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FC Barcelona 2018/19: Veni Vidi Valverde

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by Zososoxfan, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    Cross-posting from the summer transfer thread with some minor edits to get this started:

    It's been a quiet summer for the Catalans, but that is offset a bit by the fact that Coutinho arrived in January and Dembele barely played last season. Gone is the Illusionista as the list of players from the Pep core are down to 3 (Messi, Pique, and Busi). Arthur was brought in from Brazil to bolster the MF and perhaps Mina will see more time at CB.

    Personnel wise, I think there are a few keys to the season:
    • Where will Coutinho play. Although he lacks speed, Coutinho is really at his best at LW. His combination play and outside shooting are best utilized there, but he may have to play in MF if EV wants to play Dembouz-Luisito-Messi in a front 3. The development and integration of Denis and Arthur's ability to step into MF are key here as well.
    • RB. Semedo seems like the obvious answer here, but last season he wasn't a lock and Roberto played over him. If Semedo does step in, then Roberto could be a real key to the MF. If Roberto doesn't step into MF this year, he likely never will (at least not at Barca).
    • Old guys. Pique, Busi, and Messi. I think this is the year where these guys finally slow down to the point where they will either alter their game or be rotated more frequently. The club should really be thinking about how to keep these legends fresh for the biggest matches and start integrating other players. For Pique, Llenglet, Mina, and Vermaelen should make this fairly straightforward. For Busi, there are lots of bullets in the chamber but no one knows how good Samper is, if Roberto can do it, or if Rakitic is there, whether there is someone else who can perform his other role. For Messi, no one will duplicate what he brings, but the team can also play a more straightforward scheme and play with 11 men. Messi brings nothing on defense and while he carries the offense for 80-90% of the season, when he goes off form the team has no alternative. Which brings me to...
    Ernesto. Ernie has come out and said he expects to revert back to a 4-3-3 this season. Cules are overly concerned with this, as the responsibilities of the wingers can make a 4-3-3 look like a 4-5-1, 4-4-2, or any other number of formations. But, if EV tries to keep balance in formation rather than throw numbers forward in attack, the fanbase will get restless.
     
  2. slamminsammya

    slamminsammya Member SoSH Member

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    Check out this video I just discovered. It is really beautiful. Damn I love sports.
     
  3. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    I think this year's La Liga will be hard to predict. Real Madrid lost Ronaldo and Zidane. Barcelona lost Iniesta. Atletico has lost Gabi and Torres (maybe not as skilled as he once was, but he's still the team's hero).

    If Dembele and Coutinho can progress this year, maybe Barcelona will remain the favorites with a very strong core of Dembele, Coutinho, Messi, Suarez, Busquests, and Rakitic.
     
  4. SocrManiac

    SocrManiac Member SoSH Member

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    But... But...

    Messi is going to Inter!!!!

    I despise the silly season media.
     
  5. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

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    Messi to Inter? So that’s why they snaked in and scooped Malcolm just as Roma were closing the deal.

    Is Malcolm the eventual Suarez replacement? And does this mean Mina has to go (assuming that Malcolm takes up a non-EU slot)?
     
  6. BCsMightyJoeYoung

    BCsMightyJoeYoung Member SoSH Member

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    I think it means this was a reeeeediculous made up rumour ..
     
  7. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    Even though the Inter rumor was a joke (they made Icardi the captain and just signed Lautaro Martinez among a bevy of other reasons), one of Mina or Vermaelen has to go out this season. Umtiti, Pique, and Lenglet are clearly a tier above the other 2, and while it's definitely a good idea to keep around a 4th CB, that seems like a role Vermaelen would relish as opposed to Mina who is still trying to establish his value. I bet he gets loaned to a club that asks their defenders to play the ball out of the back, as that is what Barca want from him long term. His heading and defensive work will come along at the appropriate speed regardless.
     
  8. rguilmar

    rguilmar lurker

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    Messi and Icardi on the same team? If people are gonna make crazy stuff up, at least make it slightly believable.
     
  9. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

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    Joking about Malcolm replacing Messi. Barca fans would melt down if that was the plan.

    I am curious about why Barca dove in for Malcolm seemingly to nip him away from Roma. He’s immensely talented, but I don’t think ready for big minutes at a mega-club. A couple years at a club like Roma where he could break in, prove himself in the Champions League, and then move to a club like Barca if he’s shown to be of that caliber. But hey, they went big for Dembele last year and invested in Arthur’s future already this summer. Is there a youth movement afoot?

    Also, I think signing Malcolm pushes them to 4 non-EU players, which puts them in a weaker position if they want to sell Mina.
     
  10. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    It seems the Barca interest in Willian was legit, but I don't think their bid ever reached the insane €72m or whatever was reported, as Willian is about to turn 30.

    They probably figured a few extra million € for a younger player that's already nearly at Willian's level who can be taught to track back was worth the gamble. Not to mention that getting into the bidding late prevented there from being a 'Neymar tax' that all the bigger clubs seem to be facing now.
     
  11. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    I agree with @PedroSpecialK that the interest in Willian was legit, but never as lucrative as reported. I also don't understand why they wanted Willian and ended up with Malcom when I think there is a much greater need to find a young CF to give Suarez breaks and begin developing at the club. The one answer I can think of that makes some sense is if Valverde has decided on a formation/system that is incredibly demanding of his wingers and that he will need to rotate them consistently to keep them fresh and find the ones that fit best. I could see a system built around Busi, Rak, Coutinho, Messi, and to a lesser extent Suarez that tasks the wingers (with help from the FBs) with not only defending and attacking from the wings but also making runs in behind the defense. One of Barca's biggest problems last season (especially when Dembele went down) was a lack of speed in the attack. Messi at this point in his career needs runners ahead of him to be effective. Alba was the only speed merchant frequently last year and while he is obviously a terrific target (even more so as a LB), he leaves gaps in behind and he can be even more effective when there is another weapon on that side (although I admit that Coutinho cutting in from the left will likely be a perfect fit with Alba). In any event, Malcom is another option to Dembele for when speed is needed and perhaps EV will try some interesting formations with both of them on the field.
     
  12. speedracer

    speedracer Member SoSH Member

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    No idea how many of the Barca B guys have any real shot at the A side in the foreseeable future, but it was pretty awesome to see them fearlessly working the ball out of Tottenham's high press during the second half (even if it did lead to the occasional turnover in a bad spot).
     
  13. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    Cool post on Reddit today of Barca's badge throughout the years. I'd love the club to pay homage to the original from 1899:

    [​IMG]

    Tagging @dirtynine because that's what I do.
     
  14. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    Also, it looks like Digne is heading to Everton. I really like Digne and as I said before, I think he would be taking over for Alba permanently next season but he has been a professional and deserves the chance to start this season if he wants it.
     
  15. koufax32

    koufax32 He'll cry if he wants to... SoSH Member

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    You mean the one with a royal crown over a Catalan field?
     
  16. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    Yes, I had the same reaction at first too. i.e. that the use of a crown on a Barcelona crest is...likely not favored. However, it appears that the 1899 badge was just a copy of the City's coat of arms. I have read the wikipedia entry on this subject and I'm still not clear on whether the crown represents the Spanish monarchy (I admit this is more likely) or something of a more a local nature. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Barcelona#Crest

     
  17. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

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  18. rguilmar

    rguilmar lurker

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    Iniesta and Paulinho out, Vidal and Arthur in. Vidal would give that much needed bite to the team (not the Suarez type of bite). He’s getting up there in age but I’m a fan. This signing makes sense to me.

    The Malcom signing has me scratching my head a bit. Like others, I was convinced they would sign another true striker, yet they got another winger instead. Maybe keeping Munir? There are rumors of him going to Sevilla and Alcacer off to England. It’s impossible to separate fact from fiction this time of year though.
     
  19. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Member SoSH Member

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    This signing makes some sense in that Vidal can still possibly be a world class player with a skillset somewhat unique to this squad. I'd say that he and Rakitic seem somewhat redundant, but they can play simultaneously and give a different look and Rakitic played way too many matches last season too. Malcom surprised me a bit, but I think it makes sense for several reasons. First, it makes sense to amass more attacking talent to see which ones break thru (this will push Dembele). Second, Coutinho is going to be a big part of the club for the next few seasons, but it's not clear how he best fits in. Adding another talented front 4 player gives EV more flexibility to resolve his best XI puzzle. Lastly, EV may have a new system in mind that requires a ton of work or a unique skillset and Malcom is another bullet in the chamber.

    But, I ultimately agree that this squad still lacks a backup central striker. There are some options out there and I'd expect Barca to pick someone up in January if Luisito has a slow start or if someone becomes available.
     

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