Skip to main content

Barcelona's balance, not only Messi, Neymar, Suarez trident, key to recent success

barcelonas-balance-messi-neymar-suarez-barca-camp-nou-tickets

Pep Guardiola’s achievements as head coach at FC Barcelona were always bound to pile the pressure on any of his successors. How do you follow the man who assembled a squad which has been hailed, in some quarters, as the greatest club side that soccer has ever seen?

Luis Enrique is a former teammate of Guardiola’s at Barcelona and well versed in the history and traditions of the club. He took charge of the Barcelona “B” team from 2008 and also had stints as head coach in Italy with AS Roma and back in La Liga with Celta Vigo. Last summer, he became the latest man to try and follow in Pep’s footsteps.

By Christmas 2014, according to the Spanish media, Barcelona appeared to be in “crisis”.

barcelonas-balance-messi-neymar-suarez-barca-camp-nou-tickets

That term is relative, of course. The Catalans are giants of the modern game. Playing to 100,000 at every home fixture—to take your seat among them, click here—the stakes are always bound to be high. Failure is not a word to be tolerated at Camp Nou.

Barca’s eternal battle with Real Madrid now extends beyond the boundaries of La Liga. Following their 2014 UEFA Champions League triumph, Madrid can now boast that they have been Champions of Europe ten times. That will bristle with the Barcelona elite. It may take some time to catch them, but you can be sure that the mission has been accepted.

It is therefore not beyond the realms of possibility that the 1-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Real Sociedad at the beginning of January pushed Luis Enrique right to the edge of the precipice. The sight of Lionel Messi warming the substitute’s bench while the team on the pitch stuttered cannot have been a welcome one.

Messi also missed a training session following the defeat—”gastroenteritis” was cited as the reason. Whispered rumours of unrest became a media frenzy.

The fact that it was mid-season, and that there were few alternatives available, probably saved him. Instead, one week into the new year and club legend Andoni Zubizarreta—the man who purportedly recommended Enrique for the job—was dismissed from his post as Sporting Director for “transfer mistakes”. His assistant, former club captain Carles Puyol, also left.

According to Spanish football expert Sid Lowe, writing in the Guardian, said that presidential elections were called, to “reduce the tension.” Luis Enrique, however, stated that it was more simple than that: “Victories are the only things that can calm this wave.”

barcelonas-balance-messi-neymar-suarez-barca-camp-nou-tickets

Eventually, those victories came—and they kept on coming. Messi’s form blossomed again: the mutual understanding between the Argentine, Neymar and Luis Suarez improved and began to realize its potential.

By the end of the UCL final in Berlin—in which Barcelona defeated Juventus 3-1—they had managed to achieve what appeared to be unthinkable just six months earlier.

Barcelona’s recent “triplete” of UEFA Champions League, La Liga title, and Copa del Rey can be attributed to head coach Luis Enrique finding the right balance in his side, according to ex-blaugrana defender Lilian Thuram.

“Barça were fair winners because they outplayed their opponent. They are a more balanced team than they were before...They defend better and their attack is less predictable.”

If Barcelona can repeat their end of season performances from the beginning of next season, there will be no stopping them once again.

Guest post via Andre.

It's your turn


What do you think? Can Barca repeat their treble next season? Should Luis Enrique continue as coach even if a new president comes in? I'd love to hear your views. Share your thoughts with our fellow Blaugranas in the comment box below.

Comments

  1. Thanks for your article, Andre.

    If Barcelona have taken over Real Madrid as the most successful club in European football in the last 25 years it is thanks to an unequivocal believe on attacking football, a clear Cruyff-based philosophy.

    Although it is impossible to predict what may happen in the future, the current squad clearly has solid foundations to build upon. Players such as Pique, Busquets, Suarez, Neymar or Iniesta are influential but, ultimately, it is a certain Lionel Messi who makes all the difference in big matches.

    With La Pulga on form and motivated, everything is possible.

    ReplyDelete
  2. DRAGO22.6.15

    This season's success has been even sweeter than past triumphs because for a long time earlier in the season it did not look likely. I doubt thast many Cules thought a treble likely after the Real Sociedad debacle. Fortunately, that defeat galvanised everyone and the rest is history. I think that Luis Enrique's much criticisded early season rotations played a major part in our eventual glory. It kept our players fit and fresh and contributed to him being abl to field our top eleven in all the big games at the end of the season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be honest, I was one of those who could have not foreseen the major turnaround after the Real Sociedad defeat. It was embarrassing and, especially given Messi's clash with Luis Enrique, I just could not see a positive way out.

      Luckily, a starting XI was finally decided on and, once those players were regularly trusted, better results came and the team became a much more cohesive unit.

      Delete
  3. Rotimi23.6.15

    Barca should sign one central defender like Nicholas Otamendi. Barca should sign Ilkay Gundogan to replace Xavi and sign Coutinho in June 2016

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Otamendi would be a good signing given his outstanding season at Valencia but, honestly, I would much rather give Marc Bartra the playing time he deserves than invest in that position again.

      Xavi is irreplaceable. With that in mind, players like Gundongan, Verratti, Koke, Isco would all be welcome additions. Having said that, Paul Pogba remains my number one choice at this point given his age, physicality, skill and commanding presence all over the pitch -- all areas that treble-winning Barca could still do with an improvement on.

      Delete
  4. Khmer24.6.15

    FC Barcelona should to buy two players in this season Kevine De Bruyne and Paul Pogba.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thomas24.6.15

    Barca will move on but xavi will forever be missed.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Francisco24.6.15

    Are you getting paid by his agent for promoting pogba?

    ReplyDelete
  7. You could buy anyone but still wont fill the Hole Xavi has left to me he is the Best Midfielder i have Ever Seen

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Who should Barcelona sign this summer? | The Barcablog Podcast

Marco Verratti and Thiago Alcantara are only two of the names discussed. Who else should be considered to join Barca during the summer transfer window? What does the team truly need?

This video is brought to you by FUBOTV. We have secured an EXCLUSIVE discount for you to watch ALL FC Barcelona matches in HD by clicking HERE -- You will also be supporting our podcast as well as we get a very small commission whenever our link is used.

The Barcablog Podcast #2 | Pique, Ramos, Verratti, Thiago, Ronaldinho and more!

Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marco Verratti, Thiago Alcantara, Ronaldinho and Dani Alves are only a few of the names discussed by Francesc and Dan in Episode #2 of The Barcablog Podcast. As always, you are in for a treat -- If you love FC Barcelona and opinionated Cules speaking their mind, that is!

This episode is brought to you by FUBOTV. We have secured an EXCLUSIVE discount for you to watch ALL FC Barcelona matches in HD by clicking HERE -- You will also be supporting our podcast as well as we get a very small commission whenever our link is used.

Enjoy the show!

Barcelona Podcast: Who is the best Brazilian to ever play for Barca?

Barcelona fans have witnessed the very best of Brazil at the Camp Nou for decades. With so many talented stars to choose from, Francesc and Dan have a difficult task ahead in their podcast: Can anyone beat Dani Alves to the top spot of our 'Best of Brazil' countdown?

Did Barcelona deserve to lose La Liga? | The Barcablog Podcast

Barcelona lost La Liga to Real Madrid after taking the title race to the very last game. Did Messi, Neymar, Suarez and the rest of the Barca stars do enough to secure the trophy?

This video is brought to you by FUBOTV. We have secured an EXCLUSIVE discount for you to watch ALL FC Barcelona matches in HD by clicking HERE -- You will also be supporting our podcast as well as we get a very small commission whenever our link is used.

Marco Reus, preferred transfer target for Barca fans | Barcelona News

THE BARCABLOG PODCAST | Replacing Luis Enrique, Discussing La Masia | Episode I

We are proud to bring you our first ever The Barcablog Podcast! In this episode, Francesc and Dan discuss Luis Enrique’s replacement, Barça’s chances to win La Liga, the effectiveness of La Masia, Marlon’s impact on the first team, the future of Denis Suarez -- And some more mildly interesting random stuff!

Plus a special edition of ‘Random Corner’ in which the boys break down their horrendous 'The Worst 5 Barcelona signings of the XXI century' countdown. Did anyone beat Alexandr Hleb in our Top of the Flops list?

This episode is brought to you by FUBOTV. As a thank you, we have secured an EXCLUSIVE discount for you to watch every FC Barcelona match in HD by clicking HERE -- You will also be supporting our podcast as well as we get a very small commission whenever our link is used.

Enjoy the show!

How to watch every Barcelona game online, on mobile and on TV

Barcelona, lead by their legendary attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, are on a mission to bring more trophies to the Camp Nou museum this season -- and you should not miss a second of the action!

Whether you live in or outside the USA, you can easily stream every Barca match to your desktop computer, mobile device or even your TV.
US ONLY: JOIN FUBOTV
FuboTV is a live streaming channel that offers every Barcelona match as well as the whole of La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A and Premiera Liga for only $6.99 a month.

I have personally been watching Barca on FuboTV for years and the 1080p Ultra-HD quality is certainly the best in the market right now. No more dodgy, pixelated streaming for me!

There is a 7-DAY free trial option available and if you cancel your subscription within 24 hours you will not be charged.

Click here to sign up for a 7-DAY free trial with FuboTV.

OUTSIDE THE US: INSTALL CYBERGHOST FIRST
Fubo TV is currently only available in US. To watch …

BARCELONA PODCAST: El Clasico, Champions League elimination, La Liga

The latest Barca Podcast is now live! George Bennet from GB Articles interviewed Francesc Tomas and questioned him on Barca's recent El Clasico victory, the disastrous Champions League elimination and the decisive final matches in La Liga. You don't want to miss this!

Barcelona rewriting history after 1,500 matches at glorious Camp Nou

Barcelona have now played a staggering 1,500 games of football at the Camp Nou. The stadium, which was built back in 1957 to replace the legendary Les Corts Stadium due to the demand for tickets exceeding the ground’s capacity, has witnessed 1,119 Barca wins, 238 draws and only 143 defeats over the years.

Barca are clearly not invincible at the Camp Nou but their winning records of 75% and being unbeaten in 90% of home games speaks for themselves.

Barcelona have now become a global phenomenon thanks to not only their dominance, but also the many world-class stars that have been part of their squad over the years. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar take the vast majority of the spotlight these days, but their success can only be understood as a continuation of the work of legends such as Johan Cruyff, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Hristo Stoichkov or Lazlo Kubala over the years.


Camp Nou is a synonym of sporting excellence these days. The recent successes under the leadership of Luis Enrique…

Neymar must stay to secure Barcelona long-term success

Neymar has been excellent for Barcelona since he joined the Catalan giants back in the summer of 2013. Despite the many question marks over whether he would accept to share the spotlight with Lionel Messi, his professionalism off the pitch and even the legality of his transfer, the Brazilian youngster has made a remarkable impact and deservedly become a Camp Nou favourite.

As our partners as Sbobet Mobile know, Barcelona are not currently leading the La Liga table but nobody in their right mind would rule them out of retaining the title. If the Blaugranas are to leapfrog Real Madrid before the end of the season and win the league for the third consecutive season, Neymar has a huge role to play in the nine games remaining.

Fortunately for Cules, Neymar is currently playing the best football of his whole career. Fully established at both club and international level, the No.11's confidence and excellent form makes him a constant danger that rivals constantly struggle to contain -- …