Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Formation to Blame for Barca's Defensive Problems
ESPN Soccernet, March 16th, 2007 3:36PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

It's gone left unsaid for months now, but Derek Rae of ESPN Soccernet finally examines the failure of Spanish champ Barcelona to reach the same peaks as last year. Dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool last week and making impossibly difficult work of defending its La Liga title this season, Barcelona is indeed a shadow of its former self. If it weren't for a trailing pack of similarly inconsistent title contenders, Barca might have played itself out of the La Liga race altogether.

For one thing, the Blaugrana has now gone four months without winning an away match. Sure, the beautiful passing game is still there, and so are most of the club's playmakers, but all in all it's been far too easy for opponents to get in behind Barca's defense, as evidenced by the countless breakaways wasted by Real Madrid striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy at the Nou Camp last weekend.

Rae blames it on the 3-4-3 Coach Frank Rijkaard uses in away games, a formation that puts too much pressure on the defense, he says. Indeed, Recreativo Huelva striker Florent Sinama Pongolle, whose team hosts Barca this weekend, says he hopes the Catalan team plays that formation because it would give him more space to operate. Naturally, the lack of a defensive presence out wide (Barca tends to use three central playmakers and one holding midfielder) leaves it exposed in midfield, Rae says, as the left and right forwards, usually Ronaldinho and Messi, don't track back to defend and aren't expected to. The result is a lack of defensive cover and too much work for Carles Puyol and aging Lilian Thuram and Gianluca Zambrotta. Rijkaard should instead stick to the 4-3-3. Read the original story...


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
Orlando City Signs Shea     
New MLS club Orlando City on Friday announced the signing of U.S. national team midfielder Brek ...
Report: Juve Eyes January Move for Falcao     
According to Italian soccer site Calciomercato, Manchester United may consider getting second-choice striker Radamel Falcao's huge ...
Reus Fined $665K for Driving without a License    
Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus has been handed one of the biggest driving fines in German ...
Balotelli Receives One-Game Ban, Fine for Instagram Post    
Mario Balotelli received a one game ban and a fine of 25,000 pounds after being found ...
Robbie Rogers: FIFA 'Insane' to Host World Cup in Russia, Qatar    
LA Galaxy left back Robbie Rogers has spoken out about FIFA's decision to stage the next ...
FIFA to Publish World Cup Corruption Report    
FIFA's executive committee on Friday agreed unanimously to publish Michael Garcia's report into the bidding process ...
FIFA: Qatar Needs Labor Reform to Keep 2022 World Cup    
FIFA executive committee member Theo Zwanziger on Tuesday indicated that 2022 World Cup host Qatar must ...
CWC: Auckland City the 'Winner,' but San Lorenzo Progresses     
Real Madrid's will face San Lorenzo of Argentina in Saturday's Club World Cup final after the ...
Di Maria Beats Messi, Aguero to Argentina's Player of the Year    
Manchester United winger Angel Di Maria has beaten Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero to Argentina's player ...
League Cup: Rodgers Defends Sterling as Reds March On     
Following Liverpool's 3-1 League Cup quarterfinal win at Bournemouth, Coach Brendan Rodgers defended two-goal hero Raheem ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives