(Original post by jam277)
Yeah, it's interesting that Real seem like flat track bullies atm.
Counter football Mourinho style(big games anyway) probably wasn't the right style for Madrid in the first place if I was being honest with you. If they had a player of the quality of Javi Martinez or a Nemanja Matic and forced Ronaldo to work for the team then yes they'd suit Mourinho, but they had too many guile players who were too offensively minded, it made them devastating when they got a counter, but you always felt the way in which they defended seemed very risky, it's as if they have two David Luiz's at CB at times.
If you think about it, Real conceded 42 goals in their final season, more than Mourinho did in his first 2 years at Chelsea. I don't think that style suited that team at all tbh.
I assume you mean Ozil is better suited to it than Modric because he's more of a traditional no.10, who will stay higher up the pitch and pass to runners in space like Bale/Ronaldo/Di Maria right?
Personally I don't think your defence is much better than last season, you generally aren't the greatest defensively but you restrict the no of quality chances the opposition gets. I don't watch you guys every week so may be misinformed, but that's what it seems to me. If a team put you under a sustained period of pressure(Bayern Munich/Dortmund possibly) or were very clinical with their players(Atlético/Chelsea/Dortmund) The likes of mascherano will be pretty suspect and you'll leak more goals.
I agree it was never the ideal style for them, which is why I wonder why Ancelotti goes back to it against Barça and Atléti. I guess the fact that Mou got a few good clásico results (after the 0-5 battering) creates the illusion that his tacics were spot on for Madrid, although that is underestimating the psychological effect Mou had on his team in those games.
To be fair though, there seems to be a curse that makes all foreign managers think they need to completely change their proven tactics around for their feirst few clásicos or try out something completely new (Ancelotti's playing Ramos in midfield), and most get it gloriously wrong (cf. Mourinho's 0-5, Ramos' 2-6 etc). I guess it's the psychological pressure. Rather funny and almost a bit of a tradition. Martino did it too, but he got it spot on in the first game and got a win in the second.
Wrt Özil/Modric: That too, but I was talking more in terms of pace when running forward; Özil is much quicker than Modric. And even when at high speed he doesn't lose his calm to deliver a good pass, thus perfectly suited for Mou's counter tactics at RM. Modric works better with Ancelotti's counters (which as I said are less 'extreme' counters than Mou's) but generally isn't that great of a counter attack player anyway, which is why he performs so well this season now that RM play more possession football.
"Defence" is a vague term, so it depends on what exactly we're talking about. But in la liga, FCB have conceded significantly less shots both from open play as well as set pieces, have conceded less goals (25 v 33) and kept more clean sheets (13 vs 6). Definitely an improvement. Yes, that is through restricting the number of chances the opponent gets, but that is a defensive strategy as well. And we have handled Atléti rather well this season - 1 goal conceded in 3 games. City wasn't too bad either wih 1 goal conceded in 2 games. Having said that, the defence was much better in the first half of the season than in the second one, but so was the team performance as a whole.
I don't think anyone in their right mind expects Barça to fare well defensively against Bayern though. Most Barça fans expected to be battered by City and Real as well, so no surprise if we see another big defeat should there be a rematch in CL (although not as high as the circumstances are different). That Mascherano is still Barça's first-choice CB is a bit of a mystery, really, but then there is not much choice. Vilanova wasted most of the summer on Thiago Silva, whereas Martino didn't have time to do something on the transfer market when he was appointed. Puyol is injured and not up for the big games anymore, and Bartra has loads of potential but he isn't ready yet for those games (as was seen last season against Bayern). Best thing to do is offload Song, buy 2 CBs and move Mascherano back to DM to be rotated with Busquets.
Chelsea and Dortmund would be interesting matches. I certainly think Barça would concede a few against BVB, as with their full squad I think their counters are better than Real's - they look like Mou's Real on steroids sometimes. Against Chelsea Barça would certainly struggle a lot, althoug not necessarily because of defensive weakness but rather inability to break Chelsea's defensive setup.
By the way, video of Busquet's stomp on Pepe's head: https://vine.co/v/MMFUebFhUdr
Looks like his foot slides and he wasn't looking at the ground to me. Would have been disappointing had he done it on purpose.