Archive for the ‘ Spanish Football ’ Category

Zlatan ‘Unneeded’ovic- Should Ibrahimovic Leave Barcelona?

For quite some time now, there has been a dark cloud hovering over the Nou Camp in Barcelona. A cloud of uncertainty that surrounds the future of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the club. Even though Ibra and his agent have consistently denied the possibility of a move away from the Nou Camp, rumors have refused to die down and with the passing of each day a move to Italy seems increasingly likely. But does a move away from the Blaugrana have to be a bad thing? Hit The Bar investigates:

This summer Barcelona signed one of the most prolific strikers of the modern game, David Villa. The Spanish forward is expected to grab the Pichichi award this season as fans are hoping he links up well with the team. This is something he has mastered at international level and hopes to replicate again for the club. This may well mean bad news for Zlatan though as he himself hasn’t exactly impressed in the Red and Blue this season.

Even though Guardiola has repeatedly stressed that he will play both Villa and Ibra’ together and El Guaje himself has said that he has no qualms about playing side-by-side with Zlatan, still a move away from the club may be the best option for him if he hopes to re-establish himself as a player. Since Barcelona don’t really need him in the truest sense of the word, he could well benefit from a transfer to another European Club.

Then there’s AC Milan, a prestigious club with an equally impressive history: With no less than seven Champions Leagues (inclusive of the old format) and seventeen Serie A titles to their credit Milan are undoubtedly one of the major players in Europe. What’s more, Milan actually want nay need Ibrahimovic in their ranks. The Rossoneri have been suffering from a prolonged slump for quite a long time and spectacularly crashed out of this season’s title race after coming within a couple of points of eventual Champions Inter.

Zlatan could be exactly what Milan need to partner with Alexander Pato upfront and bag them an excess of goals. The Swede will feel accustomed to the style of play in Serie A after his time with Inter and a return to Italy may just be the best option for him. But can Ibrahimovic be the catalyst Milan need to finally end their Serie A drought? Can he do the same for Milan as he did for their eternal rivals Inter?

Should he at least try?

I think Yes.              

-Zain R. Mian

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Mesut Ozil and Real Madrid: Should Barcelona Be Worried?

A few days ago, it was confirmed by both Real Madrid And Werder Bremen that German International Mesut Ozil had completed his long awaited transfer to Los Blancos.

The signing of the German international has capped off a spectacular run of Real Madrid summer spending in which the Whites also signed Pedro Leon, Sergio Canales, Sami Khedira, Ricardo Carvalho, and Angel Di Maria. These signings have signaled the formation of a “New Galacticos and a Real Revolution under Jose Mourinho now seems imminent.

Barcelona, on the other hand, have not been especially active in the transfer market this term. Besides adding David Villa and Adriano to their ranks, the Blaugrana have not been successful in acquiring the services of a midfielder (read: Cesc Fabregas) to slot into the first team. But should Cules be worried just yet? Have Real Madrid become too much of a force to be reckoned with?

I think not.

Granted, Real have done a lot of re-fortification this summer, but this was still not their weak point last year; the likes of Kaka, Ronaldo, and Xabi Alonso etc. were still quality signings that made up the bulk of the first team, a squad few teams could rival. 

But last year, even with all their ludicrous spending, they still lacked the “key” to unlocking the full potential of their players: cohesion.

Whereas Barcelona mastered the art of keeping possession and passing the ball a long time ago, Real Madrid are relative amateurs when compared to them and this is where they need to improve. Their so-called stars never even came close to producing anything similar to Barcelona’s eye-catching football which many other teams endeavor to play.

The Barcelona side, unlike Real Madrid, isn’t based on 11 multi-million dollar signings that have been put on the same pitch and told to “play.”. No, the majority of the Barca starting 11 comprises of players who have risen through the ranks at La Masia and slowly earned their right to play in the first team.

Thus, the Barca team formed as a result is a closely-knit bunch in which every player is keenly aware of the other’s strengths (and weaknesses).

Too bad for Real Madrid something like this can’t be bought otherwise I’m certain they’d be churning out the big bucks to try and land it. This may turn out to be the one great advantage that Barcelona have over them come the start of the new La Liga season and El Clasico, when it eventually does come around.

Another cause of concern for Barca is Real Madrid’s new tactician, Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese took over the reins of Los Blancos from Manuel Pellegrini approximately two months ago and it seems he will be looking to give the Pep Guardiola a run for his money this time around.

It was Jose who came out on top the last time the two of them locked horns in the Champions League, though it can be said his tactics in the second leg were less than inspirational.

“The Special One” has not lost at home since the 23rd of Feburary 2002, a scary statistic if you think about it. Pep Guardiola has also admitted himself that Jose has a case to be called the “Best Manager in the World.”

Thus, the biggest hurdle Barca must conquer is not any single man or a material object, it is the intellect of Jose Mourinho. Something I’m confident Joseph Guardiola and his Blaugrana are extremely capable of.

-Zain R. Mian

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*Also published on The Bleacher Report (Over 2500 views and counting)

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