With the 2011/12 season behind us and the current squad changes that are upon us, it’s an obvious consensus that it is time for everyone to look forward. In this edition of We’ve got mail, a cule and member of the totalBarca community shares with us a brief analysis of last season and how the recent developments will make for an optimistic 2012/13 season.
Reasons to believe that FC Barcelona will win 2012/2013 La Liga
After three consecutive league titles, Barcelona’s domestic domination ceased when Real Madrid got to lift the La liga trophy after a four-year wait. The question is: Will this mark the start of a cycle of success for Los Blancos in Spain while Barca’s ends, or will Barca make a swift comeback, affirming that what happened was just a temporary incident. The latter seems more likely with a number of factors favouring this outcome.
Firstly, at the end of last season, quite a few points separated the two rivals was the result of numerous objectively wrong decisions made by referees that either helped Real win matches or caused Barca to drop points. Of course, it can be argued that there were decisions that favoured Barca, too. However, the net result gave Madrid more points relative to Barca than they should have had. I find it very unlikely that errors with an effect of this magnitude will happen in the coming season.
Secondly, the new head coach, namely Tito Vilanova, will improve Barca’s chances of winning. Many might argue that Pep’s departure is a bigger loss than what is gained with Tito. Pep was a pioneer and a brilliant coach in many ways who has left his footprint in football that will echo in eternity. But even the sun has it spots. Last season, Pep on several occasions used a 3-4-3 formation instead of the very successful 4-3-3. With three at the back, Barca lost more points than they possibly should have if they had played their customary formation. Analyzing the season, Tito has most likely made similar conclusions regarding the 3-4-3 and will stick with what has been proven successful. Of course, sticking to the 4-3-3 does not exclude minor tweaks that improve the strategy or a plan B for those occasions when the usual tactic does not bear fruit.
It is important to remember that while Pep leaves, his legacy stays. The solid framework that he together with Tito crafted will still remain long after he is gone and is something to which beneficial additions can be added.
Moreover, with a new head coach, players that had been given less playing time will see a chance to prove themselves and work harder to impress Tito to earn more time on the field.
Thirdly, last season Barca had a large number of injuries. Some were very severe such as Villa’s broken tibia and Affelay’s injuring his anterior cruciate ligament. A repeat of the number and severity of these injuries seems unlikely.
Fourthly, having lost La liga to their main rival, the Barca players are probably more hungry and motivated to win than they were last season after three consecutive titles.
Lastly and foremost, Barca will have a larger squad with new additions. Such an important player as Villa will be back, as will Affelay and Fontas. There will also be new players, one of them being one of the absolute best left backs in the world – Jordi Alba. As of writing of this piece, the second incoming player is unknown. It is known however, that it will be a center back and most certainly a highly rated one. Both additions will reinforce the defence which was weaker last season than before due to injuries, foremost to Pique and Puyol, and Abidal having to go for surgery. Also, the man who earned the name Piquenbauer for his outstanding performances did not live up to the nickname last season.
With just decisions from referees, Tito as a new coach, fitter players, new motivation and reinforcements (new and old), there are reasons to believe the supposed ending era has just begun.
Special thanks to Anton for sharing his words with us!