Although they went through a rough patch before the season 2013/2014 even started (their coach Tito Vilanova got diagnosed with cancer and resigned), Barcelona doesn’t show any signs of weakness. They played 10 games so far (including the La Liga, Champions League and the SuperCup), and they haven’t lost a game. As a matter of fact, they won the majority of them, drawing only 2 games against Atletico Madrid in the SuperCup.
The new coach Tata Martino has brought some new concepts and somehow refreshed Barca’s game, bringing in some “verticalidad” to their game. In these 10 games he’s been in charge, one thing we can say for sure about him is that he likes to rotate players, and even Messi. “I like to rotate players to keep them fresh. I don’t want them to be tired at the end of the season,” said Martino. However, he also said: “The only two players that I don’t like to rotate are the two CBs, because those two players need to player together all the time to sync well.” Of course, the two standard CBs in this season so far were Mascherano and Pique. They played all games and they were brilliant. Last season, Barcelona conceded a lot of goals, but this season seems different. So, whoever likes soccer betting william hill, this is a good fact to rely on when trying your luck. They kept a solid amount of clean sheets.
Although there were some critics saying that Pique can’t play well when Puyol is not around, he proved them wrong. Gerard was magnificent in the season so far and shows no signs of stopping. On top of that, it seems that Puyol is getting back from his injury soon and Barca will have a healthy defense once again.
Pique is a kid from La Masia. He attended and successfully completed the famous Barcelona football academy together with players like Fabregas and Messi. However, when he was on the verge of joining the senior level, various circumstances made him to leave Barcelona and go to Manchester United. Alex Ferguson thought that Pique could be a good fit for his side. He spent 2 years in United and was a sub for the regular defenders.
However, when Guardiola took over the FC Barcelona first team, he ordered the sports director Txiki Bergiristain to buy Pique back from United. Pique jumped at the chance, because he wasn’t playing very much in Manchester, and Alex Ferguson didn’t hesitate to sell him back to Barcelona for a profit. That was in 2008. Pique immediately took the RCB spot and was and still is the first CB choice in FC Barcelona, paired with Puyol. The Pique – Puyol duo played most of the games in the last 4-5 years, a period when Barcelona dominated the world football scene. They played so much that it made soccer betting at TopBet easy — 90% of the games when both of them played were won by FC Barca.
Lately, many have been arguing that Pique isn’t really in form at the moment and that he should be replaced. However, nobody has clear arguments to that. It is a fact that when Pique plays, Barcelona’s defense is solid. What makes Pique special for Barcelona is that he often goes forward, which helps Barca to bring the ball out — and they like to bring the ball out from foot to foot, easily and calmly, without losing possession.
February has been a “bad” month for Barcelona for over 3 years now. Some people say that they deliberately slow down in February in order to prepare themselves for the season’s end. February of this year was no different — they struggled to play their usual game. However, tonight’s game against Valencia showed that Barca hasn’t forgotten playing football. They completely dominated the game and won comfortably 5:1. They could’ve scored 10 more goals (literally), but Valencia’s goalkeeper Diego Alves was absolutely brilliant and saved what no other keeper would save.
Gerard Pique played alongside Carles Puyol, but often went forward and even played LW for a few minutes.
Champions League is back. After a long winter break, the CL has finally returned. The first game of this first round was in Leverkusen, a German city, where Barcelona played against the host Bayer Leverkusen. The Germans thought that they have a chance against the current champions because of the problems Guardiola’s men had over the weekend in La Liga, but they were wrong. Barcelona completely dominated the game, having close to 80% of possession. Bayer Leverkusen parked the bus, but they still lost because they couldn’t contain Barca. Alexis Sanchez scored two goals, with Messi adding one.
Gerard Pique wasn’t on the squad list for this game. Although many speculated that he had a row with the manager, Guardiola denied those claims by stating that the deliberately rested Pique because he needs him for the next game in La Liga (and Mascherano is suspended, so he couldn’t afford to lose Pique as well).
A shock loss for Barcelona against Osasuna was something that nobody expected to happen. Barcelona were 7 points behind Real Madrid and everyone thought that they’re going to defeat Osasuna since they have to catch up with Madrid. However, that didn’t happen. They slipped up and lost 2:3 against a very good Osasuna side. Barcelona hammered Osasuna 8:0 in the first half of the season, and it seems that Osasuna paid them back this time. Although Pep Guardiola had some issues with the squad due to injuries, they should’ve have lost nevertheless.
Gerard Pique played the whole game and was pretty good. He did some great interventions and was a great partner with Puyol in the centre of the defense.