analysis | 2016-04-09
Tiki Taka - Real Sociedad vs Barcelona
An atrocious performance leads to yet another defeat at Anoeta
Rafael Hernández: A match to forget, the fated Anoeta visit came and there was a lot more optimism surrounding the contest in years, the turnaround begun there and led to a treble, but that was past and the performance showed it. Although Real Sociedad was lucky to score the 1-0, Barça didn't do much to turn it around, the players didn't show up and now Atleti is closer than ever in the league and with a decent opportunity of fully derailing our season depending on the result this upcoming Wednesday.
Like most culés, I am worried, but there's no reason to panic. The team has risen to the occasion dozens of times before and I'd rather face the upcoming end to the season with optimism.
I gotta mention Arda though. He's a red card waiting to happen. It's not his fault. He isn't good defensively, so he defends making fouls— migeru (@migerucb) April 9, 2016
Alex Truica: Alex Truica, live from Anoeta: "Real Sociedad took their first chance, after that they sat very deep in their own half. Barça didn't have any ideas how to play against that rigid defence. No movement or inspiration. Messi looked -I'm sorry but the truth might hurt- tired and sluggish. And not for the first time. Real Sociedad still had enough chances to draw or even win the game, and their stadium really 'looks' cursed.
Barça players warming up pic.twitter.com/kc2uLGemTt— Alex Truica (@AlexTruica) April 9, 2016
Jose Manuel: Again Anoeta, again 1-0, and also a repeat of Lucho picking one strange starting XI. Rafinha? Seriously? Just getting fit again after such a long time sidelined for his injury. Arda? Obviously we all culés are longing for him to play his best and fit in the squad, but there might be plenty suitable games for him to play, this one wasn't one. Matches after the league is secured, for instance. Sadly, now we are bound to some stressful weeks. I'd usually say "luckily there are no tough games left on schedule", but I don't like those hopeless stares at our players' faces after every failed attempt on goal, and neither do I like the tactics employed lately.
Antes se festejaban los títulos. Ahora los sorteos y los tuits.— Rubén Uría (@rubenuria) April 9, 2016
Heimo: The bad weather might have been a sign for the drama that once again unfolded at Anoeta. The last game of my four stadium visits within 9 days. It just hasn't meant to be. An early goal for Real Sociedad killed the game. Barça had a few chances but overall La Real defended well and only had to conserve their lead. Our team looked tired and Arda Turan did stick out with his lacklustre performance. Jogging around and approaching a pass reminded me of the worst Fàbregas performances. Just because you are an attacking midfielder it doesn't mean you can log off whenever you want. Man up and run for your team. Take Rakitic or Mascherano as an example.
Barça clearly were better after the subs were made by Lucho. Iniesta, Rakitic and Alba brought some energy back. Lucho has to rotate - so no blame on him. But it shows clearly that without a rested starting eleven it is difficult. And the absence of Luis Suárez obviously didn't help either. He might have crunched that defense tonight. Messi and Neymar seem too be tired and off. I hope the team will take this as a wake up call. We are still in a good position to go after everything.
Personally it was a great experience as a fan. Since I am interested in the local culture, the food, the people and obviously football it is a great joy to experience this despite having attended two losses. On Thursday I was at the new San Mamés - a modern piece of art. Way more beautiful than the Allianz Arena in Munich. Today it was the Anoeta. An old stadium that felt like it was part of the Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980. The soviet charm is obvious. Athletic track and a safety dig that separates the pitch and track, and the stands feels odd but also appealing. Sucking up all the atmosphere. Granddads swearing next to kids. It's culture is its life. Even if you do not like football, this is an experience you shouldn't miss. All the little details and nuances when you compare different cities, different fans, different teams, it is a pleasure.
Anything wrong? Send your correction.
WRITTEN BY: Rafael Hernández
A die hard Barcelona fan since the Joan Gaspart years, Rafael has seen the best and worst of his club. One of the Grup 14 founders, currently overlooking and coordinating the group's strategy. Rafael’s also a football journalist and entrepreneur.