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Deportivo Alaves Vs Barcelona : Match Analysis and Preview

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The look on Xavi’s face all through the game says it all. He wasn’t impressed with what he’s seeing and he’s right to have that look.

At this point, there are no excuses, this team ought to be doing better, ought to be improving.

Building a project from scratch takes time and a lot of patience but one would imagine after the impressive performance against Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, that this team is moving in the right direction.

But reverse has been the case. Since that game, they’ve lost to Athletic Bilbao, completely turn apart and the showing last night against a low Deportivo side is worrying.

After the loss to bilbao, one would believe this team will tear Deportivo apart but it all turned out to be another night of shameful, pathetic and mediocre Barcelona showing.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Barcelona on most part of the night looked like eleven fisherman from eleven different villages, asked to play together.

Disorganized, disjointed and destabilized is even a fair way to describe this team. They lacked rhythm and connection.

Starting from the defence, Araujo once again proved to be the main force at the back, since Puyol left, Barcelona never had his personality kinda defender – a leader.

Araujo has turned into that leader at the back, well organized and smart. He proves game after game he’s worth as much as he’s asking to be paid.

The same cannot be said of his partner Pique. So far this campaign, the veteran has been mostly average, the defense line is weak and Pique should shoulder some responsibility and blame.

Xavi opted for Sergino Dest instead of Alves and the player had an awful first half. He improved in the second but if he still wants to continue at Barca, he needs to show more.

Jordi Alba said before the game that he deserves better. He’s always been a target in almost if not all of Barcelona mess. Right or not, the defender seem low on confidence.

Perhaps the criticisms he received after the Bilbao game is making him cautious but that again made him even more awful. Refusing to make those trademark Alba runs down the left hand side, inability to link up with Ferran in attack. These are enough reasons why Xavi so badly wants to sign a left back before the window closes.

MIDFIELD

The midfield is another disappointing aspect of this team.

It hasn’t always bode well if Busquet and De Jong play together. They’re too similar and one should play instead of the other.

Xavi has publicly backed his captain, saying he’s been satisfied with his performances so far and highlighting how important he is to his system.

It’s his system and we can’t argue with him on that but it’s been pretty obvious that Busquet has been inconsistent and more importantly a shadow of his former self.

Dispossessed in critical areas of the field, series of incomplete passes, losing balls too easily – all these have been too obvious, Busquet is ageing and not like a fine wine, he seem too slow and cannot measure up to the intensity of the modern game.

The whole Barcelona system revolves around Sergio, even during the Pep era, his importance is underated but understanding the Barcelona style makes you see how crucial Sergio is.

Most times, when Busquet plays badly the whole team suffers.

It remains to be seen how Xavi intends to build this team but if he’s got a way to improve his captain, he needs to do that fast.

Scoring the most important goal doesn’t save Frenkie De Jong from criticism. On most part of the night, the midfielder was out of sort, lost in the middle.

He made silly mistake, hardly gave accurate passes, easily dispossessed and most importantly seem not to understand simple positional play.

De Jong at Ajax flourished sitting in front of the back four and dictating play. But Busquet has that role for Barcelona and he’s made to adapt to a new position.

Truth is, playing De Jong and Busquet hasn’t really worked and definitely a bad idea. They’ve had forever to build that chemistry and compatibility and they haven’t / couldn’t.

Barcelona Golden boy Pedri was arguably the best player on the night. Creating six chances, he dictated play in the middle, never afraid of taking the game to the opponent.

Barcelona have loads of midfield talents at their disposal, despite that they’ve been unable to build a setup that links effectively with the front line. Creativity in the middle has also been poor.

Xavi needs to start considering altering his three man midfield. Nico and Riqui are two exceptional talents. Riqui has enormous quality when it comes to creativity, only thing missing is game time.

FORWARDS

The Barcelona front line in the game was also a joke. Ez Abde played woefully, in an attempt to desperately impress he makes mistake and looks lost.

The entire team looks lost and couldn’t connect with each other. Luuk De Jong has improved but there’s something missing, truth be told he doesn’t really fit in with these guys.

Jugtla understands the Barca style better and perhaps all this has been obvious which is why the technical team are doing all they can to get a forward this winter.

Ferran has got one goal and an assist in three games. It’s been a decent return. He’s been decent considering he’s the new guy.

Much is expected of Ferran and he needs to understand the pressure he’ll be under to deliver.

Most importantly the coach has to quickly build a system that brings out the best in these guys collectively.

The injuries haven’t helped but Barcelona have to do all they can to at least qualify for the next UCL.

At this point they cannot afford to lose more points or play woefully as they enter a very crucial month of their season.

If they continue on this path, they might miss out on the UCL and also get knocked out by Napoli in the Europa League but until then cules can only hope.

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