Blogs & Opinion

Guillem Balague:

Most Popular Posts:

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 blogs on a potential pivotal weekend in La Liga

Guillem Balague - Guillem Balague Posted 24th February 2014 view comments

That was an interesting weekend!

Real Madrid confirmed their solidity as a team and showed they don't need to play wonderfully and they don't need to score collective goals. Because they are defending so well, even without Sergio Ramos in the team, that always allows them to win games.

Gareth Bale was on target with a long-distance special

Gareth Bale was on target with a long-distance special

It wasn't a great game. Gareth Bale received his first whistling from the Bernabeu crowd following a few misses. But all in all, they haven't lost a game since the Clasico and I said after that game that Real Madrid would win the league.

You can tell Barcelona have structural problems and Atletico were going to hit a wall, while Real Madrid had room for improvement. We've seen that happening with Atletico - Diego Simeone needs to tweak the style but is not able to do so because he doesn't believe in anything other than his style.

It wasn't a great game. Gareth Bale received his first whistling from the Bernabeu crowd following a few misses. But all in all, they haven't lost a game since the Clasico

Guillem Balague
Quotes of the week

You have players such as Arda Turan and Koke looking tired, and the missing full-back Filipe Luis mean that they can't employ the attacks down the flanks. That means that Atletico have lost three games in three weeks. It's still extraordinary what they've done and they'll still have a part to play in the Champions League.

Atletico have struggled against teams that have defended very deep and give them the ball. The arrival of Diego was supposed to sort that out but quite clearly, as he was left on the bench in Milan, Simeone doesn't think he's the perfect solution yet.

At Barca, Tata Martino wasn't using what's at his disposal in the best way. I think he had to improve the style or change the players and neither has happened. He made a mistake in changing six players - one because of injury but five more without needing to.

Martino has told the players he will never make this mistake for the 20 games left this season (if they make all the finals). He will go back to the style that we've seen in the previous three games.

But the players have lost a bit of faith in the leader because he's made a mistake at a key moment in the season. The main consequence will be that the team will go in the direction the players want it to go in.

People are saying that Lionel Messi seems a bit absent. I'm saying he's scored consecutively in five games! But as long as there is no link between Xavi, Iniesta and Messi you won't get the best Barcelona.

Guillem answers your questions...

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

Hi Guillem, How impressed have you been with Antoine Griezmann this season? His goal against Barca showed he can do it against the best sides, so do you think he will make France's World Cup squad? And will any big clubs be trying to sign him this summer? Thanks, Ben (Liverpool fan)

GUILLEM SAYS: Real Sociedad will sell in the summer. Paris St-Germain are favourites right now but he's playing so well that there will be others in the queue trying to get him.

Hi Guillem, In the summer what positions are Barcelona and Real Madrid looking to add to and what players are they likely to target in the transfer window?Will Atletico Madrid be able to hold on their top players? Dom

GUILLEM SAYS: For Real, goalkeeper could be one. It could be a way of sorting out the problem. Iker Casillas wants to leave if he's not going to play and Diego Lopez has an offer from Napoli. Raphael Varane seems to be sorting his physical problems out but some say that he can't play two games in a row so maybe they need a centre-back. I also think they'll definitely go out and get a striker. As for Barca, one top player per position. Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been signed as a goalkeeper already but they need one player per position.

Hi Guillem! Do you think Lopez is better than Casillas? And should Madrid just sell Casillas already? Jbx11

GUILLEM SAYS: Casillas is doing really well in the Cup and the Champions League and now Carlo Ancelotti is saying that he may even play in some league games. The door is certainly open to see more of Casillas. Lopez offers different things - he comes out better and is statistically as good as Casillas but Casillas is the best at one-on-one in the world.

Hola Guillem. After Sociedad's great win at the weekend do you think they'll be able to beat Athletic Bilbao to fourth this year? Thanks, Mike (Derby fan)

GUILLEM SAYS: However they finish the season is what's going to take them to fourth or not. They seem stronger than Athletic Bilbao at the moment and it's a shame that one of them has to miss out. However, the competition for fourth is a good thing and means everyone has to play their best.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Football League Bloggers

FL72 Blog: Sannino surprised

FL72 blogger Keith Andrews admits that he found Beppe Sannino's departure from Watford bizarre....

Niall Quinn

Quinn: Falcao will inspire Rooney

Niall Quinn says Radamel Falcao will force Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to raise their game at United....

Chris Kamara

Kammy's Weekend Review

Chris Kamara says Premier League fans must embrace Diego Costa's physicality and character....

Latest News RSS feeds

Transfer Deadline Day live

Radamel Falcao in Man Utd loan deal, Real Madrid bring in Javier Hernandez, QPR target Sandro from Spurs and Burnley sign George Boyd.

United to sign Falcao on loan

Manchester United have agreed a season-long loan deal with Monaco for striker Radamel Falcao, according to Sky sources.

Deadline Day done deals

Keep up to date with all the completed deals with our list of all the movers on Transfer Deadline Day.

Hernandez joins Real Madrid

Real Madrid have signed Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez on a season-long loan deal.

Palace set to sign McArthur

Crystal Palace are set to sign James McArthur from Wigan Athletic for a club record fee of £7million.


Transfer deadline day: Hit or Miss?

Transfer deadline day: Hit or Miss?

Every fan hopes their club can produce the best signing of any transfer window. Sometimes a new arrival can indeed prove to be a masterstroke but sometimes that latest signing can also develop into an expensive mistake.

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

Another seven days of sport have offered up a gamut of emotions. As the dust settles, Sky Sports sifts through it all to bring you the heroes and villains of the past week.