“MES QUE UN CLUB”. FC Barcelona is more than just a club. Johan once said, “Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality are boring”. Barcelona is more than just getting results in every match day. Although it is not what it is now days, it should be what it was.
The “Mes que un club” philosophy works
Until 2009 Nottingham Forest and FC Barcelona had won the same number of UEFA Champions League trophies. So what exactly made FC Barcelona so extraordinary? Clearly, it is not trophies. The revolutionary change Pep Guardiola brought to the club with tiki taka, possession football and by re-establishing Johan Cruff’s philosophies was just about enough for us to clinch 2 more UCL titles within three seasons.
Was Pep Guardiola’s FC Barcelona feared so much by opponents because of quality, generation defining players or because of the way the team played? Undoubtedly, I would choose the later. Those years (2009-2013) FC Barcelona played the highest level of football that any football team can ever play. There certainly have been football teams in history with great players, for example, Real Madrid’s 2003/04 (Los Galacticos), Bayern Munich
2006/07, AC Milan 2008/09 and Inter Milan 2011/12. Even though these teams looked invincible on paper they failed miserably to succeed on the pitch.
Writing the above paragraph made me feel as if I was writing about a completely different club. There may be about a million problems at this club right now but I strongly believe that every problem can directly or indirectly be solved if the club turns its head towards Johan’s ideologies and philosophies. If the club and the team literally question themselves –“Would Johan be supportive of this decision?” regarding executive, possible transfers or even on-pitch strategic matters, the club would absolutely
never make decisions that could turn out to be against the club. I think the club should revise and implement those authentic philosophies because it seems to have a direct link with the recent crisis in the club.
Should we focus on the defence?
Honestly, Barcelona’s backline has never been its remarkable assets unlike our midfield and attack in the past few years. However, conceding easily defendable goals and sloppy defending has led to some of the catastrophic results in recent history. Away games vs PSG (4-0) in 2017, vs Juventus (3-0) in 2017 vs Roma (3-0) in 2018 and the most recent vs Liverpool (4-0) in 2019 all left me scratching my head. Why?
It’s simple. Barcelona shouldn’t concede a lot. Those kinds of heavy defeats used to come very rarely (vs Bayern in 2013 UCL). Furthermore, Barcelona are not playing possession football as well as like they did for the past few years. We have started to lose possession very often during the game.
“If you play on possession you don’t have to defend, because there is only one ball”. These words from Johan sounds simple and less intriguing but because of ignorance the club has already dealt with some heavy defeats
in the past 3 years, mostly in the Champions League knockout stages. Its common sense that if opponents get less time on the ball they are less likely to score.
Not all good players fit the system
It is simply logical that when any club tries to sign players from other clubs the board and the manager should primarily analyze if the particular player is the right fit for the team. Even Cruff once said, “Choose the best player for every position, and you’ll end up not with a strong XI but with 11 strong 1s”.
With all respect, Griezmann is undoubtedly one of the best talent in recent football history. Although media made his signing look captivating I personally was not satisfied. I knew it was a foolish decision from both parties – Barcelona and Griezmann himself.
It was primarily foolish for Barcelona to sign a player of that caliber straight from one of our arch-rival itself. Secondly, recent games shows that Griezmann and Barcelona didn’t know in advance where he would fit himself in the club. On the other hand players like Arthur and De Jong arrived from clubs that used to play similar to Barcelona.
They needed very less time to adapt and are a very integral part of the current team. Particularly, Frenkie didn’t even need time to adapt given that he had followed Johan’s philosophies from childhood in Ajax’s youth academy. Also, Ajax and Barcelona share a lot regarding the way they play.
Did we stop believing in La masia?
It is surprising that the club seems reluctant to believe in our own hometown boys from La Masia. This youth academy has been the root cause of Barcelona’s golden years. The famous Champions League
Final (2011) against Manchester United has been widely regarded as one of the best games any team has ever played. 7 out of 11 starting players for Barcelona that night were La Masia graduates.
La Masia is very unique than other academies around the world because it seems as if it produces players that are just fit for this club only. It should be obvious because in La Masia they inject “The Barcelona Way” to every student from a very young age. Hence, players are more likely to stay longer in the club.
There are still numerous talents in La Masia and our B team who need to be promoted and given more chances with the first team. If the club is able to do so then it may solve its financial and transfer related crisis and who knows, with the legend of our club as manager, in the future, we may witness beautiful football once again.
This is the first opinion article by Baibhav Parajuli. Do you agree with him that Barcelona are ditching the “MES QUE UN CLUB” idea? Write your opinion on the comment secion below.