Barcelona: Half Empty Or Half Full?
Once again a Barcelona game has left its viewers with mixed reviews against Sevilla. Some are focusing on the empty half of the cup, those first 30 minutes were some of the worst I have ever seen this Barça team play. The more optimistic are focusing on what happened after that, on a superb Lionel Messi that proved he can still lead this team to grandiose things.
Even though Gerard Pique's form has been improving, he still is far away from being the center back he once was. Before Barcelona scored their first goal, Kevin Gameiro beat him to a long ball which almost led to a two goal lead. I wonder if this worries Tata Martino at night, given that Pique is only 27-years-old. The young Marc Bartra is the future of Barcelona, but he is still far from what Barcelona needs. Another problem with the back four is that, when in possesion, there is only two players defending, since the right back and left back act more like wingers than defenders. Finally, for a second game in a row, Victor Valdes seemed unsecured, but given the state of his defense who can blame him?
Little by little Barcelona started to take control of the game, with Xavi and Iniesta on the field the team started to function better. If there is a reason for Barça fans to believe that better things are to come, then that would be Iniesta's performance. The man from La Mancha is back, he was incisive, creative and assisted Messi in his second goal.
With Xavi and Iniesta in good shape, this team can do great things. If you add a good Messi to that equation they can achieve the impossible. When you see Messi smiling on the pitch you know you are in for a treat, and what a treat we received. Sure we hadn't seen this Messi in a long time, and until Sunday I didn't realize how much I had miss him. Messi scored two goals, and led his team to victory.
Sergio Busquets was not in the starting 11, but Song made sure to remind us of that. As great as this team is, Busquets is essential for the big games. Cesc Fabregas came in towards the end of the game, and scored the last goal.
Barcelona may not win it all this season, but if they fight like they did in Sevilla, and if Messi and Iniesta are able to reach the best version of themselves, then their supporters will believe again. The game against Valencia should be put in the past. Dani Alves criticized the fans that criticized them. He should have apologized for their poor performance. This team needs its fans behind them, but they need to prove to their fans that they are still willing to fight for their club colors.