It was interesting to watch the body language between Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid skipper Iker Casillas during their 4-3 win over Real Sociedad.
Casillas did not start but when Mourinho was talking to him just before he came on, he barely even looked at his manager.
Everything Mourinho does is to win games, so whatever analysis you have of his decision you have got to start with that. Mourinho is seeing a Real Madrid team that is 16 points adrift of Barcelona and is in a situation he has not seen since he was at Porto.
He believes that dropping Casillas is a way to shake things up and to unsettle a side where he has lost the changing room - and it is quite clear that he has lost a huge percentage of them. Those players, led by Casillas, feel that he has not given them enough weapons to win games, while Mourinho feels that they are not following his path.
The decision to drop Casillas is a mixture of sporting decisions to make sure he keeps on working hard to get his place back and to be at his best for the Champions league which has become the only real target for Real Madrid this season.
Quotes of the week
The decision to drop Casillas is a mixture of sporting decisions to make sure he keeps on working hard to get his place back and to be at his best for the Champions League which has become the only real target for Real Madrid this season, but there is also some politics going on there too.
There will be an interesting continuation of the Mourinho and Casillas clash. Mourinho is happy at the moment; he is happy because he is making the decisions and it does not matter how many people challenge his decisions, he just wants to do things his way. However this is not going to be sorted easily and I don't think Jose Mourinho will be at Real Madrid next season.
As for Barcelona, well I apologise for my rant at half-time on Sky Sports during their win over Espanyol. My team was losing 4-0 and it was just the wrong attitude, the wrong performance and it was just very disappointing.
There are other teams who have challenged Barcelona much more with the same amount of quality throughout the years but we did not manage to do that.
Barcelona are very sharp though and I think the starting XI in that game will be the team that would play in the Champions League final - perhaps Adriano instead of Dani Alves - but the rest will be just as you saw it in the win against Espanyol.
That means that David Villa will be on the bench and although Barcelona are insisting that they don't want to let him go in the January, I don't think that he has got the legs any more.
Guillem answers your questions...
Got a question for Guillem? Then send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the feedback form below, and then look out for his answer next week.
Hi Guillem. In your view what is the best option for Barcelona concerning Gerard Deulofeu? I have watched the kid a lot playing for Barca. Are we right to say that getting Neymar would hinder his progress as we already have a lot of players who can play left wing?
GUILLEM REPLIES: Every talent will adapt to any situation. Quite clearly if you have Neymar, Deulofeu and Messi then you have an amazing amount of talent. They will all find their positions though and it will be built around Messi - even Neymar. It is a bit early to see if Deulofeu will make it to that level but he has taken the steps to get there. He just needs to focus on football and take it step by step. Some people have questioned his mentality but he is still a young man.
SHOULD MESSI MOVE?
Do you think Messi needs to try another European league to be classed the best in the world of all time?
GUILLEM REPLIES: Really? Really? Do you question if Messi is not one of the best of all time if not the best? Winning a World Cup may make a difference in the eyes of many people but the consistency of his high level has been superb. I don't think going from league to league will make a difference - he is already in the best team in the world and is making them the best team in the world. Isn't that proof enough?
BUSQUETS FOR UNITED?
Guillem, Any chance Sergio Busquets would come to the Premier League for Manchester United?
Thanks, Barry Lee
GUILLEM REPLIES: There may be talk about his contract in the press but I don't see him leaving Barcelona - I actually see him becoming the next captain of Barcelona.
Pradeep Shenoy (Barcelona fan) says...
Hi Guillem .I always look forward to your liga analysis , very incisive . With all the health problems that tito has been facing , has any concerns arisen in the barca hiearchy with regards to his continuation next season or has anyone been shortlisted to replace him in the worst case scenario if Tito,understandably decides to take a back seat in a less demanding role at the club?
Posted 07:54 14th January 2013
Mark O keeffe (Stoke City fan) says...
guillem, i watch a lot of spanish football and was watching the barca vs cordoba cup match last night and was wondering what you think of alex song`s season so far at barca so far coz to me he is finding it hard to settle with busquets in front of him and wether you think his career may stagnate at barca because lets face it he is never going to replace a talent like busquets??? also would you agree that this barca team are going to get better and better squad wise over the coming years??? because of players like sergi roberto, delofeu, mark bartra etc. all starting to make good progress now and when neymar comes they are just going to make for an amazing squad which i always felt was the 1 thing real had an advantage over barca on but in a couple of years i can see barca having the better squad on top of the better 1 to 11 and if this happens there will be no stopping barca in any competition...
Posted 14:58 11th January 2013
Jj O'grady (Barcelona fan) says...
Hi Guillem, just want to give you an opinion of mine. Many critics in England suggest Messi must prove himself in England, supposedly, the hardest league in the world. In my opinion, that's certainly not true. Players like Torres (in his first Liverpool season), Aguero, Silva, Yaya, Mata and now even the unheard Michu are creating such a reputation for themselves scoring and creating goals, even more than they were in La Liga, and if they can succeed, what makes people believe Messi couldn't, who's on a different level to all those mentioned above. Hope you get a chance to answer this Guillem, thanks.
Posted 08:59 10th January 2013
Patrick Baker (Manchester United fan) says...
I agree Steve, that Messi is one of the true greats to have ever played the game, but i completely agree that Barca is his comfort zone, and that until he proves himself in another team, whether in the same league or another league, he cannot be classed as the best. I reckon ronaldo is a far more all round package, and that he has proved it on 3 fronts, for real portugal and Man U when he was here. Messi i think would find it much harder in a league like ours, which is a lot more physical and competative, and one that wouldnt allow the lack of contact. I think he would just get pushed off the ball due to his size. I am not disregarding the quality, but think without xavi, iniesta and co, that he does struggle, and playing for Argentina shows that.
Posted 08:23 10th January 2013
Tim Hulme (Barcelona fan) says...
Hi Guillem, Is the whole drama about 'the only one' not just result based? I think the booos will be quickly forgotten if he brings them that 10th European title! I'd like to see the back of him cause I feel he approaches the classico with a negative destructive mindset. If they don't win in Europe, do you think Ronaldo will go as well? Who could afford him? PSG or City I guess. Always love your column, wish we could get revista in SA! Tim
Posted 00:59 10th January 2013
Michael Brennan (Birmingham City fan) says...
@ Steve Dont you think leaving Argentina at 12/13 needing to inject himself every night with hgh was leaving his comfort zone? As for Barca being built around him, do you seriously believe if he left that the club he joined wouldnt then be built around him?
Posted 18:13 9th January 2013
Paul Herrington (Real Madrid fan) says...
Although a Madridista I agree with Steve. Maradona left and singlehandedly made Napoli Italy's (if not Europe's) best team when he went there and I think that Messi needs to do the same. Go to another country and learn another language and another culture and do what Maradona did. If not he will be remembered as the best of his generation (yes including Ronaldo) but not of all time. Winning another league and a world cup would end all arguments and discussions. Until then I think it will always be he was fantastic but if only . . .
Posted 18:07 9th January 2013
Jay Moran (Liverpool fan) says...
hi Guillem, i always respect your opinion and you always have valid points. But you seem to be nit picking as to why messi got the award. And you keep saying what did he win last year?? Did he not win the Copa Del Rey??? He is the best player in the world by a distance. . .end of!!
Posted 17:55 9th January 2013
Ibrahim Hussain (Liverpool fan) says...
Hi Guillem what is the latest on xabi alonso i heard he only has 18 months left on his contract will he sign a new one or could he return to the premier league i remember a few months ago you ruled out a return for alonso has the situation changed?
Posted 15:46 9th January 2013
Abhi D (Barcelona fan) says...
@ Steve Ade- I do not understand why Messi has to prove anything anymore. Comfort zone? Do you even know anything about how Barca has evolved into the champions they are? Players have worked hard, so hard, they know how each one moves during the course of play and they play accordingly. What seems easy when you watch it on your couch with popcorn is perfected through hours of hard work. Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets etc make passes which require stunning vision and split defences through runs made by messi and iniesta. Right, comfort zone. Also, on a slightly unrelated note, you cannot take away feelings of loyalty, if Messi wants to stay at Barcelona, he will stay at Barcelona irrespective of his "requirement to prove elsewhere". If a system is in place after years of fine tuning, it does not become a comfort zone. Barcelona have manufactured their comfort zone. And guess what, no one is able to match them.
Posted 07:10 9th January 2013
Steve L (Chelsea fan) says...
So the barca team that thrash espanyol 4 nil will be the one that would play in cl final? is that the sort of comment that trying to make espanyol look special? Truth is, espanyol is not the only one being thumped barca.. As for messi, if he plays in another league and flop, would ya still consider him as the best? if yes then no point of asking..
Posted 05:42 9th January 2013
Edobu Kenneth says...
Jose shuld leave the club for good.
Posted 05:31 9th January 2013
Shane Greenwood (Manchester United fan) says...
I second Steve Ade's comment. Ronaldo has proved himself at different clubs as well as performed for Portugal in major tournaments. Messi at Barca is the best player in the world but does he have the diversity to play any style.
Posted 21:56 8th January 2013
Chris Lambert (Arsenal fan) says...
Hi Guillem, just wondered what your opinion of Adrian Lopez was, would he make it in the PL and is the interest from Arsenal genuine?
Posted 19:54 8th January 2013
Chris Bob (Chelsea fan) says...
Hola Guillem I have been a huge fan of Falcao since he was at Porto and since his move to Atletico I believe he is the best striker in the world. I have heard of the interest in him around Europe, where is the likely destination and when will he go? Also another former Porto player Hulk is reportedly unsettled at Zenit and could be the perfect replacement for Atletico, is their any interest there?
Posted 18:59 8th January 2013
John Gordon (Chelsea fan) says...
Is Falcao close to joining chelsea? If so is there chance he will move in this transfer window?
Posted 15:24 8th January 2013
Dean Willmott (Liverpool fan) says...
Hey Guillem, without being cautious with opinioins, theres no doubt that Messi is the best ever. But it would be very interesting to see Messi in the premier league which is the best in the world. It would be a massive challenge for him which is something he needs. Do you think Manchester City would ever have a chance of signing him in the next five years?
Posted 13:44 8th January 2013
Malcolm Bougard (Espanyol fan) says...
Hi, what do you mean by "Villa does not have the legs anymore?" The guy scores with so little game time and Pedro and the no9 seldom do??? If he was a hasbeen, why is Barca keeping him. I seriously think that playing Villa will take pressure of Messi and allow him to play an even greater roaming position while you are guaranteed that Villa will put away his oppertunities. Did you mean he is too old at 31???
Posted 06:53 8th January 2013
Annas Syed (Barcelona fan) says...
Dear Guillem: Do you think Villa should go on loan as he didn't look 100% after the return from injury ?
Posted 05:06 8th January 2013
Barcafan Bih (Barcelona fan) says...
Guillem, I cannot see how you thought that your team's performance against Barca over the weekend was disappointing. Espanyol defended better against their local rival than any team has so far this season. Barca are just so good that they scored four goals from four half-chances. But I did not see any real penetration or stretching of the Espanyol defence. That was just terrific defending and because they were able to stifle Barca's firepower so effectively, I thought that it was the least entertaining and worthy game to watch of the entire Barca season so far, bar perhaps the Celtic loss. But if Barca had not been at the absolute peak, I am certain that they would have struggled much much more against an Espanyol team who, in my opinion, defended perfectly the entire 90 minutes. So, before you get upset, I think it was a very brave performance from Espanyol and something that every supporter should be proud of.
Posted 01:34 8th January 2013