Azulgrana RoundUp, Week 4

On this week’s RoundUp: Dhruv Saraf takes a look at Barça’s system and structure of play, Roger Bennett forecasts a football boom out west, Alexandra Jonson takes a look at the new Azulgranas promoted to the senior side this year…

• The False9. Dhruv Saraf. Inverting the Pyramid – Barcelona’s 1-2-3-4 formation

“High performance systems integrate structure and teamwork into one cohesive and co-ordinated unit. The functioning of the entire team is central to the cause, rather than the glitter and glamour to just sum of their parts. And as football progresses with each day, team-work becomes the need of the hour. Will this formation become successful and retain it’s novelty in the long run? Only time will tell.”

• Total Barça. Alexandra Jonson. Gràcies Pep, Part 4: Soriano, Jonathan Dos Santos and Bartra

“We are all extremely thankful to Josep Guardiola i Sala, a man that changed and achieved so much at our club. But there is one group of people that might be a little more thankful than anyone else, a group of people whose lives and careers took a new turn when Josep Guardiola decided to let them make their debut for FC Barcelona.”

• Barça Stats. Khaled. Most UEFA Champions League Assits since 2001/02 season (Main Tournament)

• ESPN. Roger Bennett. Soccer’s big takeover

Luker is also the man who discovered that three soccer players — Lionel Messi (16th), iconic veteran David Beckham (20th), and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (24th) — rank among the 50 most popular athletes in America. “Unbelievably, [Lionel] Messi ranks ahead of Dwyane Wade,” Luker marveled. “Only two baseball players, Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter, are ahead of him.”

• EuroSport. Christian Pulina. La defensa es cosa de todos, no solo de los defensas

“Casi nunca lo es, puede que en algún lance puntual, como en la ida de la Supercopa contra el Real Madrid, Valdés cometa un error, o en la vuelta Mascherano y Piqué lo hagan y te cuesten goles, pero no dejan de ser errores aislados, casuales y humanos porque no conozco a ningún jugador del mundo que cada “x” partidos no cometa errores individuales de este estilo.”

• ESPN. Phil Ball. Fight the good fight.

[On the Messi-Villa interaction in the game against Granada] “Tito Vilanova shrugged off the inevitable questions in the post-Granada press conference, claiming that it was a healthy sign, and that top professionals will always demand the maximum from their team-mates. It was a good answer.”