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Do Barcelona Need a Plan B?

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In the last four years under the management of Pep Guardiola Barcelona have won 14 trophies.  This would surely mean that they do not need a change of approach in their play. However in a recent Champions League semi-final and more and more league games, Barca’s style of play has been found out a bit more.

The style of play I refer to of course is the constant retention of possession and short passes whether it be Victor Valdes or Xavi all of the Barcelona players have a responsibility to keep the ball at all times. This type of play not only mesmerizes opponents but leaves them pinned in their own half with no way out.  A criticism labelled at Barca could be that they rely too much on Lionel Messi’s goal scoring. The best player in the world has 50 goals in the league but the next best record for Barca in La Liga is Alexis Sanchez with 12. Compare this to Real Madrid who not only have Ronaldo on 46 goals but Higuain and Benzema both with over 20 goals in the league.

These troubles in goal scoring could be attributed to numerous reasons. One is that the usual 20 goal a season striker David Villa has been injured for the majority of the season. Even though he is deployed wide for Barca he always scores goals throughout a season.  Also a significant contributor of goals in the previous season was Pedro. This season however he has suffered through injury and a dip of form.

To score goals Barca rarely cross the ball, they like to play one twos and short passes around the middle of the pitch. Of course this way of playing football is a fantastic philosophy with it being good to watch and requiring players to have some fantastic skill and finesse. But as I said teams are slowly learning how to defend against this better by cramming the centre of the pitch with players and this means Barca have to be at their best to get through it. So I wonder if Barcelona’s new manager for next year, Tito Vilanova is considering maybe a plan B.

This plan B could be a target man meaning the Barca will start to cross the ball a bit more or could be another striker to play in any of the three attacking positions they have at the top of the pitch. If it were to be a target man then they could be interested in Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente. After a good season with his club he will be likely to feature heavily for Spain in the Euro’s and at 27 years old it could be the right time to make that big move. Even though he’s a force in the air he also has good feet and score spectacular goals like the one he scored against Manchester United in the Europa League.

Whatever Barcelona decide to do in the transfer market, one thing is guaranteed is that they will be as hungry as ever to regain the league title of their arch rivals Real Madrid.

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