Anybody seen AC Milan play of late? Barca are away to Milan this week.. Things are getting heated up pretty quickly now.. Each match is like a final.. The Copa, the league and the Champions are all up for grabs..
Barca's defense in particular has been poor all season.. With Puyol, fit and in form, their backline is service-able.. Without their Capitan, Barca are regularly run ragged.. Against Granada, they struggled to impose themselves, and were 0-1 down at half-time..
No matter what the Barca hierarchy think, Mascherano is a midfielder - playing him in defense is attracting trouble.. Pique can lose focus from time to time; start thinking tiki-taka, when he should be defending his goal.. The wing-backs - Jordi Alba and Alves/ Adrian are average..
Most of all, Valdes is not the goalkeeper that can impose himself on the opposition. He does not make enough saves, or command the goal like a Cech or Buffon. However, in his defense, playing behind a back four of Pique, Mascherano, Alba and Alves can give any keeper a nervous breakdown, let alone one who has played so long in the Barca shirt..
Up front, the paucity of a reliable goal scorer, in the absence of Messi, is a serious headache.. If the opposition mark Leo, Iniesta, Xavi out of the game, the rest are not good enough to break down the opposition. Pedro and Sanchez are not proving not to be forwards, but midfielders.. Makes one wonder, do Barca need specialists at all, or are they a team of 11 midfielders.. Is this Total Footbal, Barca style..??