Thursday, 2 May 2013

Barcelona (Not So Much Tiki Taka, as) Taken Apart

Barcelona really lost their way in the Champions League when they lost away to Celtic after over 80% possession. The warning bells were ringing loud and clear during the 1st leg away matches at AC Milan and PSG. Despite that Barcelona chose to go to the 1st leg away tie at Bayern without a defensive strategy and started an unfit Messi. Both arrogance and managerial inexperience promptly led to a Munich bloodbath. A more experienced manager might have taken the bold step of setting aside the much vaunted attacking philosophy and opted for a more defensive approach to shore up the obviously creaking defence that was literally on its last legs. Truth is, even under Guardiola Barca struggled tactically. Hiddink, Mourinho and even Di Matteo managed to shut them down to good effect. Hiddink's Chelsea only lost to a last minute Iniesta goal. If ever there was a need for a rethink and to adopt a fusion of tiki taka with more up to date defensive tactics now is the time. The sight of Puyol and Mascherano playing in defence in front of Valdez has not been a good look for tiki taka.