Here are ten reasons why Barcelona can no longer call the shots, or at least title-winning shots:
1) The side is very poorly organised. Despite a positive start against Real Madrid at home, they clearly went off track against more disciplined Los Merengues(who weren’t brilliant themselves, but smarter). When you see four defenders closing down on a single opposition attacker and leaving too much space for the supporting forwards, you sense that something is wrong.
2) Barcelona’s best player on the night was Andres Iniesta. Actually, Barca’s best player is Andres Iniesta despite the breathtaking displays of Leo Messi. But even he wasn’t rightly used yesterday. He started out on the right, but his trademark mazy runs were all from the left, which meant he was more comfortable with that position and Frank Rijkaard’s failure to realize this cost them.
3) Ronaldinho & Deco put in their worst displays of the season. Although Ronaldinho had a few decent touches and shots on target, he failed in the eyes of the millions of viewers of El Clasico. He might be on his way out now for sure, but it’s unlikely that such a player moves on in January.
4) Young players like Bojan Krkic and Giovani Dos Santos have proved enough to show that they deserve starts. Then why didn’t Rijkaard give at least Dos Santos a chance to replace the irreplacable Leo Messi. Bojan’s 12-minute display was actually more passion-provoking than any of the other Barca duds.
5) It was Rijkaard’s fault yesterday. No longer can you completely blame the players. To trust a half-fit Deco and a vacationing-in-hell Ronaldinho was a suicidal mistake. His tactical prowess is no longer holding out and too many teams have understood Barca’s fairly-predictable movement.
6) President Joan Laporta’s ever-confusing statements on faith in Ronaldinho need to be done away with. I think he openly needs to state whether the club are keen on keeping him and if they are, then how will they handle the seemingly un-interested former World Player of the Year.
7) Barcelona need an injection of inspiration sooner rather than later and their over-dependence on Messi will not ease their current problems in the long run. After all, Messi was injured for the best part of last two seasons and even his stylish return to form last time out did not spark a third straight title.
8 ) The improvement in the form of Real Madrid is another reason. That is largely out of Barca’s control. It is more in the hands of a former Blaugurana midfielder, Bernd Schuster. Madrid were 13 points clear in La Liga when they last beat Barca at the Nou Camp in 2003. And the Catalans finished two places above them. But Madrid were far too inconsistent and were about to witness a classic demolition of the Galactico era. This time, that is highly unlikely.
9) The failure of the Fantastic Four is a huge let down. It was always impossible to make the four work together and even if they had managed to do that, it would have been a way too attack-minded side.
10) Lack of decisions. From the president and the coach. 7 points is a huge gap and if Madrid don’t stumble, they are worthy champions. Forget that though. What is the guarantee that Barca wont stumble further….
What do you guys think?