Barcelona have what it takes to win La Supercopa
Barcelona have a golden chance of winning a first title of the season against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night. The 3-2 victory in the away leg will definitely help, but the truth is the Blaugranas must remain fully focused throughout the whole match if they want to end up lifting the Supercopa trophy.
Tito Vilanova: "The games we've played in the past against Real Madrid don't really matter. There's never a clear favourite and sometimes the team that is favoured loses. We know how hard it is to play at the Bernabeu, they'll come out to score and push men forward from the first minute. To win the Super Cup we have to score again. If we are unable to maintain ball possession we'll have a terrible time.”
Gerard Pique is looking to learn from a difficult season with Barcelona © PA Photos
I have seen our players committing too many silly mistakes over the previous matches such as Victor Valdes' horrific blunder against Real Madrid or Sergio Busquets' pathetic dribbling in front of our own box against Osasuna. Not only that, passing has been inaccurate at times and the game hasn't flown at the required speed.
Barcelona must put on an excellent performance to get a positive result from the Bernabeu, as Real Madrid's recent poor results will definitely spur their players on even further. They are in desperate need to redeem themselves in front of their home crowd.
Jose Mourinho: "Everything is open. We will try to defend whenever Barcelona have the ball and attack when we have it. We must try to score from the first minute. The team does not have to change anything from the way we played at Camp Nou. We had a good game. Still, winning the Supercopa and beating Barcelona is not important to me."
I am confident Barcelona are capable of winning the title, we were clearly the best team in the away leg. We have beaten Real Madrid many times before and there is no reason to think we can't do it again. As long as we can take control of possession and dictate the match pace, we must trust our chances.
Time to win the first title of the season!
Gerard Pique is back to his best
After a highly disappointing season, I am extremely pleased to say that Gerard Pique has returned to form. Regular readers of my blog will certainly remember how critical I was of his poor performances, distracting celebrity lifestyle and general lack of commitment under Pep Guardiola back then.
Gerard Pique: "You learn lessons in your life. When things go well you overcome things without any problems, if they go badly, turning the situation around is very difficult. I am looking to learn from what I went through last year. On a personal level, it is clear that it was not my best year and now I want to help the team."
There is no doubt about it: When in top physical condition, Gerard Pique is amongst the best central defenders in world football. His height, ability to play the ball from the back-line and innate leadership skills were severely missed in our defensive line last season, especially after the long-term injuries suffered by Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal.
Great to have Pique back!
Messi is on fire
Lionel Messi has scored five goals in three official matches (two in La Liga and one in La Supercopa), which is his best ever goalscoring start to a season. Leo has now scored in 15 of the last 17 Liga matches, a total of 31. He is also the only player to have scored two goals in both of the first games in a La Liga season, which is a record no other player has achieved since the late 1920s.
I am honestly running out of adjectives to describe what La Pulga is achieving, the Argentinian genius continues to break records on a daily basis. We must consider ourselves lucky that the Camp Nou has the privilege of witnessing the career of the best player to ever play game of football.
May the Messi-show continue!
David Villa is going nowhere
Rumours about the uncertain future of David Villa at Barcelona were spread all over the Spanish media earlier this week. Apparently, Juventus were interested on signing El Guaje in order to strengthen their attack.
Giuseppe Marotta, Juventus president: "I can now rule out any interest or negotiations for David Villa. He is a great player, but not the type we are looking for. We want a striker in the style of Edinson Cavani or Fernando Llorente, who are our primary targets along with Edin Dzeko."
After a long absence with an unfortunate tibia injury, David Villa is finding his way back into the Barcelona team by making good use of the playing time that Tito Vilanova is giving him. His recent goal against Real Sociedad sealed a glorious return, but there is still plenty of work for him to do until he's back to his former self.
While I'm sure the supposed Juventus interest could be flattering and a morale boost for our forward, it certainly came at the wrong time. David Villa's goals were dearly missed last season and many fans see his return as the factor that will take us back to winning La Liga and Champions League. El Guaje has no intention to leave our club, Barcelona don't want to let him leave. Simple.
David Villa is here to stay!
Time to look for a challenge elsewhere
Tito Vilanova: "We have a lot of players on our squad. I told Ibrahim Afellay, Andreu Fontas and Jonathan Dos Santos that they won't have a lot of playing time. However they'll be treated like everyone else if they stay as they are excellent players.”
Cules are lucky that coaches such as Pep Guardiola or Tito Vilanova have trusted youngsters in recent years but we must also admit that not every player who joins from our youth system can succeed, as space is very limited.
Only truly exceptional players are able to break into the Barcelona first team directly from La Masia. Players such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta or Xavi Hernandez all made it, but had to wait for their chance and watch several matches from the bench before they became regular starters. Others such as Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas or Jordi Alba had to leave the club to continue their development elsewhere before they were ready to return.
Ibrahim Afellay, Andreu Fontàs and Jonathan Dos Santos should accept their current situation and show a willingness to look for playing time away from the Camp Nou if they are truly serious about developing their careers further.
Time to move on to come back stronger one day!
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