Category Archives: Barcelona

Our Site has Moved….


Here’s a reminder from us at Two Liverpool Fans that we have indeed moved to a new website address.

You can now find us at http://twoliverpoolfans.com . We hope to see you guys there! Alongside that, you can find us starting off our new website on general Premier League stuff at http://ramblingsofafifa12showboat.wordpress.com/ .

You get the usual stuff on Two Liverpool Fans that you guys get here, the latest Liverpool news, our Liverpool FC views on those news and in depth tactical analysis along with score predictions and match previews.

We hope to see you guys there!

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Filed under Arsenal FC, Barcelona, Bundesliga, Champions League, Chelsea FC, Everton, La Liga, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, More Stuff, Porto, Premier League, Serie A, Shakhtar Donetsk, Shaktar Donetsk, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfer News, Valencia

We have transferred!


For all you guys who don’t know, we have transferred to a new URL, that being http://twoliverpoolfans.com . Hope to see you guys there!

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Filed under Arsenal FC, Barcelona, Bundesliga, Champions League, Chelsea FC, Everton, La Liga, Liverpool FC, Manchester City

How to beat Barcelona


It is one of the most asked football questions, and it’s still a mystery to managers all over, and here’s what I think on how you should approach a game against the mighty Barcelona

Step 1: Close Down The Attacking Trio
It’s the ultimate strike partnership, you get Lionel Messi’s dazzling dribbling and mazy runs, not to mention his delicate chips over the keeper, then you get the skill of David Villa, cool and composed in a one-on-one situation. And then you get Pedro, the hardworking wideman who cuts in very often.

Many times, teams go out there and basically triple mark Messi, that is not the answer, in my opinion. I think that there shouldn’t be ‘exclusive’ defending for Messi. After all, the only result of that can be him finding space where you’re not supposed to be playing, and leaving that place open.

Let me explain that: for example, you’re a  left-back marking Messi. He cuts into the middle, that leaves the whole right wing open for Barcelona for Daniel Alves and Iniesta to expose. That is why you do NOT man-mark Messi, he breaks free anyway. To me, the answer can only be zonal marking.

Yes, there are many skeptics, but it is a tactic that works against Barcelona (if you have a decent enough side). That way you always in some way or another stand behind the Barcelona strikeforce. And just a piece of advice: don’t play the offside trap. that’s the worst idea ever.

Step 2: Shutting Up The Midfield
To me, it’s all about hard work that will stop the Barcelona midfield from operating properly. We certainly saw that in the first few minutes of the Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona. Although, the cons of this: your players get tired.

But you must do this to prevent the defence splitting pass that Iniesta and Xavi are more than capable of producing. Perhaps the one that takes his time the most for Barcelona is in fact Sergio Busquets, their midfield hardman.

The key idea we had was to pile the pressure on their defenders and not allow them to bring the ball out of the back.

Manolo Jiménez; Beat Barcelona 2-1 on 5 January 2010 with Sevilla
Step 3: The Attack

Against Barcelona, the key thing that I would exploit as a manager is the wings. Reason being Abidal is too slow to keep up with pacey wingers, and Daniel Alves often ventures way too far out to aid the attacking front.

Second reason: Puyol and Pique aren’t what I call the fastest players around either. During Spain’s inconsistent short run after the World Cup, it’s because people realized that they weren’t as colossal as they seemed, that their speed was a strong flaw in their game.

You want someone who’s a good finisher and a good header in there. That’s how you can break down the Barcelona defence. And if you look back at several tapes, most crucial goals scored against Barcelona are in fact started/finished or even both on the LEFT WING.

Daniel Alves is the player you want to exploit.

So you guys got anymore ideas on how to stop the rampaging champions of Europe. Straight to the comments section below!

As seen on our partner blog, You Pass You Shoot

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Chelsea and Barca told to ‘Shut The F*** Up’


UEFA Champions League title holders Barcelona and Premiership side Chelsea were told to ‘shut the f***’ up by Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie as the Dutchman launched an incredible tirade against Spain and Chelsea players, telling them to stop ‘bitching’ at officials and get on with playing football.

Van Persie claimed that he couldn’t understand the behaviour of players who constantly put the referee under pressure by persuading them to make a yellow card on their opponents  following Barcelona’s actions in the UEFA Champions League last-16 clash with the Gunners. However, he has now extended his ire towards the world champions and also London rivals Chelsea.

They (Barcelona players) always go up to referees in an attempt to get an opponent booked. They are trying to screw colleagues! That kind of behaviour really annoys me.

People who are watching the game on television and fans really do not want to see these kind of things. If you want to witness a lot of complaints, you should just go the bakery or something. There’s always people nagging there as well.

Chelsea players are always bitching against the referees. I really cannot understand that. Just shut the f*** up and focus on playing football.

Van Persie on Sport 1

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Filed under Arsenal FC, Barcelona, Champions League, Chelsea FC, Premier League

Has Guardiola (already) Surpassed Ferguson?


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Aged 40, and already Pep Guardiola has amassed the equivalent of what Ferguson has achieved over the past few decades, has he already surpassed Ferguson as the best manager out there?

What’s more intriguing about the facts is that Guardiola has already won 2 Champions League titles, in just a short span of 3 years. Comparing that stat with perhaps the most celebrated managers of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, whom has been working has a manager since 1974, although that would be perhaps an unfair judgement, so I’ll instead use the date of which he was appointed manager of the Red Devils: 1986.

But although Ferguson has managed to forge a dynasty at Manchester United, it still seems a bit surprising that he hasn’t managed to get more than 2 Champions league trophies. Yes, he took a team whom weren’t exactly ‘winning material’ and turned them into a International brand whom have won trophies aplenty, but still, he’s been around for quite a long time now, it surprises me still that he has only collected 2 CL trophies.

On the other hand, in Guardiola’s short Spanish adventure,he has earned 2 in a very time with the Catalan giants. Fair to say, Guardiola did have a wonderful squad with a lot of money at his disposal to work with, but it still has to be said that he has done a lot to improve the squad and keep morale in the Camp Nou going high.

What he also did was go one further than recent managers by taking their football to a new level, with him revolutionizing the way Barca play. The movement, the passing just proves how much he has worked to improve the team. And the second fact is, he hasn’t exactly been losing (much) money for Barcelona in the transfer market. After all, they brought in Villa and they shipped out Ibrahimovic and he made a few small deals.

Similarly to how Ferguson brought out the best in Giggs, Scholes, the Nevilles, and Beckham around 2 decades ago, Guardiola has brought up the likes of Pedro and Sergio Busquets, who have in fact made such a big impact that they are now on the bench for the Spanish side, a side that is most certainly not easy to get into.

Another thing about Guardiola is that he doesn’t seem to like long-term projects. I am personally wondering why he doesn’t want to commit to Barcelona for a longer period of time. The best team in the world, no argument, and a brilliant academy to work with. No doubt about the talent, I don’t get why he would want to leave such a wonderful job.

Bottom line is: Ferguson did a fantastic job in creating a dynasty by starting off with youngsters in the first place, but the products of the academy at Manchester United haven’t exactly been too brilliant with an exception to the twin talents in Rafael and Fabio da Silva, there hasn’t been much to offer in terms of first team players from the academy of Manchester.

Guardiola indeed is a good manager, but he certainly needs to test his credentials with a smaller squad. The team he inherited at Barcelona was brilliant, to say the least, so it will be interesting to see how he will actually fare with a smaller team, a team like, let’s say Lyon. That might be the way to go.

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Filed under Barcelona, Champions League, Manchester United

Guardiola Likely To Stay


Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola said that he is likely to stay up at the Camp Nou after seeing his side magnificently see off Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley, thanks to goals from Pedro, Lionel Messi and David Villa.

Despite being overwhelmed by rumours before the game that Guardiola could be parting company with the Catalans, the 40-year-old insisted that he will still be the Barcelona manager after the match.

When questioned whether he will still remain at Barcelona, Guardiola told Sky Sports :

I have one year of the contract, yes.

The Barcelona manager believed his Catalan sensations had put in one of their greatest performances to clinch the prestigious UEFA Champions League title for the second time in three years.

It is one of the best performances because sometimes you make for performances in important games but not important games like this one.

So we are so happy to win, of course, but we are so, so happy to show to the world our way to play, to keep the ball, to try to attack in front of absolutely one of the best teams of the world

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Filed under Barcelona, Champions League, La Liga

Barcelona’s Lesson to Arsenal


It’s the same philosophy, roughly the same infrastructure, but it’s a whole different result that can be found in Barcelona and Arsenal

Pass and move

The philosophy of both Barcelona and Arsenal when they’re playing football. Both are amazing to watch, but Barcelona still are a class above in terms of this. But when you ask anyone, who are the two best teams in the world in terms of passing, the knowledgeable (or even some not so knowledgeable) will definitely say Barcelona and Arsenal.

So what’s the difference between the Spanish side and the English side? I think that one reason behind it: Barcelona take their time to carve out chances, Arsenal too often rush to making a pass or a shot from somewhere outside the box without really getting inside the box.

Which brings me to my next reason, the movement of the Barcelona players is incredible, the work-rate is high, and there is a lot of productivity coming out of the passes they make. Just look at the likes of Pedro, Villa and Messi, darting runs into the box, which really brings out why their passing is the best in the world, having the ability to pick out those passes.

Arsenal on the other hand, they normally go with the occasional shot from outside the box. Which kinda hurts the teams chances because accuracy will be lower and the goalkeeper will generally have more time to see the ball and then save/parry it away.

Barca have Xavi, Iniesta, Messi etc.  Arsenal have Fabregas and Wilshere

Well, all the players mentioned above all in some way or another went through their respective clubs’ academy teams and made it to the big time. So just how did Xavi, Iniesta and Messi turn out to be world beaters when Fabregas and Wilshere can be second-rate at best when comparing to Barcelona?

I think the reason behind that is that the Arsenal team simply changes way too often. Just look at how their team has changed over the years, Gallas left, Henry left, Viera left, and a few others have left. The fact is, that they haven’t replaced those players properly, and they are still suffering the effects of not properly replacing those players.

Compare that to what Barcelona do, which is to actually bring in someone before selling someone. One example would be the Zlatan Ibrahimovic case, where Barcelona actually secured the services of David Villa before offloading Ibrahimovic to AC Milan.

Barcelona have already a basic outline behind the squad, with Andres Iniesta and Xavi dominating the midfield for years already, Puyol being a lynchpin in their defence, and Lionel Messi, simply being amazing. The fact is, Barcelona don’t lose their star players, they simply sell those off form and bring in better ones, and they actually splash the cash unlike Arsene Wenger. Another comparison would be in selling Ronaldinho, a bold but correct move. He was way past his best and it was exactly the correct time to sell him.

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Filed under Arsenal FC, Barcelona