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La Liga 2019/20 - Week 21 Fixtures - 24-26th January, 2020

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Friday 24th January, 2020
Osasuna vs Levante, 20.00

Saturday 25th January, 2020
Espanyol vs Athletic Bilbao, 12.00
Valencia vs Barcelona
Alaves vs Villarreal, 17.30
Sevilla vs Granada, 20.00

Sunday 26th January, 2020
Atletico Madrid vs Leganes, 11.00
Celta Vigo vs Eibar, 13.30
Getafe vs Real Betis
Real Sociedad vs Mallorca, 17.30
Real Valladolid vs Real Madrid, 20.00

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Messi is the only Barcelona forward that can dribble. More than a replacement for Suárez, they need a good winger. 

Barça has the ball but just can't create. 

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What is wrong with this Barcelona side. On paper they should be doing better but the reality is far from it.

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1 hour ago, El Profesor said:

Messi is the only Barcelona forward that can dribble. More than a replacement for Suárez, they need a good winger. 

Barça has the ball but just can't create. 

Personally I reckon both as Ansu Fati is far too young to be relied on, Dembele is a waste of space and Griezmann is slow. As I've said, I've never been a big fan of him since the young Griezmann from his Real Sociedad days. He was brilliant back then.

I've come to the conclusion that this just isn't a great side anymore and it's now about building for the future, although with the current board this could prove difficult as they are clueless.

It's also got to be noted that it's becoming much harder to buy star footballers out-right right now due to the inflation of the market.

Suarez is a big miss because he was actually having probably his most important season ever in a Barcelona shirt and was in top form in the games leading up to his injury. Such a blow.

 

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9 hours ago, Carnivore Chris said:

Personally I reckon both as Ansu Fati is far too young to be relied on, Dembele is a waste of space and Griezmann is slow. As I've said, I've never been a big fan of him since the young Griezmann from his Real Sociedad days. He was brilliant back then.

I've come to the conclusion that this just isn't a great side anymore and it's now about building for the future, although with the current board this could prove difficult as they are clueless.

It's also got to be noted that it's becoming much harder to buy star footballers out-right right now due to the inflation of the market.

Suarez is a big miss because he was actually having probably his most important season ever in a Barcelona shirt and was in top form in the games leading up to his injury. Such a blow.

 

I agree,  Barcelona's squad is not that good. Messi is so good that sometimes it's tough to see It, but this is not a good squad at all. 

On defence, Piqué is having a terrible season, Umtiti unfortunately hasn't been the player ué was 2,3 years ago due to injuries, Lenglet hasn't been as reliable as last season. 

At right-back, Semedo shows glimpses of greatness at times but just hasn't been consistent good. 

Alba also needs competition. 

Midfield is also a problem. De Jong hasn't been as good as he was at Ajax, Arthur can't stay fit, Busi is another player having a weak season.

In the attack, there's not much pace and dribble. Ansu is not ready to start. I feel like Griezmann can be good for Barça, but not as a winger. 

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Great last minute or so at Atleti - Lega. Lega’s keeper sent-off and basically refused to leave the field, he finally left, Jon Silva went in goal and then Lega broke and could have chose to pass to a player in space almost certainly going to break into the box, to go right instead and run to the corner and play out for the draw. 

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Pique's been past it for years. 

Barca's bizarre obsession with Roberto at RB 

Lenglet not an elite CB. 

Umtiti not the same player since his injury. 

Alba not getting any younger. 

Busquets losing his legs in similar fashion to Cesc's last few seasons. 

Fati way too young. 

Griezmann a square peg in a round hole. 

De Jong played out of position to accommodate Busquets. 

 

They are a mess really. Poor management and recruitment these past several seasons. It's no wonder why there of rumors of Messi wanting to leave. 

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On 26/01/2020 at 02:44, El Profesor said:

I agree,  Barcelona's squad is not that good. Messi is so good that sometimes it's tough to see It, but this is not a good squad at all. 

On defence, Piqué is having a terrible season, Umtiti unfortunately hasn't been the player ué was 2,3 years ago due to injuries, Lenglet hasn't been as reliable as last season. 

At right-back, Semedo shows glimpses of greatness at times but just hasn't been consistent good. 

Alba also needs competition. 

Midfield is also a problem. De Jong hasn't been as good as he was at Ajax, Arthur can't stay fit, Busi is another player having a weak season.

In the attack, there's not much pace and dribble. Ansu is not ready to start. I feel like Griezmann can be good for Barça, but not as a winger. 

Barcelona's season was over as soon as Suarez got injured. With him and Messi, there is always a chance, take one out and there is nothing there in attack. I mean, Suarez is one of the club's top scorers in history and it's only because of Messi being ridiculous why Suarez isn't being praised to the moon for his goal scoring record at Barcelona. But it's not just goals with him, but his link up play and allround game. He's a class footballer and not just a goal scorer. You realise just how fucking good he's been for the club when he's not there.

Arthur actually had his best game in a Barcelona shirt(against Atletico) just before his injury and was looking better all the time, so I don't think it's a worry with him. He's only just got back from injury after all and with a run of games, he will be one of the better players in the side. I'm confident of that. I also believe himself and de Jong can form something brilliant, as the signs were already there before Arthur's injury. I believe de Jong has done well overall(apart from in recent games, where he's started to struggle) and he will likely be much better in the coming years, especially when moved into his natural position. With those 2 and Riqui Puig, there is potential there for a quality midfield in the future. As others have mentioned though, Busquets shouldn't really be starting anymore and Vidal should be starting ahead of him. I remember a midfield of himself, Arthur and de Jong looking very good earlier in the season when they played together. I don't get why Vidal is so underlooked as he's largely one of the best players when he plays.

The defence is horrendous but I honestly think that giving Umtiti and Lenglet a run out together might come good in the end. Umtiti is still rusty, but with a few games we will see if he gets back into his rhythm, if so then himself and Lenglet might work. Pique and Umtiti definitely DON'T work and this has been proven. The thing with Pique is, you lose leadership when he's not there. He is also a very dangerous player from an attacking sense, although continuously lets himself down defensively and this has been a common theme throughout most of his career. He was class when he partnered Puyol and also in the treble season under Luis Enrique, but other than that, he has always been prone to 'clown moments'.

Semedo over Sergi Roberto at right back anyday.

Ter Stegen? Couldn't ask for more, he will go down in history as the club's greatest ever keeper in my opinion. If it weren't for him, Valencia were winning that game 5-0 the other night.

Maybe Dembele can finally stay away from injuries? every time he starts hitting good form, he suffers an injury, but maybe a new manager, who can work with him individually can help get the kid focused? Valverde was very timid and that's not really the type of manager a character like Dembele needs if we are honest.

I suppose all we can do is wait and see what develops over the next 5 games or so, as after all, Setien has only just came in and it'll take time for him to impose his style. This is why I always said that Barcelona had to get rid of Valverde at the start of the season, as it would then give the new man time to implement his tactics.

I do think this is actually a very strong squad overall, but misses key components, for example a speedy player out wide, a striker and a top defender. Let's say Barcelona had Van Dijk, Neymar(or Mbappe) and Suarez didn't get injured, then that alone would improve the team dramatically. Actually finding these types of players is not easy at the moment though. The only players who would really improve the team are ones which would be impossible to buy in this present time.

The board hardly help either. They are clueless, they lack class and the signings they are bringing in seem to get worse and more desperate. This is the main problem for me.

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To be fair, I don't think Real look particularly great either and I've seen far better Real Madrid teams finish 10 points behind first. Atletico also look gash and I believe all 3 teams will need a lot of work to reach the heights of recent years. I would say though, that Real are certainly making all the most shrewd pieces of business in terms of young talent and the future looks very bright for them.

I also have a feeling that we'll see Sevilla or Valencia win La Liga in the near future. Valencia finally won a trophy last season after years and when you watch their recent performances against Barcelona, Real Madrid and even Chelsea and Ajax(in the 2nd game) in the Champions League, I feel as though we are starting to see a team that have a bit of character about them again. As long as they keep buying the right players and don't lose key men, I think they could have something good quietly going on there. They are still inconsistent, but I feel as though something, at some stage, is going to click for them.

As for Sevilla, if they keep making shrewd signings, improve their attack and keep Lopetegui for a while, then I believe they could really be a side to surprise in the coming years. They also seem to be up there for a chunk of the season fighting for the title lately and with added quality this could push them to do even more.

 

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Football truly is going through a bizarre phase. I just can't put my finger on it. It seems like so many people aren't happy with the situations at their own club - you're saying it there, this is a crap version of Real Madrid, a crap version of Barcelona, a crap version of Atletico yet they're still all right up there. You've got Bayern Munich going through a dodgy phase but will likely win the league. You've got Juventus choking but will likely win the league. Come to England and Manchester City are 2nd with what's been overall a disappointing season for them so far. Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are all managed by people who without previous connections to their clubs would do well to replace Eddie Howe at Bournemouth if he left. Tottenham are having a stinker. Liverpool are the exception in that they're just seemingly unstoppable.

It seems like nobody is that good anymore, but how can that possibly be? Surely it's all relative to the others anyway?

It's really strange.

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18 hours ago, Dan said:

Football truly is going through a bizarre phase. I just can't put my finger on it. It seems like so many people aren't happy with the situations at their own club - you're saying it there, this is a crap version of Real Madrid, a crap version of Barcelona, a crap version of Atletico yet they're still all right up there. You've got Bayern Munich going through a dodgy phase but will likely win the league. You've got Juventus choking but will likely win the league. Come to England and Manchester City are 2nd with what's been overall a disappointing season for them so far. Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are all managed by people who without previous connections to their clubs would do well to replace Eddie Howe at Bournemouth if he left. Tottenham are having a stinker. Liverpool are the exception in that they're just seemingly unstoppable.

It seems like nobody is that good anymore, but how can that possibly be? Surely it's all relative to the others anyway?

It's really strange.

Over the past decade+ we have seen such an amazing generation of players, which I don't think we'll truly appreciate until 10 years time or so.

Look at the players over recent years, Messi, C.Ronaldo, Xavi, Iniesta, Alves, Ramos, Modric, Suarez, Aguero, David Villa, Van Persie, Busquets, Lahm, Casillas, Buffon, Godin, Neuer, Terry, Cole, Lampard, Gerrard, Robben, etc, etc, etc. It's been a fantastic 'era' of football and now it appears as though most big clubs are going through a transitional period.

To be fair though, Quique is new and it'll be interesting to see if he can turn things around. I mean, it wasn't that long ago when the second team outplayed and beat Inter Milan's strongest 11 at the San Siro. The performance at home against Dortmund was also top quality, so there is still obviously the talent there to perform to a high level and it's whether Quique can have the team playing in this manner more consistently than Valverde did or not. Then again, as I said, Suarez injured is a big loss. He was involved in all of Barcelona's last 12 or so(maybe more) goals before injury. His importance was as vital as ever this season I believe. Look at the quality of the goals he's scored as well! You can't replace that with anyone.

 

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On ‎28‎/‎01‎/‎2020 at 00:24, Dan said:

Football truly is going through a bizarre phase. I just can't put my finger on it. It seems like so many people aren't happy with the situations at their own club - you're saying it there, this is a crap version of Real Madrid, a crap version of Barcelona, a crap version of Atletico yet they're still all right up there. You've got Bayern Munich going through a dodgy phase but will likely win the league. You've got Juventus choking but will likely win the league. Come to England and Manchester City are 2nd with what's been overall a disappointing season for them so far. Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are all managed by people who without previous connections to their clubs would do well to replace Eddie Howe at Bournemouth if he left. Tottenham are having a stinker. Liverpool are the exception in that they're just seemingly unstoppable.

It seems like nobody is that good anymore, but how can that possibly be? Surely it's all relative to the others anyway?

It's really strange.

It should be embraced. Hopefully this can make all the leagues genuinely competitive again, it's only in England where one team is so far ahead. That's a good thing. The rise of Barcelona and Real Madrid into gargantuan all powerful super clubs was not a good thing for the game's health, let's hope that is at an end now.

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4 hours ago, The Artful Dodger said:

It should be embraced. Hopefully this can make all the leagues genuinely competitive again, it's only in England where one team is so far ahead. That's a good thing. The rise of Barcelona and Real Madrid into gargantuan all powerful super clubs was not a good thing for the game's health, let's hope that is at an end now.

Ye but at the same time mate, the quality isn't really there in this sport as a whole at the moment.

Even when the top 2 in Spain dominated, you had quality all over the league. There isn't really any quality at all now though, especially in terms of strikers and attacking players. The only plus side I suppose is that the mid-table to bottom clubs are stronger than they were.

Premier League clubs have their fingers in every pie now as well(even starting to do so in South America) like never seen before in the sport, so everybody else are becoming priced out in the market, even when it comes to players in their own leagues. It won't be long before clubs from the other leagues outside of England form their own league as their domestic leagues become what the Dutch league has.

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