Gerard Pique prone to 'casual approach' to Barcelona games, says Terry Gibson
Last Updated: 04/12/17 9:34pm
Gerard Pique's "casual approach" to Saturday's 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo came as Barcelona showed their first signs of complacency this season, according to Terry Gibson.
The results enabled Barcelona to open up a five-point gap over Valencia, but two straight draws have seen them fail to fully capitalise on Real's stuttering form.
And though Gibson was reluctant to focus on Barcelona's faults given their healthy lead at the top, he stressed Ernesto Valverde's side must not let complacency creep in, pointing towards Pique's performance on the weekend as a prime example.
"The interesting aspect for me is Gerard Pique. I can tell in five minutes whether he's at it or not," Gibson said in the latest La Liga Weekly podcast.
"Ninety per cent of the time he is, but on the weekend he wasn't. It was an early kick-off, he had his hands above his eyes shielding his face from the sun, and I could just tell it was a casual approach to the game.
"After five minutes I'm thinking, 'He's not going to be at it today', and that can be a problem for Barcelona. You'd think they would learn their lesson from last season, because they did last season what Real Madrid are doing this season, showing complacency in games you'd expect them to win.
"They hadn't done that this season until the game at the weekend. It was the first time they started out not as focused as they should be, expecting it to be a simple win."
Barcelona remain unbeaten in La Liga after 11 wins and three draws, with Lionel Messi comfortably topping the goalscoring charts on 13.
However, having lost Neymar to PSG in the summer, the club only got a mere glimpse of his replacement to play alongside Messi and Luis Suarez, as Ousmane Dembele tore his hamstring in September.
Gibson believes Valverde is struggling to cope without their £97m signing, stating how a lack of pace in the starting XI is causing problems for Barcelona.
"It was hit and miss from Barcelona on the weekend and I'm not entirely convinced that Valverde is coping with the fact that Dembele, the obvious replacement for Neymar, has not been available," Gibson added.
"He will solve so many problems. On the weekend we saw Ivan Rakitic wide on the right, Andres Iniesta wide on the left, with Paulinho and Sergio Busquets in the middle, so there isn't a lot of pace in midfield.
"Paulinho was trying to get forward to create, but it doesn't suit Rakitic or Iniesta when playing wider, defensively, and Celta Vigo had the players to counter and push the full-backs.
"You need players that are quick in midfield to help out the two centre-backs, particularly with the full-backs so advanced, and when the attack breaks down it's two against two."
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