect fit for Barca. Drawing inspiration from Johan Cryuff and Louis van Gaal, De Boer’s system at Ajax is very similar to Guardiola’s tiki-taka.

His side have taken the Eridivisie by storm with their fast-paced, high intensity attacking football. Having appeared over 140 times for the Catalans also helps.

2. Get rid of the dead-wood 

There are quite a few players in the squad who are just not good enough to play for Barcelona. There are some who are developing to reach that level, but aren’t there yet. Then there are those who have faded out, their performances not justifying their massive wages.

Not good enough - Alex Song, Javier Mascherano, Jonathan Dos Santos, Ibrahim Affelay, Bojan Krkic

Developing - Isaac Cuenca, Gerrard Deulofeu(loan), Rafinha(loan)

Fading stars - Dani Alves – This season’s Dani Alves was a very different player from the man who was arguably the world’s best fullback since 2007. He is past his prime – losing pace, concentration and stamina – and Barca should sell him while he is still in demand.

Javier+Mascherano+Daniel+Alves+Y7rG6nmFumzm Three Key Changes Needed at Barcelona, and Fast!

Mascherano and Dani Alves – past their ‘use by’ date?

3. New signings

This season has provided conclusive proof that Barcelona need reinforcements in virtually every area of the pitch. The Catalan outfit needs to bolster the ranks with new players to give the manager fresh tactical options, and the fans something to shout about. The mentioned players should be made top priority for the upcoming transfer window.

Goalkeeper - Marc Andre Ter Stegen - There has been a lot of speculation about Ter Stegen, with his overly enthusiastic agent adding fuel to the fire. Counted among the top young goalkeepers in the world, he has what it takes to fill the boots of Victor Valdez, who leaves as a free agent at the end of the season.

Marc Andre Ter Stegen Three Key Changes Needed at Barcelona, and Fast!

Ter Stegen – boundless potential?

Central Defence – Mats Hummels and Eder Alvarez Balanta

One established center back, and one wonder kid. Hummels has the required qualities of a top defender and should easily fit into Barca’s playing style. Balanta is a rather unknown but exotic defender with good ball-playing skills, too.

In my opinion, Mascherano can never be your most consistent center back if you want to be world beaters. At least one signing is needed.

Mats Hummels Three Key Changes Needed at Barcelona, and Fast!

Mats Hummels – the missing piece in the Barcelona puzzle?

Full Back - Juan Cuadrado 

The Colombian speedster has been making waves in the Serie A with Fiorentina this season. Able to slot in as a winger or a fullback, he should fill the void left by the sale of a sub-par Dani Alves. However, the full back spot is not a top priority, with players like Montoya and Adriano ready to step up.

Striker - Mario Mandzukic 

The Croatian hitman could be available in the summer due to the arrival of Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich, and could be the perfect Plan ‘B’ for Barca.

When the magic of Messi runs dry and the buses have been parked, lofting crosses towards one of the best headers of the ball in Europe could be a great option. His intense pressing and never-give-up attitude always gives defenders something to think about and would fit in with Barcelona’s pressing style (which, by the way, has been drastically reduced under Martino).

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Comments (69)

  1. I share the same view with you

  2. adding the likes of Lavezzi and Marco Reus in the mid field will give Barca more attacking option. And Madzukic, Neymar and Messi will give Barca a firing front line.

    • thats righ but in mine i think barca problems is centre back if they bring t silver nd hummels they will solve the problem

    • I dont think Barca need to sign wingers like Lavezzi or Reus. Infact, they are stocked in that department. Neymar, Alexis, Pedro, Tello are first teamers. They’ve also got good youths coming up like Deolufeu and Adama Traore. So as much as i’d love to see Marco Reus in a Barca shirt, its unlikely to happen.

  3. I think Barca shld get 2 defenders, 2 keepers Ter stegen and backup as willy caballero, mandzukic as option B in attack, Song does not fit in at all at Barca, I think he shld be sold.

  4. please we ‘re seek and tired of this barcalona reshufleness, every year is thesame other teams buy players and they give them what they need.barca is due for this ever since more than 4years back we needed to strengthen our team from defence to attack but their stinginess has couse them shameless defeat to chealsea ,inter milan,the worst part of it is bayern and they could’nt get things right at there useless baord of failures,,,,we will never be at our best if barcalona board does not act quickly am sure we will regreat if things are nit targeted,

    • The current board is actually horrible! Corruption, mismanagement of contracts, the Neymar saga,the club seriously needs to push the elections forward.
      It is true Barca need a major reshuffle, but they need to retain their core that makes them who they are.

  5. It is exactly wat barca are missing

  6. Macherano is better than Pique
    We need David Luiz to Partner Macherano, Cuadrado to replace Alves and Pedro or Tello out on Loan for a tall striker who is good at heading the ball

    • We appreciate mascherano, but he should be sold, Napoli seems like a good destination….thanks

    • But Mascherano is always sliding around, is not very composed, cannot head the ball, and in general doesnt instill the same confidence in a teammate that Puyol did. Im sorry but converting a short, hard tackling defensive mid into a center back has just not worked out for Barca.

  7. yes all your ideas are good to barca

  8. yes i agree .. thats exactly what barcelona needs .. only change i would make there is instead of Balanta i would prefer a youngster more along the lines of Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao) … for a young player he has excellent composure and plus he would love a shot in the champions league so thats what barcelona can offer him

    • I agree Laporte looks like a fantastic player, but we all know Bilbao are b*tches when it comes to transfer negotiations. They will only agree to sell if his release clause is activated, which stands at 35 mil if i remember correctly. Too much for such a young player, imo; but Hey! Its been done before.

  9. fcb need ter stegen,reus,hummel,a fullback an etoo like striker.g clop as a coach.

  10. this article is absolutely ridiculous. these are the real problems of barca since 2013.
    1.xavi -i was a big admirer of him before 2013.now he is so slow at evrytyn. when we break from midfield into the third half of the pitch, he destroys the attack with his usless 360 turns and the opposition covers. he cannot run so much with the ball and he takes too long to give a pass.his slow pace in helping the back four during counterattacks is laughable. notice when he was subbed in athletico bilbao and Villarreal match and fabregas was made to play his preferred position.

    • You have your views, here are mine.
      Martino’s tactics insist on pressing a bit, but then dropping really really deep after the first press is broken, absolutely contrary to what Pep/Tito practiced. In theory, this should work well, reduce goals conceded, etc.
      But, he fails to realize the fact that the players who you mentioned were the problems, Xavi and Busquets, relly on their defensive line being pushed very high up the pitch.
      Xavi, accepted has gotten a bit slower, but their is still nobody in the world who can match his level of vision, passing and controlling a game. However, you have GOT TO PLAY TO HIS STRENGTHS. Martino does not! Play a high pressing, high intensity game, and Xavi will weave his magic.
      About the point of him not helping the defense out on counters much, i actually agree with you, but i dont think he ever was known to do that before.
      If you find Xavi’s game slow, what about Cesc? He has still not found his prefered position. Is he a striker? A central midfielder? And his general movement seems slower compared to Xavi or Iniesta, who in my opinion, are still miles ahead of him.

      About Serio Busquets.
      Busquets is THE MOST INTELLIGENT FOOTBALLER ON THE PLANET. He has the best sense of positioning for anyone in his position, he does the hardwork for Xavi and Iniesta, breaking up play and distributing to those who can better create chances. He does this without complaining. His major problem though, highlighted especially this season, is his sprint speed. The man cannot track back once he has been overtaken. Well, Barca played to his strengths too, they pressed high up, and Busquets was hugely effective for club and country. This season, with the drastic shift in how the club defends, Busquets’ lack of pace is being highlighted.
      MY POINT- The guys you deem as problems are the ones who won Barca everything. Thay were the orchestrators to MEssi’s magic under Guardiola. THe thing is, the team needs to play to their strengths.

      • Oh give me a break. First Xavi and Busquests are not above reproach. I’m not saying SELL THEM NOW, but as far as the future is concerned people need to face the facts. Xavi no longer has the mobility to float around a midfield of strong defenders creating complex passing patterns. He simply doesn’t have the strength anymore. Guardiola, Tito(RIP), and MARTINO have attempted to adapt to his aging body by playing him in a deep role but that doesn’t work when you a dense 8 man zone defense. Team were perfectly fine with sitting back letting Xavi pass the ball sideways and then occasionally pressing him for a counterattack goal. Case and point Granada. The footballing landscape has changed, and if you didn’t realize that when Atletico Madrid completely stifled the Xavi style 3 times this year then I don’t know what to say. Think about this post when we play them at the end of the year.

        I mean heaven forbid Martino try to introduce counterattacks and exploit the man coverage teams use on our forwards when the ball is on the wing. It’s funny because about 3 years ago everyone was crying about MESSIDEPENDCY. Well I’m sorry if you can’t see what Martino brings to the table then you never really cared in the first place. I agree he shouldn’t be playing Cesc/Xavi/Iniesta but that doesn’t mean his tactics failed. If you recall the beginning of the season this team was on great form. Getting goals on the counterattack. Neymar and Messi were creating chances together. If we had a true target man in the middle some of these cross would be effective. Notice what happened when Xavi took control. STAGNATION BECAUSE HES OLD AND TEAMS HAVE FIGURED HIM OUT. He’s been completely neutralized.

        See this is what frustrates because people think this means you’re saying tiki taka is dead. It doesn’t mean that at all though. Xavi should still play the big game. Tiki taka should still be an integral part in this system but we have 2 speedy wingers in Neymar and Tello. Messi is an excellent 10. Alves and Alba are excellent crossers. Let’s create our strengths and not venture into the darkness that is complacency.

        Did you notice in the Villareal game how the team looked much more energized when Cesc came on? He’s finally learning to work with Iniesta. Or rather Iniesta is finally learning how to work with him. They were interchanging positions. Cesc was dropping to the midfield, stringing together passes, then moving in front of the CBs overloading and connecting the attack. It what this team needs when the bus has been parked. Direct movement from the midfield.

        Ultimately the board essentially picked Martino over Xavi, and I’m glad they did because this has been coming since Guardiola left.

        • Well, marty, you seem like a smart guy, and i see where you’re coming from. About Xavi, I think i might be clouded by the fact that I am a huge fanboy. Sorry about that, but i will never accept that Xavi has ‘stagnated’.
          You never said anything about Busquets. You have to agree that Busquets’game depends on his defensive line pushing up to cover for his lack of pace.
          About Cesc. The man has is an amazing player. But do you think he can ever be a Xavi(of old? :P) to complement Iniesta? No. He doesnt posses that something special to run the game as he wants to.
          Agreed on the point that he did lift the team against Villareal, but i dont see the point of starting all three of the midfield maestros together.
          Lastly, Tata Martino. Yes, he brings a lot of new things to the table, started wonderfully, looked to be on hus way to a dream debut. But the last few weeks seem like he has loat the plot a bit. Three back to back defeats to essentially end our season. NO TROPHIES! Barca, one of the top clubs in the world, need to win trophies, EVERY SEASON. Period.
          The worst part is that he clearly failed to motivate the players sufficiently during those key games, regardless of how well he began the season.

          • And, i think it was noticable how barca started playing better when Cesc was subbed off, Neymar moved to the left and Iniesta central.
            BUT MARTINO STARTED WITH THE CESC CENTRAL INIESTA WIDE IN ALL THOSE GAMES. WHY? WHY? WHEN IT BACKFIRES, WHY WOULD YOU CONTINUE TO DO IT? Especially considering all the three teams played narrow, so width was needed!
            And again, why is Dani Alves suddenly asked to cross SOOOO much this season. To whom? Whos gonna head?

            (I know the Villareal performance and how the goals came, and Cesc’s contributions in that match clearly contradict my article, but try to see the bigger picture, look at the season as a whole.)

            p.s. Xavi, maybe, just maybe, had not got it anymore.

  11. 2.martino-he has noticed the effect xavi slow pace is having on the team and he cannot bench him.if mourinho was the coach of barca , xavi wouldn’t start .
    his tactics are correct but slow in undertaking in it that’s why defensive minded teams close the spaces easily against us.de boer should not be assign because he cannot cannot control the senior players.

  12. Very gewd ideas, A david luiz wuld b more preferred thou, and also, u didn’t say anything on the ageing Xavi……another option in the defensive would be appreciated

  13. 3.Sergio busquets-slow paced as xavi is that I find it amazing that they think he is the protector of the back four. look across the teams in the world and notice the work of 6-destroy attacks by fouling the opponent.he is easily beaten (eg-Villarreal , sociedad, Madrid matches) and he doesn’t foul the opponent when beaten.
    prejudice is clouding people’s judgement of barca problems.

  14. For me pique supose to b sold bcos he is never inform d only defender we have is macherano I still wonder y we will keep pique nd sale macherano is not wise…

    • Well, the thing about Pique is, he has NEVER in his life been the Leader of a defense. He always had Puyol by his side for club and country. Now, he had to step up, with Mascherano alongside him. I dont agree with you that Masch is a good defender. Rash, sliding around, unable to head, not very strong, not very fast, i fail to see why he is in the team.

  15. Sell pique nd give us david luis nd matthumels. We need a speedy central defender, busquet is not d guy we use 2 no we need a marker in our midfield for me I still prefer song to busquet,d same mistake we made by saleing yaya toure now he is a wonder man at mancity fabgregas should stay nd sell xavi he is weak for our midfield sell d-alves nd bring cuardado we need a tall striker like mazukic or samaras..matino should go bring in frankdebour a coach with diff tactics. Fabregas is a man for our midfield since we lost tiago alcanterer…infact am tired of d board dey have d money but don’t want 2 spend money can nd will buy u sucess…

  16. minor problems-Iniesta, messi, neymar
    nowadays, Iniesta handles the ball tooo much .I liked him better when he dribbled one or two players and not more and find messi in proper position.he and messi should be the ones who should instigate every barca attack instead of starting the attack from the wings
    neymar , I would start over alexis and Pedro in every match because he can dribble eventhough he is the worst in before a goal keeper among the three.
    stop messi and stop barca as in our 7-0 thrashing and many other instances has been minimized by the presence of neymar.

  17. Dead wood? haha , the real dead wood is xavi and busquets, no midfielder helps our defenders in counterattacks as you can see them snail -moving back to defence.
    our training staff must help to improve our player’s pace by a very big percentage.

  18. i agree with but i think fcb really need RW reus,manzuki yes,hummers,nd one young defender bcus pique is a lazy man he can not run,sign one more DM,return rafina nd deulofeu,2keeper,coach martinez

  19. why not david luiz could be bought by barca because the brazilian will fit well into barca squad ,with mascherano rumoured to leave the club ,luiz would be a key signing isnt that right.

    • I think overall, Hummels is a better player than Luiz. Luiz would also fit really well into the team. The point remains that a top class defender is needed.

  20. the major problem for barca is MANAGER proper manager will plot the players the way they like

  21. solution.
    sack martino
    buy a center back and a right back but alves should be maintained one more season
    the real deadwood-xavi, pedro, Montoya
    Bartra and sergi roberto should be maintaine
    fabregas should be in the starting eleven
    I think alba is our best player this season.
    I tynk he’s the best 3 right now

  22. all ur analyses are right but barca should think well before selling or bying players and especially the saking tata martino because his work has not give good resolt because of injury of his players too when needing them in big matchs

  23. To me, i think we need to reshuffle our team. We need the likes of Ter stegen, juan cuadrado, mats hummel, marco reus and mario mandzukicks. With all dis, we can beat any team in d world.

  24. I agree with you but not on all aspects.
    1) Bayern might not be ready to part with Mandzukic.
    2) Barca need at least a midfielder, they have to come to terms with modern football as a physical battle. Xavi is to weak and slow
    3) Retain Alves because he is still strong, like Puyol. His performance is due to lack of proper motivation from the coach. Like Heynckes did to Robben, he should be made aware that he can also be rested even at important games.
    4) Alexis should be sold. He is a scorer, yes but as a wideman he is not a threat like Neymar Pedro Reus and co. He can be used to trigger a swap for a midfielder or a proper winger
    5) If a proper CB is bought, Mascherano will be better as a 4 because he is stronger and faster than Busquetts, just like his liverpool days

    • Heres what i think-
      1. True, they are not. they have made that quite clear. But Madzukic is not the type to hang around if he has to play second fiddle to Lewandowski.
      Infact, Mandz is unlikely to come to Barca, but i just wanted to say barca need that type of player. Llorente, Lukaku, there are many more like that who could be available, but Mandz is the best.
      2. Yes, agreed. Alex Song was supposed to be the Seydou Keita replacement, to fight the physical battles in the midfield. But he failed monumentally. Its just that no player immediately springs to mind when you think about a player like that. Maybe Javi Martinez, but hes not gonna leave Bayern.
      3. Could be.
      4. But Alexis had a wonderful season. I fail tosee where youre coming from.
      5. hmmn hmmn not sure he would be able to do the job a Barca no. 4 does, though. It requires a good range of passing, and a lot of composure.

  25. The changes in Barca is long overdue. Barca needs at least 5 new world class players and a new tactical coach or manager. The positions for the 5 players are: 2 central defenders, 2 defensive mid-fielders and one very good striker. Do not forget that with all the ammoury in Real Madrid with Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, they are still chasing after Luis Suarez of Liverpool, with a tentative offer of £70 m. Mesut Ozil will be a good acquisition for Barca and keepr Sczeny of Arsenal is also good business.

  26. Barça needs to sign Cuadrado like you said, i disagree with the CBs ill prefer Aymeric Laporte and then Miralem pjanic in midfield and Edin Dzeko as ST.

  27. Firstly let me begin with goal keeper, we need to sign at least one goal keeper in the like of Chealse loaned Althletic Madrid keeper. 2. Two central defender like, Mats Hummels and David Luis to join Piqué and Batra. Then Mascherano should go back to his best defensive midfield with Sergio busquet while they sale Alex song . And play Fabriegas in no 10 position where he display his talent than Xavi of this days, Alves should also be sale to give way for Adraino and Montoya. Tello should also be sale to avoid wasting him on bench. And a stricker like Mario Mandzukic that will be effective for plan B when plan A fails.

  28. I don’t agree with most people comment. Get Ster gen as the number one keeper, fabianski as the no 2. David luiz and Stones or Laporte and i prefer Coleman of everton as our right back. Return Macherano to the DM position, why considering selling him. He is better than busquet, He is faster, defensive minded, and he got the pass on is feet. We need a forward with which i will go for Dezeko and we should get rid of tello. Why should barcelona sell sanchez. After messi this season he is our second highest goal scorer. He help the defence more than anyone, he has the pace and he is not the selfish type. So who selling him instead of neymar or pedro. We need to return Cesc Fabregas to the central midfield position to replace Xavi. And we need a player like Kroos who is strong on the ball and cannot be bullied off the ball any how if we don’t consider how transfer very well, we might regret selling some of the player which we suppose to keep when the are banging goals for other clubs. Never forget Yaya Toure.

  29. “…Mascherano as dead wood.”

    I couldn’t hold my laugh anymore.

  30. sack momo martino..nd appoint klupp

  31. I personally think the same we need a great goalkeeper ( stergar and the one from atletic) a good centre back who may be a teacher to Bartra and obviiously a GOOD stricker

  32. we must be serious with the hummels and cuadrado ideas

  33. All the people saying we should sell Piqué are clueless idiots.

    1. Sign Ter Stegen

    2. Sign 2 CB’s: Hummels or Benatia & Laporte or Balanta, (we could be able to get T. Silva in a cash + Alves deal)

    3. Sign Cuadrado or De Sciglio or Danilo or Coleman

    4. Sign a #9 like Dzeko that would be content with sitting on the bench

    5. If we sign Reus, sell Alexis. Pedro will be more willing to sit on the bench than Alexis would, plus he is from La Masia so he is less likely to be sold.

    5. Move Mascherano back to his original position as back up for Busquets.

    6. Bring back Rafinha and allow another year on loan at Everton for Deulofeu.

    7. With Rafinha back, loan out Sergi Roberto.

    Sell: Valdés, Alves, Song, Tello (w/ buy-back option), Bojan, Cuenca, Dos Santos, Afellay

    Now with these necessary changes I can see us winning everything next season!

  34. We think fcb need more defendes and change the fomation as it is known by everyone we expect alot in de coming season with David luis and Ozil.

  35. What barca need is two central defence two goal keeper and another left back

  36. Manager is not barca problem,what we lack is some quality players in some different area. We need good keeper and solid defender and we need stricter that can support meessi

  37. good article, but at the rightback position i will prefer azpilicueta of chelsea, since we have an overlaping leftback in alba, so we need someone to always keep the line like abidal does. center back hummel, best option. center forward chicarito of man-u can always turn up to be our inzaghi, by being our box man. and knowing that his coming may not bring disharmony in the dressing room. ten stegen in goal. iniesta should take xavi role, while remires can be our destroyer. in mood of keita.

  38. I quite agree with u. D board ve to be serious dis season because for d first in six years they are going without any silverware

  39. yes we need signings at Barca 2 defenders,2 keepers,plan B striker and Marco Reus

  40. i thnk wat barca needs is a new coach i agree wf who wl bring new tacticts bcoz most teams now knows how to play against us 2 defenderr i.e hummels nd d.luiz, 1 midfieder to replace da aging xavi and a winger wich is marco rues nd barca wl b top again.

  41. Reason why Barca is lacking ideas upfront is because of ordinary style of play and players they have in the middle of the park,Xavi is getting old and his legs are getting tired,he does not change play like before.Sergio is too slow for a diamond formation he does not defend the back four when Barca is on attack,remember diamond formation leaves too much space for opponents,thats why we need a full work force when the ball is lost.Guardiola left Barca because Mourinho found a way of beating this diamond formation,he didn’t have a plan B with the Squad he had.

    Juan Cuadradon is the first player I will like Barca to sign, he has extra ordinary engine and skill as well. I will say no to Hummels, Hummels is too slow and weak on one-one situations, I would prefer David Luiz,yes he sometimes take unnecessary risks but he’s a good defender who can suit a style of Barca. Xavi Martinez or Ramires would be second player to sign,Martinez or Ramires are too strong on the ball and off the ball and have defending qualities as well. I agree with Mario Mandzukic, he can pose a serious threat to all defeners and can help Barca on defending set-pieces.

  42. rafa Benitez Is the best option for barca .he is one coach who can match the likes of carlo ancelotti , pep and mou in tactical battle

  43. rafa Benitez Is the best option for barca .he is one coach who can match the likes of carlo ancelotti , pep and mou in tactical battle.with his experience, he can help improve a lot of players as ancelotti is doing now with real.

  44. rafa Benitez Is the best option for barca .he is one coach who can match the likes of carlo ancelotti , pep and mou in tactical battle.with his experience, he can help improve a lot of players as ancelotti is doing now with real.
    his back line is almost impregnable , with the exception of when leo is in beast-mode.

  45. martino is to blame for the team’s failure.at the time the transfer window was open , he himself said (maybe he was influenced by upper powers): barca dont need to sign players.
    did u notice we couldn’t play a three-man midfield against big teams like Madrid and city because of our slow-paced midfielders and had to rely on four and the results proofed positive.
    ozil would be a great idea if my preferred cesc is to leave.but we would also have to move macherano to DM since ozil and Iniesta are not tracking back midfielders during counters.
    luis I wud prefer over hummels since he is stronger and taller with would minimize our setpiece problems.

  46. when Madrid equally matched us with four midfielders, all our attacks were easily stifled .
    look at the likes of terry and cahill and their stature. pique has the potential to be like that to make him more dangerous in air.
    the team also needs a speed improvement session.
    Most importantly , messi should be given the ball more often.
    players who can dribble and attract defenders attention to them can easily find or pass into important spaces for goal-scoring chances

    • The thing with Messi this season is, he has become less vigorous and a bit less involved this season in general. The reason i think is, its a world cup year, and he wannts to win it, WIN IT BAD! Next year, he should be back.

  47. hi chaitanya joshi, your ideas are great .but I tynk some of them are based on other reasons.
    I am not a I-hate -Spaniards guy .I supported the Spanish team during their glory years from the euros to the world cup and back.
    I always challenged opposser on who was better -xavi and pirlo and that was evident when xavi beat pirlo in every aspects during the just ended European competition. but now xavi is not the same guy.
    frank de boer hasn’t got experience in europes top flight league’s .he is good but should be considered a future options. I remember xavi complaining about him not getting enough playing time.if martino cannot bench xavi because he is a senior player,how in barca would de boer do otherwise .

    • Yes, it seems more and more unlikely anyway that de Boer will come to Barca. He seems set for Tottenham.

      Okay, maybe Xavi is past his prime, but i am a self confessed Xavi-fanboy, and will not outright accept that :P