If Messi isn’t the Ballon d’Or, they should scrap it

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It’s long been contended that the Ballon d’Or has lost its shine as a worthwhile award.

Why?

Tactical voting, ridiculous PR campaigns designed to ensure certain players are front and centre around voting time despite having a poor year.

No definable metrics as to exactly how becoming the Ballon d’Or is measured. Continue reading

Barcelona’s difficult fixture list for 2019/20

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It’s fair to say that Barcelona have monopolised La Liga over the last decade, with eight league titles in 11 years since Pep Guardiola first took over.

Ernesto Valverde will be going for his third successive title but the way that the fixtures have fallen this season makes that a difficult task.

Barca travel to San Mames on the opening day, a ground where they’re unbeaten in five. However, they’ve started off some seasons slowly and that really isn’t the best place to begin 2019/20 unless each player is already firing on all cylinders. Continue reading

De Ligt pain is Todibo’s gain at Barcelona

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In the not too distant past, Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, suggested that he ‘knew’ where Matthijs De Ligt’s next playing destination would be.

The inference was that the Ajax captain would follow his former team-mate, Frenkie De Jong, to the Camp Nou.

It’s thought that a deal had been agreed between both clubs, though the meddling of the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, has ensured that De Ligt will be plying his trade elsewhere. Continue reading

Attack still the best form of defence at Barcelona

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Here we are just a week away from the start of pre-season for FC Barcelona, and with the focus at the club very much on the front line.

Though a left-back is still sought to provide competition for Jordi Alba, the technical department seem hell bent on getting attacking signings in through the front door first.

Didn’t anyone tell the club that any title-winning team worth its salt is built on a solid defence?

Barca did ok for the most part in that respect in 2018/19, but when the going got tough… Continue reading

Barcelona must rest Messi more than ever in 2019/20

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Barcelona have the biggest of seasons ahead of them in 2019/20, and Lionel Messi will be required to work his usual magic for the most part.

The Argentinian is the glue that holds the Blaugrana together and the more Barca try to rid themselves of their Messi-dependance tag, the more it stays as a millstone around their necks.

Though the No.10 and captain has been front and centre for the best part of a decade, now is the time for him to take a back seat. Continue reading

Has Coutinho played his last game for Barcelona?

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In hindsight, the gesture from Philippe Coutinho after scoring against Manchester United in the Champions League was ill-advised.

Putting his fingers in his ears as if to say to the Camp Nou crowd ‘I can’t hear you’ was always likely to rile the supporters further.

They’ve never been backwards in coming forwards to let the Brazilian known what they think, but he should’ve had the maturity to ride out the negativity.

It showed, beyond doubt, that there’s a real disconnect between player and fan base. Continue reading

Could Barcelona’s ‘decision’ on Neymar leave Griezmann in limbo?

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This summer’s transfer window is shaping up to be one of the most explosive in history, and in more ways than one.

We’re still over a week from the window officially opening yet deals have already been agreed across Europe, and clubs are just waiting for July 1 to have them rubber stamped.

One player who is definitely on the move is Antoine Griezmann, but his treatment of Barcelona last summer looks like it could come back to haunt him. Continue reading

Is Joan Laporta right about Barcelona?

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Ever since Joan Laporta was beaten in the FC Barcelona 2015 presidential elections, the former man in charge has made a habit of popping up every now and then with a soundbite or two.

His ire towards Josep Maria Bartomeu is clear, given that when he first took the post it was by default, after his running mate, Sandro Rosell, was deposed.

Suffice to say that it was a shock when Bartomeu was voted in on his own merit (albeit after a treble win), leaving Laporta in a ‘no man’s land’ of sorts.

But is the latter right in his critique of the way the club is being run? Continue reading

De Ligt is right to delay the decision on his future

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At just 19 years of age, Ajax’s Matthijs De Ligt has already shown himself to be a true leader of men.

Mature beyond his years, he commands his team with the authority of someone much older.

But the fact is that he’s still a kid.

And FC Barcelona will do well to remember that in the immediate future, whilst the player makes the most important decision of his professional career.

Continue reading

Barcelona barking up the wrong tree with Filipe Luis

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It’s been contended for a while now that Barcelona’s transfer policy has become a little ‘scattergun,’ with the right sort of players often not being signed by the club.

A preference for bigger names over what’s truly required.

Antoine Griezmann is a case in point, with the Barca dressing room allegedly split on his arrival.

A move for the Frenchman’s current Atletico Madrid team-mate, Filipe Luis, is another head scratcher. Continue reading