Blogs & Opinion


Osasuna:

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

Hello yellow?

Guillem gives his verdict as he previews this week's live La Liga games

Osasuna - Guillem Balague Posted 2nd March 2012 view comments

Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague looks forward to this week's live La Liga games.

If you've got a question for Guillem, send it to skysportsclub@bskyb.com.

Barcelona v Sporting
Sevilla v Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid v Espanyol

Valero: could be on the move this summer

Valero: could be on the move this summer

Barcelona v Sporting
6.55pm, Sat, Sky Sports 4 HD

All the talk has been about the future of Pep Guardiola, as we've been discussing for quite a while on Revista. He's got to find new motivational skills for his team; he needs to find new tactics to overcome the teams that know how to play against Barcelona; he needs to deal with Real Madrid; he needs to deal with Jose Mourinho and that's quite a lot to sort out! It's a very demanding job and he's got to think about what to do next. However, I think Barcelona as a club is confident and they think they will convince him to stay.

Sevilla v Atletico Madrid
9pm, Sat, Sky Sports 4 HD

This should be a tough game because both managers are doing really well at the moment. Michel Gonzalez and Diego Simeone have started working on the psychology of their teams and they are both becoming more confident. Atletico Madrid are turning into a mirror of their manager, as is often the case with good teams, and that's also true of Sevilla in some ways because they have started playing more football and are keeping the ball better. They have started using the old guard and not just Jesus Navas (who is a bit like Steven Gerrard, he's quiet but he's a leader on the pitch and wants the ball all the time), but also Julien Escudé and Fredi Kanoute. Michel has realised that he needs a solid backbone for the team to progress.

Real Madrid v Espanyol
7pm, Sun, Sky Sports 1 HD

I'll be at this one! I don't expect a big surprise and that's not simply because Real Madrid are so strong, especially at home. Also, the way that Espanyol like to play, building form the back, will help Real Madrid in a way because if they lose the ball then the home team will counter with pace and destroy them. Let's see, at some point I want to see Espanyol hurt Real Madrid, but it may not be on this occasion.

Guillem answers your questions...

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

VALERO ON THE GO?
I've heard rumours that Borja Valero could be leaving Villarreal this summer. How good is he and do you think he's ready to make the move to the Premier League? If so, how much do you think he would cost? Billy Atchem (West Ham fan)

GUILLEM SAYS: Borja Valero came close to signing for Chelsea in the summer, but in the end Chelsea decided against it because of his age. He's 27, but I would challenge that decision because they would have ended up with a player at the peak of his powers for not very much money. He'll be able to leave now for around 12million to 13million euros, which is not a lot for somebody who has Premier League experience (with West Brom) and has played for Real Madrid. He's the best player at Villarreal at the moment and looks fantastic playing on the left-hand side and coming inside in between the lines. He can also play as a more central midfield player, which is where I think he will play as times goes on.

It will be an interesting summer because Villarreal decided two or three years ago to stop spending money and it means that players like Valero and Giuseppe Rossi will have to move on. I think that Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid will go after him and I get the impression that he could be a signing for Manchester City because they are looking for that kind of central midfield player and he's got the quality to play there. But if Liverpool hear about this, if they've got the money to spend and if they want a creative central midfield player who can play in different positions then they should go and try to get him. I'm pretty sure he would be happy going there and he's heard lots of positive things about the club.

MORE TORRES TALK
Hi Guillem, enjoyed your comments on Fernando Torres. In fact some of them made me laugh! Are you saying that Torres isn't to blame himself? Why isn't he ever in the box? While I agree Chelsea need wingers, I'm sure he'd be scoring goals if he made more of an effort to get in the box rather than drift out wide. You never know - one might hit him and go in and that might be all he needs. Obviously, it was no surprise to see him dropped by Vicente Del Bosque. I presume you agree with that decision? Scott Burton

GUILLEM SAYS: I was just trying to explain what Chelsea could do to improve him. Of course he's also got to be responsible for his own form and this is not just a player failing to fulfil his potential because of tactical decisions or the situation of the team or the problems within the dressing room. It's a mixture of all of those things, but it's a situation that has got to be sorted because they've got a top, top striker.

As I've suggested, getting wingers is definitely one solution and I think Chelsea are trying to move in that direction next season. But of course he is a player that has succeeded mostly with space in front of him in a counter-attacking team. I'm not sure Andre Villas-Boas will change his way of playing for just one player. I agree with Villas-Boas when he says Torres has got to improve his movement too. I remember Gianluca Vialli saying how cleverly he moves, but he's got to keep at it and adapt to his team. I've seen it with Spain, which is a team that doesn't leave him much space to run into and he adapted to that. All in all it's about the club and him and they have to help each other to improve. It's very important that Torres helps the club and vice versa.

WILL HE, ELLIOT?
Hi Guillem, I noticed that Elliot Kebbie has moved from the Barcelona academy (La Masia) to Atletico Madrid (Jan) on a four year contract but I'm having trouble finding any information on the Madrid website or Wikipedia? Just how good is he... or more to the point why is no one mentioning him in England? Aaron Smith

GUILLEM SAYS: He did not sign for Barcelona. He had a trial there, as did many other kids, and he doesn't have a four-year deal with Atletico Madrid. The length is undisclosed as part of a compensation deal with Leeds.

Basically the story is that this is a 17-year-old guy who can play right-back or as a midfielder and is mature for his age. He was born in Halifax and is a natural athlete; apparently he won a national schools sprint title, running the 100 metres in 11 seconds.

He's product of the Leeds United youth system, where he was since the age of nine. He was involved in the England set-up and was offered terms by Leeds at the age of 14 with his scholarship due to start in 2011, but he left Leeds and didn't have a club for a while. He went to Spain and played a trial game at La Masila (Barcelona's Academy), but he didn't get in. He now has a contract with Atletico Madrid, which he signed three weeks ago, and that's all I know.

There's a few young English kids spread all over the place, but not many. Maybe one day we should get them all together to see what their experiences have been like in Spain.

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

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Premier League: 10 questions

We look at the big talking points ahead of a key weekend in the Premier League.

Redknapp: Reds need big win

Liverpool can get back in the top-four race with a win over Arsenal, says Jamie Redknapp.

Hart signs new City contract

Joe Hart has signed a new long-term contract which keeps him at Manchester City until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Wenger: How I signed Sanchez

Arsene Wenger says it was Arsenal's consistency and style of play that convinced Alexis Sanchez to choose London over Liverpool.

Van Gaal chasing perfection

Louis van Gaal will continue to demand more from Manchester United despite Sir Alex Ferguson telling him: 'It's results that count'.

Features

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Tyne-Wear Derby: Ex-Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is now a Newcastle favourite following his summer move

Former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback has quickly won over the Newcastle fans and could be a key figure in the Tyne-Wear derby, writes Adam Bate...

Premier League questions: Can Brendan Rodgers silence his critics? And will Villa Park be Man Utd's haven again?

Premier League questions: Can Brendan Rodgers silence his critics? And will Villa Park be Man Utd's haven again?

With another huge weekend of Premier League football ahead of us, we ponder 10 questions that will be answered by Monday evening...

Five classics

Five classics

Liverpool v Arsenal is a fixture steeped in history and with the pressure on both bosses ahead of their Super Sunday clash, this weekend’s meeting could be another one to remember.