Every now and then you come across an article worth reading, reading again, and reading again. Well, here is one of them. I found it quite entertaining to read this while watching the replay of the Barcelona/Inter UCL game. I don’t think certain things were as “obvious” as they would be against some of their lesser La Liga opponents, but nonetheless Barca is Barca and they will always prove why they are the best… even in a 0-0 tie.
Here is the link to the actual article:
Here is an excerpt from Simon Kuper’s article. This is something I liked a lot and honestly had never heard of before:
When Barcelona win the ball, they do something unusual. Most leading teams treat the moment the ball changes hands – “turnover”, as it’s called in basketball – as decisive. At that moment, the opponents are usually out of position, and so if you can counterattack quickly, you have an excellent chance of scoring. Teams like Manchester United and Arsenal often try to score in the first three seconds after winning possession. So their player who wins the ball often tries to hit an instant splitting pass. Holland – Barcelona’s historic role models – do this too.
But when a Barcelona player wins the ball, he doesn’t try for a splitting pass. The club’s attitude is: he has won the ball, that’s a wonderful achievement, and he doesn’t need to do anything else special. All he should do is slot the ball simply to the nearest teammate. Barcelona’s logic is that in winning the ball, the guy has typically forfeited his vision of the field. So he is the worst-placed player to hit a telling ball.
This means that Barcelona don’t rely on the element of surprise. They take a few moments to get into formation, and then pretty much tell their opponents, “OK, here we come.” The opposition knows exactly what Barça are going to do. The difficulty is stopping it.
The only exception to this rule is if the Barça player wins the ball near the opposition’s penalty area. Then he goes straight for goal.