Afellay is back to help Guardiola's short squad >> Read My Mind

Ibrahim Afellay, who was injured at the end of September, was able to train alongside his team-mates for part of today’s session.

Next Thursday it will be six months since he suffered the cruciate ligament injury in his left knee in training. Good news for Afellay as he begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

- It is very clear Guardiola's choice to always have a short squad has its benefits and downfalls. At the beginning of the season, I argued FC Barcelona had made the right call by only signing Cesc and Alexis last summer. While I stand by my words, time has proven it was a risky decision to say the least.

On the plus side, players are aware that, if training well and fit, they have a very good chance of having plenty of playing time as long as they meet the manager's expected levels of performance and tactical discipline. This approach also gives our La Masia youngsters a gap in the lineup whenever injuries occur.

Unfortunately, there are many dangers too. If your most seniors players for a given position are all unavailable at the same time, it can be pretty hard to field a competitive team in every match. We have seen it this season with the winger positions. With Villa and Afellay injured long-term and Pedro and Alexis suffering from constant little setbacks, midfielders such as Cesc or Iniesta have been forced to cover up.

While it's true Tello and Cuenca have flourished from Barça B, you have to admit that, at this moment, they aren't in the same league as our MVP attack last year. They will hopefully be there soon though!

Having said all of the above, I couldn't be happier with Afellay's return. Despite only having played 31 matches (scoring a mere 2 goals) I actually have very high hopes for the Dutch winger.

Has anyone out there forgotten how he assisted Messi in last year's Champions League semis at the Bernabeu? NO? I didn't think so!