Blogs & Opinion


Barcelona:

Recent Comments:

Cem Takaci on Making his mark

"Hi Guillem, all of this hype sourounding jose mourinho and the saying that the wave is swinging for real madrid right now. But once Jose leaves and it does seem that he will if not this... " View all comments

Siyavuya Zamxaka on Awesome foursome

"wonderfull column as always...I think Madrid have a better chance of winning the Cup game in all of these 4 games. This is because Mourinho can play any system and not worry about how ... " View all comments

Guillem Balague on highs and lows of Barcelona's 2012-13 season

Barcelona - @GuillemBalague Posted 13th May 2013 view comments

There are things that Barcelona should be happy about and things that they shouldn't.

They have, as Tito Vilanova has said, beaten the best Real Madrid team in history, one that achieved 100 points last season, and will reach 100 points themselves if they win their final three games of the La Liga season.

Alba: the left-back has flourished since arriving at Barcelona, says Guillem

Alba: the left-back has flourished since arriving at Barcelona, says Guillem

That is something to be proud of, especially considering that they did not win the league last season and that this is Vilanova's first year in charge.

Tito tried to make the team more direct and some games have looked like they were trading punches with other teams but he felt sides had worked out how to play Barcelona.

Barcelona have to act now as three or four major changes are needed in their line-up.

Guillem Balague
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Copa del Rey Final
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
8pm, Fri, Sky Sports 1 HD

His change has succeed as they have got good results and won the league despite players like Lionel Messi, Xavi and Carles Puyol having muscle problems and Vilanova being away for a while undergoing cancer treatment.

The return of Eric Abidal has been a plus and Cristian Tello has claimed a place in or close to the line-up, while Andres Iniesta has been the most consistent player in the team, even though Messi has scored 46 goals in the league.

Dependance

The bad things include the fact that despite what has happened there are people on the Barcelona board who would like to change the coach, while there is a dependence on Messi and the rest of the team need to give more.

Plus, there have been too many injuries and Messi was played before he was ready against PSG and Bayern Munich. Not enough players have come through the lower ranks and made an impact, and there is too much of a gap between the regular players and the substitutes.

The latter began at the start of the season when they decided not to rotate much in order to win the La Liga as quickly as possible and that meant some players were burnt out towards the end.

It is an end of an era; Pep Guardiola didn't have the strength or energy to make the big changes but it is time to act now as three or four major changes need to be made in the line-up.

Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and David Villa should have given more while only Jordi Alba out of the new players has made a difference, and Barcelona have failed in the big games against Real Madrid in both the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa and against Bayern in the Champions League.

Joan Laporta is on Revista this week to talk about Barcelona, which we are all very excited about.

Guillem answers your questions...

Got a question for Guillem? Then send it toskysportsclub@bskyb.com or use the feedback form below, and then look out for his answer next week.

MOVING ON FROM MALAGA?
Hi Guillem, What about Isco's future at Malaga? Will he play for Barca next season? Are Barca tracking him? Also, how about Asier Illarramendi? People have been lavishing big praise on him to take over from Xavi at Barca as he is similar player. Thanks, Sriram Purushothaman

GUILLEM SAYS: Isco will not play for Barcelona next season and Manchester City and Chelsea are the favourites for his signature at the moment. However, he has told Malaga that he wants to stay for another season. As for Illarramendi, he could take over from Xavi but Real Sociedad don't want to sell anybody, especially if they qualify for the Champions League.

STRIKE THOUGHTS
Hi Guillem, What are Real Madrid's chances of signing Edinson Cavani in the summer? Will he get a look in or are Madrid still keen on Sergio Aguero? I understand there will be a number of players leaving in the summer and if Gonzalo Higuain is one of those players, he will have to be replaced with another striker. Alvaro Morata doesn't strike me as a good enough replacement at his current age so will we bring in another striker to replace him? Stuart Oxlade

GUILLEM SAYS: It is quite clear that Real Madrid want to hijack the deal for Neymar to go to Barcelona but I don't think they will succeed, so they could go for Gareth Bale or Kun Aguero because they definitely need a striker as it looks like Gonzalo Higuain might go to Italy. They have other big names in mind, but their main aim is to get Cristiano Ronaldo to sign a new contact and at the moment they are not close.

CITY BOUND
Guillem, With Manuel Pellegrini being linked to the Man City job how do you think he'd do at the Etihad? Do you think he'd deliver Champions League and Premier League success? Thanks, Gary Hall

GUILLEM SAYS: I broke the news on Friday that City have an agreement with Pellegrini but, of course, nothing is signed yet because he is under contract to Malaga. It is, though, just a matter of time before Mancini gets the sack and as Pellegrini always maximises the ability of his squad and City have the best squad in the Premier League, I think they will win the title next season.

Follow Guillem on Twitter: @GuillemBalague

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Zidane M (Barcelona fan) says...

Guillem great column as ever, you are right that Barca have to act now as regarding transfers of new replacements to the Nou camp in the summer. I would like to see Hummels arrive to stiffen up the backline. A central defensive midfielder is a must ever since Yaya Toure was sold it made our midfeild slightly weaker. And a quality forward is in order along with a quality keeper such as Reina from Liverpool who you said on Revista is just waiting for a call from Barca to say come and join us at the Nou Camp. Overall is has been a good season as a Barca fan i am pleased that we have won La Liga again

Posted 13:45 13th May 2013

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Guillem Balague

Balague: Barca training tough

Guillem Balague says Barcelona’s stars will suffer gruelling double sessions during their week at Burton....

Ray Wilkins

Wilkins: Rooney for captain

Ray Wilkins says Wayne Rooney is the "standout candidate" for the England captaincy....

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Gerrard hard to replace

Jamie Carragher says there’s no natural replacement for Steven Gerrard in the England team....

Latest News RSS feeds

Susi out of Sweden game

England Women’s boss Mark Sampson has been hit by two withdrawals from his squad ahead of Sunday's game against Sweden

Live transfer updates

Everton sign Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea for £28million, as Morgan Schneiderlin asks to leave Southampton.

Everton sign Lukaku for £28m

Everton had to overcome a late paperwork scare to finalise the signature of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku.

Schneiderlin: Let me leave

Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has handed in a transfer request, according to Sky sources.

Southampton secure Bertrand

Southampton fans finally have reason to cheer after signing Chelsea full-back Ryan Bertrand on a season-long loan.

Features

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

La Liga: A look at the best buys so far in Spain

The top value signings of the summer might not necessarily involve the best players. Clearly, James Rodríguez and Luis Suárez are a cut above anyone recently recruited by Real Sociedad.

In part two of his Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout report, tipster Tim Clement looks at which young stars are set to shine this season

In part two of his Sky Sports Fantasy Football scout report, tipster Tim Clement looks at which young stars are set to shine this season

There’s nothing quite like spotting a young talent set to flourish and Sky Sports Fantasy Football managers will be especially desperate to discover the next young star set to shine.

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

So much can change in a week of sporting action and, sure enough, there have been plenty of highs and lows over the past seven days.