Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughA lack of summer investment will cost Barca - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough A lack of summer investment will cost Barca - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

A lack of summer investment will cost Barca

If Barcelona should take anything from the season thus far, it’s that they should’ve invested in another centre-back during the transfer window. Fans viewing the recent 5-4 win over Deportivo La Coruna will undoubtedly have noted the defensive deficiencies that is evident to all their La Liga rivals.

Last year, having surrounded their Primera Division crown to bitter rivals Real Madrid, the Catalan giants only conceded 29 goals, three less than Los Blancos. However, compared to this season, Barcelona have already shipped 11 goals; a figure just over a third of their overall total from 2011/12.

Many will point to the change in management, with Tito Vilanova promoted to head-coach following the resignation of Pep Guardiola. However, it is the lack of investment in the back-line that has cost Barcelona early on.

Injuries to Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique haven’t helped Vilanova, with the 44-year-old forced to call-upon Adriano to partner Javier Mascherano in the heart of the defence for the recent Clasico. Fans will be quick to highlight the arrival of Alex Song to ease the burden placed upon Puyol and Pique, but his early performances have left a lot to be desired.

The Cameroon international has appeared out of sorts in midfield and uncomfortable at centre-back, evident by the fact he has made just eight appearances in all competitions since his arrival from Arsenal.

At present, the goalscoring exploits of Lionel Messi and co. are ensuring that Barcelona are leading La Liga, on goal difference alone, but the Argentine, regardless of history, can’t continue to shoulder the burden placed upon him.

It was a shock to not see the La Liga giants not move for Jan Vertonghen, who ended up signing for Tottenham Hotspur. The Belgian would’ve been perfectly suited to their system, while his versatility is a facet of his game that could’ve aided Vilanova.

Nevertheless, while Messi is still finding the net, with 15 goals in all competitions already, there isn’t much cause for concern. Yet, as the season wears on, the problems will continue to rear its ugly head. Vilanova will need to invest in January if Barcelona are to wrestle the title away from Real, otherwise they are likely to have faded away by the time May rolls away.