Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughPapering Over The Cracks Part I - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Papering Over The Cracks Part I - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Papering Over The Cracks Part I

Those that do follow Spanish action could be scratching their heads as to how Barcelona are at the summit of La Liga, unbeaten. Over the weekend Barcelona travel to Mallorca in which should have been penned down as a routine win. They got half of it right.

It was far from a routine victory for the Catalans, as they were pushed to the brink by a persistent Mallorca side that refused to roll over in their own back yard. No surprise that Lionel Messi, who seems to be on a record-breaking spree that rescued Barcelona from throwing away a lead to ensure a 4-2 win.

Over the eleven La Liga games and the four Champions League games thus far, it is fair to point out that Barcelona at times have underwhelmed; yet they still top La Liga and their Champions League group. Thus, it’s quite innocuous of me to prod at an invisible blister.

Cast your minds back to last season’s Champions League semi-finals where Chelsea recorded an infamous win against the Catalans to go on to win the trophy. Now, most people will see that match as an aberration on Barca’s part. Though for me, on that day the blueprint for beating Barcelona was set in stone.

The fear that shrouded teams when Barcelona was next on the fixture list is slowly subsiding. Teams aren’t afraid anymore. The matter of fact is that Barcelona’s kryptonite is coming into fruition. Football is sort of  a copycat sport, teams will learn and mimicking other team’s success, and undoubtedly Chelsea and Celtic have provided that benchmark.

It’s easy to point fingers at the new coach at the helm, Tito Villanova, factor in the four years of Pep Guardiola’s team gelled together a great defensive wall that allowed them to be one of the best defensive teams in Europe.

Barcelona are leaking goals like a faulty pipe in the projects. 11 games past and Tito’s men have already conceded 14 goals. Of course it doesn’t help when your centre backs are on the IR list. It definitely doesn’t help when their gimmick of playing full backs or midfielders (and you wouldn’t rule out strikers even) at centre back is proving to be just that.

Oddly enough Barcelona are first, and this could be pegged down as minor cracks in the foundation; nonetheless, they are cracks. Blind yourself from it and you will soon find that very foundation collapsing.

Yvens Tiamou