Tuesday, November 14, 2006

something's rotten in the city of Barcelona

At least the ruby and blue half. Let's look at the injury list, shall we?

Defenders: Belletti (second time this season, out for 2 more weeks)

Midfielders: Xavi (unsure, hairline bone fracture), Iniesta (swelling and pain, probably a few days), Edmilson (second time this season, 10 days with a sprained ankle)

Forwards: Eto'o (at least 3 more months with a meniscus break), Messi (third time this season, 3 months with the dreaded metatarsal break), Saviola (4 to 6 weeks with a strained thigh muscle)

This is like the 04-05 season all over again (where, if you need reminding, Barca somehow managed to stumble over the title-winning finish line while only having 13 fit players for most of the season), except the people who're getting injured are even more central to Barca's play. Eto'o was our best forward until he got crocked in the Champions League. Messi was in superb form until he got injured against Chelsea, and then again in the match against Zaragoza. Saviola has been better than Gudjohnsen by quite a bit lately until he got injured. Iniesta was playing brilliantly.

To lose 4 players in a single game (Messi, Saviola, Iniesta and Edmilson) for periods from a few days to 3 fricking months is just awful. For our next game against Mallorca, we'll still be missing Belletti in defence, which should not be a problem, but even if Xavi and Iniesta are both fit, we'd have no defensive midfielders if Motta's red card appeal doesn't come through.

The biggest problems will be in attack, since a forward line of Ronnie-Gudjohnsen-Giuly, with poor Ezquerro a marginal factor, will be expected to carry Barca for at least a month, through 2 must-win games in the Champions League and of course the league and any other fixtures. It's not a bad forward line, and I'm sure everyone will band together like they did 2 seasons ago and fight with all they have, but we are very, very stretched for cover right now. Another injury - God forbid, touch wood - would be pretty damning.

On the other hand, maybe there's hope for Valencia now, if their injury curse has left them and arrived at Barcelona instead.

2 comments:

John said...

Linda,

Looking at Barca situation now, it is most likely they might be looking for a striker during the January transfer.

I hope they might want to get Tevez out from West Ham. Is this possible?

If not then whose your pick?

John
Malaysia

linda said...

I'd hope that we sign a forward during the January window. However, I don't want a star, my reasoning being that they would be kind of redundant as soon as Messi and Eto'o returned, and no star would take that kind of treatment.

Tevez seems very unlikely, given the difficulty he'd have fitting into the forward line - as Basile has pointed out, he's not really a winger, and the center forward position in the Barca 4-3-3 requires a very specific type of player, which Carlitos isn't. That said, he really needs to get himself out of West Ham. Same with Masche. Things just don't look good there.

I'll be writing a post about the transfer situation at Barca later, along with my thoughts. :-)