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Are Barcelona Heading In The Right Direction?

Barcelona Vs AC Milan last 16 first leg

I’ll be honest I only saw bits of the game I was concentrating on a very good meal I cooked for myself. But from what I saw Barcelona didn’t look like the “greatest team in the world”. I get the feeling the tiki taka philosophy is being broken down slightly and Barca will struggle without it and need a plan B. As usual Barcelona dominated possession (72%) and were almost always camped inside Milan’s half. But I didn’t really see them threaten Milan whatsoever as Milan completely marked them off the field. Barcelona played their usual team of world class players but their tactics were their downfall. They were too patient and didn’t try to push into the Milan box. I noticed that after they did their few million passes around the area they passed the ball to someone out wide who crossed it in and Milan could clear the ball. This could have had some substance to it if someone in the Barca squad could hold up the ball in the area or tried to have a go at the defence, I mean Phillipe Mexes is terrible at defending a strong striker. Sadly though for Barca that man is Messi who wasn’t in the area, he usually is waiting outside the box to get the ball and use some of his magic to score. Only when three men are marking a player even as good as Messi, things will get difficult. Barca need a plan B and I don’t think Vilanova is the man to do that. This may have been different with Guardiola because he had a plan for anything that could happen in a match and would have the team prepared to counter a threat or tactic posed against them. But with the new management I don’t see that. Vilanova appears to have replicated Plan A and maximised it to the extreme. However, up against a Milan team prepared for tiki taka, it didn’t work and I had a suspicion that Milan would do that and win tonight. Barcelona need a manager who isn’t going to rely on one philosophy and is willing to help the team expand further and not rely on one tactic. I mean from what I saw Barcelona appear to have forgotten that fullbacks are also supposed to defend these days. Jordi Alba and Dani Alves are very good but they are almost wingers and I would personally rate Leighton Baines and Rafael/Zabaleta/Glen Johson above them as they are also very good at defending. In my opinion Barcelona need a manager like Jurgen Klopp or dare I say Wenger as they would bring a fresh approach to a team that is becoming too narrow minded. They would bring a fresh approach and control the style of play but would maintain attractive football which we witnessed from Borussia Dortmund and a few years ago Arsenal. I believe Vilanova won’t last much longer and not just because of his health but because I believe that tactically he doesn’t have enough to maintain success at a great club like Barcelona. Some may have thought the same about Guardiola only he was much more detailed in his approach and his players seemed a lot happier playing under him as he would always keep his squad happy while Vilanova seems a lot quieter and just looks like he’s expecting the same thing each week. And before I get questioned over mentioning Wenger, he is tactically a very good manager but his Arsenal squad is diabolical with the exception of Jack Wilshere. If Wenger had the same tactics at Barcelona they would be a very hard team to beat.

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