Revista panel give their take on Barcelona's 2012/13 campaign

Last Updated: 05/06/13 10:12am

"Characterful but flawed."

That was how Revista pundit Graham Hunter described the Barcelona team of 2012/13, after the Catalans regained the Spanish title from arch-rivals Real Madrid, but were downed in the Champions League semi-finals by eventual victors Bayern Munich.

Hunter says Barcelona, who, like Real last season, amassed a century of points in La Liga, showed plenty of doggedness to seize their domestic championship, but feels the Camp Nou clan were found wanting in Europe.

"Barcelona had Eric Abidal and Tito Vilanova sick, Lionel Messi missing the end of the season and never looked particularly convincing in January and February," said the Spanish-football journalist.

"Barcelona got 100 points and that shows you how characterful they were, but the defeat by Bayern Munich exposed flaws."

Graham Hunter

"Yet they still got 100 points and that shows you how characterful they were, but the [7-0 aggregate] defeat by Bayern Munich was historic and, while the Germans had many players at full tilt, it exposed flaws in Barcelona that weren't evident in La Liga."


However, Hunter's fellow analyst Terry Gibson believes Barca were "brilliant" in their first season under the stewardship of Vilanova, who was absent for a portion of the campaign after undergoing cancer treatment.

And the former Coventry and Manchester United frontman says the Catalans' title triumph, their fourth in five years, will not be sullied by the fact they were not at their imperious best throughout the first few months of 2013.

"Barca's pride was hurt after losing the title last year and so they had a point to prove, and this season domestically they have been brilliant," said Gibson, who often co-commentates on La Liga matches for Sky Sports.

"They won the title in the first six games by taking maximum points while Real Madrid dropped eight, and in the first half of the season they were perfect - and they only lost their rhythm in the second half of it because it was so comfortable.

"The players did Vilanova proud."


Gibson hopes Vilanova is well enough to continue in the role of Barcelona head coach, but believes the erstwhile Mallorca and Celta Vigo midfielder must be more ruthless in the high-profile matches next term.

Hunter agrees, but says that the Camp Nou hierarchy need to bulk up the club's squad in the offseason to give Vilanova the best chance of staying ahead of La Liga's chasing pack in the 2013/14 campaign.

Gibson said: "I believe Tito deserves another go at the job, health permitting, but Barca did come up short in the big games, and I think Vilanova may have to adapt his style as I don't think his big decisions and team selection were managed very well in the second half of the season."

Hunter added: "There may be some worries about Tito's judgement and the way he reacted in the big games in the spring, but Barcelona need to give him better tools.

"When they couldn't get [PSG defender] Thiago Silva they went for Alex Song and said: 'He is our centre-half'. He, along with Adriano, isn't."