Barcelona’s collapse – is the reign over?


For the Past 3 Years Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side have dominated domestically aswell as claiming been knocked out of the Champions League By Chelsea. Barca Boss Pep Guardiola has admitted he will be taking a brief break when the campaign finishes and will hand the managing duties to his deputy Tito Vilanova.

This Article takes a look at where it all went wrong and how this could be the end of the road for Last Year’s European Champions.

Mourinho Magic:

The Real Madrid tactician completely outwitted Barca in the most recent El Clasico, with Real becoming  Victorious with a 2-1 Win in which Ronaldo provided the winner for Los Blanco’s that would dent Barca’s title hopes.

Mourinho has equipped his side with a plan of getting in the Barca Player’s faces, packing the midfield with Men behind the ball and frustrating them, he set up his side difficult to break down, with enforcers Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira playing starring roles.

‘The Special One’ created a strategy that Played to Real’s Strengths and Barca weaknesses, he deployed his team to delivering lots of crosses, due to Barca’s inability to deal with balls in the box, they were lethal on the counter attack, breaking with bags of pace in Ronaldo, Di Maria and Benzema, Mourinho also enabled his side to play ‘dirty tactics’ with Real often fouling Barca leading to the usual fracas on the pitch that appear during the battles between Spain’s 2 big boys.

Mourinho has played many mind games with Guardiola, possibly one of the reasons the Spaniard has decided to temporarily abandon his coaching career.

Sussed out?

Everyone admires Barca’s phenomenal passing philosophy and it is proved key to their success, however it seems that Barca have been sussed out this season and teams have found a way of beating the Catalans. You could say that Barcelona are a ‘one trick pony’ because they simply do not having any other way of playing and find it difficult to change their method when they are struggling to find an opening, a prime example of this would be the Champions League defeat at the hands of Chelsea.

Villa absence…

David Villa has been agonisingly missed by the Club World Cup Champions, Lionel Messi moved into a more central role, yes he managed to chip in with an enormous amount of goals, but when he was required the most, did he perform?

Messi failed to convert a penalty against Chelsea and didn’t inspire a Barca revival in La Liga, you cannot surely take away his exquisite touch and superb finishing, but without Villa he looked lost, he was always one step ahead of everyone else, but when he saw the opening he couldn’t quite find it because Villa wasn’t there to assist him.

The dazzling Argentine loves to roam around the field and collect the ball, unfortunately when he dropped deep to help out in possession there was no-one else up there, causing his team-mates to run out of ideas, he often switches from winger to striker during the course of the game but there is no player capable of adapting in both positions except Villa who has been absent after suffering a leg-break in the Club World Cup tournament in December.

Lack of Experience:

Due to injuries and absences Barca have had to rely on youngsters on many occasions, with Isaac Cuenca, Cristian Tello and Thiago Alacantra all being used this season, despite their naivety and lack of experience in the game. Eric Abidal has been another member of the squad who hasn’t been able to play very often and his experience, leadership and spirit has been truly missed.


Barca’s system this season has seen Fabregas, Xavi and Iniesta all involved in the same team and hasn’t quite worked, at times the trio have got in the way of each other, the system Barca occupied last year was a 4-1-2-2-1 and the changes rung by Guardiola this season haven’t quite came off. When they lose the ball is when they have been at their worst with only Busquets protecting the defence, they have looked extremely vulnerable at the back. Javier Mascherano has sometimes been preferred to Gerard Pique and he has been very shaky at the back, the Puyol and Pique combination hasn’t featured too regularly and has resulted in major problems defensively.

Is it the end of the era?

Barca have had a brief dip in form this season, to be fair they have still achieved a lot, but there has been something not quite right and something missing.

Expect there to be some serious rebuilding in the summer at the Nou Camp, no doubt they will continue their philosophy but they may adopt different styles of play to suit different games, there has been talk of a possible swoop for Spurs Wing Wizard Gareth Bale but that likes slightly unlikely.

What is possible is that Barca appoint a new manager, Assistant Tito Vilanova will take over from Guardiola, but he hasn’t got that much experience required to take charge of such a massive club, therefore a possible approach for Ex Barcelona B coach Luis Enrique could be on the cards, the Barca Revolution may not be over just yet…

For more Football Blogs and opinion from football fans around the world