The Best Just Got Better – FCB

You’ll Never Walk Alone, unless you have no more teammates to walk with. As of today, Anfield has lost their two best defensive center mids ever. Last season Real Madrid took Xabi Alonso, which clearly is the reason why Liverpool is currently in the Europa League instead of the CL. Also, as of today, Javier Mascherano will be playing in Spain, but at the Nou Camp.

It’s going to be a long campaign for Hodgson. (or short, depends how quickly they fall through).

Ibrahimovic clearly didn’t fit in their system. Zlatan is too tall. Celebrations looked awkward because everyone else was below his shoulders. Zlatan isn’t a passing forward. Only wild individual efforts and tap-ins came from this guy. Throw in a free kick here and there. There really is no such thing as a passing forward, maybe Berbatov, but that is because he is too slow to get himself into a scoring position. I just didn’t think Zlatan was the right fit like his shorter, less crafty counterparts. Everyone knows Ibra for his abnormal skill that came with his height, something you can’t really say much about the traditional Spanish striker.

5’9 David Villa is a much better fit for the tiki taka Catalan style. Short and quick, he knows the entire team because of national team duties and had to struggle for a playoff spot and 3rd place in La Liga throughout his career up until now. One of the deadliest goal scorers at the international and club level, Villa averages over a goal in every other game he appears in for his club and 3:2 game to goal ratio for his country. Though Zlatan has the height advantage, Villa has better vision for the final pass. Usually leading in assists for his club, he finished his 06-07 season with the most assists in La Liga. Talking David Villa up is easy, but I guarantee he produces more than Ibrahimovic by February.

The addition of Javier Mascherano will be essential to playing against top level, equally skilled teams. As one of the better short passers with Liverpool, Mascherano will hardly be needed for that attribute, but rather his scary ability to break up play. Hacking at Lampard’s ankles was like a drug to him. He loves when his team doesn’t have the ball. This is a skill that Busquets and Keita couldn’t provide and I hope I don’t have to see that lanky fool Busquets in the startingXI this year. Maybe this pushes Keita into the center back role and Puyol to the wing or sends Xavi into a higher midfield spot. Either way, this adds depth to the roster and I don’t see how many teams will compete against them.

Hopefully, Fabregas learns Xavi’s ways and takes over for him in a few years. That or Xavi should age slower. I can only think of two men that could control 22 players like puppets and ZZ was the other guy’s initials.

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