Saturday, 3 December 2016

FC Barcelona: Let's save the social frog and enjoy a season.

The social media experience is just another implication of the boiling frog experiment. Basically, if you put a frog in boiling water, it jumps out seeking survival. However, if you put the frog in cold water and start the boiling process, RIP! The cool water? That's the interactive tempting space. The boiling process? That's the escalated debates. The frog? Well... Look at the bright side, the myth is that you will turn to a prince once an absolute charming prince/ss decides, for some reason, to kiss the frog's lips...

Social media, like quicksand, when rants hit the fan, the more one tries to fly, the more one sinks. Being a hopeless optimist or a pessimist hopeless or a swinger, fail to step back and out and you get caught by the noisy vacuum mill that spins you to ill.

As usual, I take this space as a shelter to post my rambles under the restrictions dictated here to differential it from (my) twitter banters and rants.

Social stand is more a self mood-molding than anything!

"Lucho out!" just like "Support the team/Lucho!" are both random irrelevant screams reflecting an illusional, titanic shadow of a micro impact, if any, social media rants have on the team. Lucho will not be fired by a twitter egg, nor the players and the manager are obsessively scrolling down twitter wall wreckage craving for support.

The club lives on a planet in another galaxy at a parallel universe far from the Social media planet inhabited by me, five to ten friends, and a million robotic type-machines. If any, one's standing point is basically the bed s/he sets to sleep in. It's your own throne or thorn. Be it sarcastic, intentionally provocative, analytic, banters oriented, obsessive ranting, optimist hippy, pessimist owl, your call! That will bounce back at you after all.

Enjoy the season. Crisis? Erm... Enjoy the "Crisis"!

What happened to Fc Barcelona? Is a post from the past, Pep's days. Back then, The flaws of Pep's system dominated the good, when he got hijacked by his inner thoughts. It's interesting that Pep's problem started when a compact structure got too compact that the offence line ended up sinking in midfield, while the verticality  in Lucho's system got too vertical, stretching midfield to pieces.

Make no mistake, there are problems, and there is no crime in stating that obvious truth. Don't worry, the players will not sleep heartbroken that we stated it, nor Lucho will retire.

Some of the issues, we can debate about as opinions, others are football measurable alphabets. Like distance between the lines, disconnection between center midfielders (wide distance - too lateral- and lack of passing interchanges between the two), high press from offense while the defense line perform an early transition to defend deep leaving the midfield in no man's land, etc... That's the area where you will not find a single argument, article, or analysis, based on football principles, that counter that. Waving a snow ball is not a counter argument to climate change scientific observations.

On the other hand, the opinions about how and why, that's where it gets too complex, subjective and communicative. That's where we can only guess. For me, Lucho got stretched between too many ideas to find a solid compromise. On one hand, he wanted to make MSN run as little as possible during the "weaker" games and for the first half of the season (Per last season's bad experience), so he decided that they should stay up, and then we move the ball as fast as possible to them. What is the fastest path to take from defense third to offense third? Right. The flanks.

Accordingly, The team's shape cracked to two folds: LB, LCM, Neymar on one side, and RB, RCM, aided by Messi on the right side. The connection between the two distanced sides is bridged by back passing to Busquets or thanks to Messi's central movement between the center midfielders. 

While this can make some sense theoretically, in practice it suffered many challenges. For the first, during early defensive buildup, pushing the center midfielders forward continuously broke the spine of ball circulation by leaving Busquets isolated and tightly marked by opponents, with no passing lanes or help. 

In offence, the lack of  central midfield positioning caught fullbacks between two ideas, overlapping in attack, and staying conservative to cover possible counter attacks. 

The lack of connection between center midfielders makes it more difficult to catch the opponent by surprise, flipping the attack from one flank to another. Slow switching of play makes it easy for the opponent defensive structure to slide across the line's width to crowd the attacked flank without worrying about the other flank too much. 

With Neymar being left left, and Messi dropping deep, Suarez fall a victim of too many things to do all at once. 

Add to that, the defensive dynamic conflicts. A team either press high or defend zonally based on fast transition backwards after losing possession. The idea that half the selection puts high press led casually by MSN while the rest of the players retreat to their own half is not working, and shouldn't. 

In a way, it is not a pleasant experience to watch that, but in another way it's a routine breaker. It will be interesting to see how things evolve. A lot of what was said by players, especially Pique, recently suggests that so many talks are taking place in the team with the manager, and everyone involved. That's how it works usually and hopefully the conclusions and the solutions achieve the needed tuning to push the performance forward.

What about el clasico?

It was intentional that I write this post before el clasico. Regardless of the result, there will still be a lot to enjoy this season. The second half of the season should be a better slice for us than the first half. That's a guess, but it seems the way Lucho planned his season. We have many young new players pending adaptation. Many things to look forward to.

Regardless of the result, the season is still too long, especially with many teams improving enough to take points from the title contenders. My feeling? We win. We have a better team and we (supposedly) play a different game against such a rival. We usually shine when we are not the clear favorites. 

Either way, enjoy the game, enjoy the season, enjoy the uncertainty, the ups and the downs, enjoy the drama. Consider it a series, and where is the fun in a series where you have one hero beating the heck out of other actors tied to chairs in each and every episode?

You can always check latest rants on @FootballMood

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