Follow @nroberts88

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Are Real and Barca over reliant on foreign superstars?

Note: football is not played on paper.

The cold dark days of early December bare witness to some of Europe’s key dates. Friday the 2nd December saw the draw for the European Championships, 6/7th see the final group games of this year’s Champions League and the 10th is ‘El Classico’. Spain have been drawn into a challenging group alongside Italy, Croatia and Republic of Ireland. Del Bosque had lots of nice things to say about his opponents:
Del Bosque on Italy: "Tradition says they are always competitive. They get up quickly after a blow. They will be up there." 

on Croatia: "They play without fear, are an example of Balkan school, which gave us so many great players, teams".

on Ireland: "We saw how hard they were to beat in Japan/Korea 2002. They fight hard and their style is similar now".

No.1 in the world?

However, Spain’s progress may be hindered by the success of their two most powerful clubs who meet on Saturday; Real and Barcelona. Spain are on course to win a 3 international trophy on the run a first for any national team, but with Real and Barcelona’s current over-reliance on foreign imports to get goals how will Spain manage in the upcoming Euros? Barcelona have scored 47 goals this season in La Liga, Messi has 17 of those goals, Real Madrid have 49 goals 17 belong to Cristiano and 12 to Higuain. The top 5 goal scorers in La Liga only one is Spanish Roberto Soldado at Valencia with 9 goals. If we look at the assists, according to out the top 3 goal makers (assists league) are Di Maria, Messi and Cristiano. 6 players have notched up 5 assists, Ozil, Turan and Alves and three Spanish players Xavi, Cesc and Raul Garcia at Osasauna. It’s not all bad for Spain as if we look at the EPL David Silva and Juan Mata have provided the most assists, however, the Spanish International players have only scored 9 goals in the Premiership. 

No.2 in the world?

Compare this to the German squad, Germany have been playing with one up front, either Klose or Gomez. Gomez has scored 13 goals for Bayern this season, Klose is Lazio’s top goal scorer with 6 goals in a dozen appearances.

The number of foreign imports into the EPL have hampered England’s performances in international championships and benefitted others. In last month’s fourfourtwo magazine the excellent article by Salgado claimed that Spain are indebted to Rafa Benitez who started the revolution of Spanish players playing all over Europe. Spanish players not only play for the Real Madrid and Barcelona they now play for the biggest teams in England at City and Chelsea.

In 2010 Spain hardly set the world alight with their goal scoring prowess, in the knock-out stages Spain put together four 1-0 victories to lift the trophy for the first time. Villa was joint top goal scorer with 5 goals, Villa has only managed 5 goals this season in La Liga. Leading up to that World Cup David Villa was in scintillating form scoring 43 goals in 54 games in 2009. Curreently Villa is struggling, there are reports of a falling out between him and Messi. Villa is used to being the focal point for club and country, at the moment he is neither.

Spain struggled for goals against top class opposition in recent friendlies and will hope that Villa finds goals soon or they will be forced to play with different tactics if they are to achieve that record breaking 3 trophies on the run. Fernando Llorente and Roberto Soldado are waiting in the wings.
Made in Madrid, finished in Munich

I used for the stats this season, great site for Stato's.

No comments:

Post a Comment