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    Be interesting to see whether Inaki Williams is courted by top clubs this summer. He really impressed me tonight. He was exceptional and industrious throughout, and really caused Barcelona some problems in a game they otherwise would have coasted.

    Can't believe he was born in 1994. Christ. I'm old.
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    (Original post by jit987)
    Football History!
    Yeah you're right. Absolutely incredible!
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    (Original post by jam277)
    Football at the top level is also dependent on luck.
    I agree they'll beat Peps treble winners.
    I'm not sure how much better they are than the 2011 team if anything. Better strike force weaker midfield.
    Luck, of course. And he didn't say they'd win the treble every year. Just two in the next 5/6 years. I'm guessing he meant to include this year's treble as one of those two? Even if not..

    When you consider that in the last 7 seasons years, Barca, Inter, Bayern and Barca this year have won/will win the treble, and Bayern, Barca, Juve this year (once Barca win), have been one match away from the treble, I don't think it's too hard to envisage this year's Barca, a team whose star players are about to win their 3rd CL in 6 years (4th in 9) and are much better placed for long term success than any of the above teams, will win another treble.
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    Back-to-back trebles will be some ****ing feat.
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    (Original post by Pimped Butterfly)
    Luck, of course. And he didn't say they'd win the treble every year. Just two in the next 5/6 years. I'm guessing he meant to include this year's treble as one of those two? Even if not..

    When you consider that in the last 7 seasons years, Barca, Inter, Bayern and Barca this year have won/will win the treble, and Bayern, Barca, Juve this year (once Barca win), have been one match away from the treble, I don't think it's too hard to envisage this year's Barca, a team whose star players are about to win their 3rd CL in 6 years (4th in 9) and are much better placed for long term success than any of the above teams, will win another treble.
    I think Real will improve their team though. They were only two points away from Barcelona this year e.g. and they had better H2H than Barcelona.

    It's not as set in stone as it was being suggested. If they were in any other league(other than German league cos Bayern) I'd agree though. They're that much stronger than everybody else and dispatching teams that it's impossible.

    Way I see it, last season everybody was saying this Real team were close to unstoppable with Ronaldo+Bale going ham and they only really needed a tweak in one position(DM). This year it's Barcelona, fair enough the attack is great though, but add a top quality ST(no idea who) and a DM/physical box to box player for Real(there are a few floating around at Juve for starters), things don't look as rosy for Barcelona.
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    (Original post by jam277)
    I think Real will improve their team though. They were only two points away from Barcelona this year e.g. and they had better H2H than Barcelona.

    It's not as set in stone as it was being suggested. If they were in any other league(other than German league cos Bayern) I'd agree though. They're that much stronger than everybody else and dispatching teams that it's impossible.

    Way I see it, last season everybody was saying this Real team were close to unstoppable with Ronaldo+Bale going ham and they only really needed a tweak in one position(DM). This year it's Barcelona, fair enough the attack is great though, but add a top quality ST(no idea who) and a DM/physical box to box player for Real(there are a few floating around at Juve for starters), things don't look as rosy for Barcelona.
    Barca had a slow start, Lucho's first season at a big club and Suarez didn't get in gear till New Year. Even then they slowed down when the title was all but won/won. I think it's very likely that they threaten the points record in the next two years.

    Consider this Barca team; the best collection of individuals of my life time coupled in a wildly successful team philosophy. Asking them to click 1/2 times in 6 years, when they've already done so this year and the spine (read: Messi) has done so many times before, is not that much imo.

    Well Madrid is run by a money-grabbing businessman. Barca is run for footballing success. So Madrid will always be there or thereabouts based on the underlying strength of the squad. But when facing the bigger teams or over the course of the season, they will come undone if the manager isn't good enough or if they've just got gaps in the squad, both of which are very possible, given their president.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Back-to-back trebles will be some ****ing feat.
    Won't happen, too much to ask for. Plus my heart wants Rafa to share the trophies.
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    (Original post by Pimped Butterfly)
    Barca had a slow start, Lucho's first season at a big club and Suarez didn't get in gear till New Year. Even then they slowed down when the title was all but won/won. I think it's very likely that they threaten the points record in the next two years.

    Consider this Barca team; the best collection of individuals of my life time coupled in a wildly successful team philosophy. Asking them to click 1/2 times in 6 years, when they've already done so this year and the spine (read: Messi) has done so many times before, is not that much imo.

    Well Madrid is run by a money-grabbing businessman. Barca is run for footballing success. So Madrid will always be there or thereabouts based on the underlying strength of the squad. But when facing the bigger teams or over the course of the season, they will come undone if the manager isn't good enough or if they've just got gaps in the squad, both of which are very possible, given their president.
    Barcelona's slow start was also caused by rotations in the squad, because Enrique wanted the team to be fresh. Also I guess Suarez not being in form after being back caused a bit of the early mid season slow down.

    Best collection of attacking individuals yeah, defensively I don't think they're anything great player wise, just down to a more successful team philosophy(aka Rakitic moving wide and the forwards pushing higher up to pin back defences on counters).

    Well, I actually have faith in Rafa to actually win the Copa Del Rey. No faith in him to win a league title with Barcelona around atm. Especially with the news that he's making Bale the main point of the team in the centre and moving Ronaldo to a wing position again, could alienate Ronaldo there. De Gea coming in in the summer means that he'll sort out the goalkeeper hashups. It all depends on the transfer window. But a ST and DM for Real, things don't look as set for Barcelona.
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    Verratti will sign for Madrid.

    Madrid will win everything domestically.

    Madrid will beat Chelsea 4-0 in the Champions League Final.

    Barcelona will finish 5th in the League.
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    (Original post by jam277)
    Barcelona's slow start was also caused by rotations in the squad, because Enrique wanted the team to be fresh. Also I guess Suarez not being in form after being back caused a bit of the early mid season slow down.

    Best collection of attacking individuals yeah, defensively I don't think they're anything great player wise, just down to a more successful team philosophy(aka Rakitic moving wide and the forwards pushing higher up to pin back defences on counters).

    Well, I actually have faith in Rafa to actually win the Copa Del Rey. No faith in him to win a league title with Barcelona around atm. Especially with the news that he's making Bale the main point of the team in the centre and moving Ronaldo to a wing position again, could alienate Ronaldo there. De Gea coming in in the summer means that he'll sort out the goalkeeper hashups. It all depends on the transfer window. But a ST and DM for Real, things don't look as set for Barcelona.
    Absolutely. Their rotations definitely hampered them early on in the season. A different XI for 29 games on the bounce was hardly the solid foundation on which to build a league campaign. They've changed that around, though, along with their playing style.

    Under Enrique they seem much more content to withstand pressure and hit teams on the break and counterattack rather than just go at teams from the outset and get-go.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Absolutely. Their rotations definitely hampered them early on in the season. A different XI for 29 games on the bounce was hardly the solid foundation on which to build a league campaign. They've changed that around, though, along with their playing style.

    Under Enrique they seem much more content to withstand pressure and hit teams on the break and counterattack rather than just go at teams from the outset and get-go.
    I think his rotations early on meant that the team were fresh for the second half of the season. I think the best 11 was quite clear from the start of the season, maybe question marks on Mathieu vs Mascherano. Supposedly Lucho Enrique is a fitness freak, so I think his constant rotations was deliberate. Won't be surprised if he does that next season(albeit to a smaller extent).

    Also near the end of games in particular they just go more defensive(e.g. vs Bilbao), think it's probably a tactic to conserve energy mid game, rather than pressing for the ball all the time to retain the ball, and it's better than doing Barcelona 12-14 and not pressing while using a high line/possession game and being suspect to counters etc.

    Find this Barcelona team more interesting to watch than under Guardiola.
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    (Original post by jam277)
    Barcelona's slow start was also caused by rotations in the squad, because Enrique wanted the team to be fresh. Also I guess Suarez not being in form after being back caused a bit of the early mid season slow down.

    Best collection of attacking individuals yeah, defensively I don't think they're anything great player wise, just down to a more successful team philosophy(aka Rakitic moving wide and the forwards pushing higher up to pin back defences on counters).

    Well, I actually have faith in Rafa to actually win the Copa Del Rey. No faith in him to win a league title with Barcelona around atm. Especially with the news that he's making Bale the main point of the team in the centre and moving Ronaldo to a wing position again, could alienate Ronaldo there. De Gea coming in in the summer means that he'll sort out the goalkeeper hashups. It all depends on the transfer window. But a ST and DM for Real, things don't look as set for Barcelona.
    Suarez hasn't actually been at peak goalscoring performance at any point this year. Missed sitters galore in the winter and even against Sevilla recently, causing dropped points. So rotation or no rotation, had he been at peak, and actually played for the first few months, (which he could well be next season, after his 'adaptation' period this year) Barca would be much better off than Madrid.

    Well Mascherano has always been a borderline world class CB, maybe definitely with a competent partner. Pique is definitely world class when motivated. Alba is top 3/4 in the world, and Alves, motivated once again, is the best fullback on the planet. Bravo is tricky to assess but he seems pretty damn good. Player by player, they're better than Chelsea, better than Atleti and maybe even better than a Neuer-Lahm-Boateng-X-Alaba Bayern line up. So yeah, the defence plays a part in it being the best collection of individuals of my life time.

    Not going to go into a repeat of the Rafa discussions. I would question the point in trying to predict a domestic cup in Spain; it'll come down to one match (maybe one tie), 9 months in the future, with countless unpredictable factors like injury, form, other competitions etc having a large bearing on the match.
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    (Original post by Bubzeh)
    Verratti will sign for Madrid.

    Madrid will win everything domestically.

    Madrid will beat Chelsea 4-0 in the Champions League Final.

    Barcelona will finish 5th in the League.
    I hope so. I don't like Barcelona.

    Don't have faith in Chelsea to make anywhere past the R16 so I'd take a 4-0 beating in the final to a clearly superior team.
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    The Copa America is a big disadvantage for barca going into next season with Messi and Neymar playing in it

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    (Original post by Pimped Butterfly)
    Suarez hasn't actually been at peak goalscoring performance at any point this year. Missed sitters galore in the winter and even against Sevilla recently, causing dropped points. So rotation or no rotation, had he been at peak, and actually played for the first few months, (which he could well be next season, after his 'adaptation' period this year) Barca would be much better off than Madrid.

    Well Mascherano has always been a borderline world class CB, maybe definitely with a competent partner. Pique is definitely world class when motivated. Alba is top 3/4 in the world, and Alves, motivated once again, is the best fullback on the planet. Bravo is tricky to assess but he seems pretty damn good. Player by player, they're better than Chelsea, better than Atleti and maybe even better than a Neuer-Lahm-Boateng-X-Alaba Bayern line up. So yeah, the defence plays a part in it being the best collection of individuals of my life time.

    Not going to go into a repeat of the Rafa discussions. I would question the point in trying to predict a domestic cup in Spain; it'll come down to one match (maybe one tie), 9 months in the future, with countless unpredictable factors like injury, form, other competitions etc having a large bearing on the match.
    True for first two paragraphs.

    Same could be said for predicting who will win the CL or whatever cup there is yet that's constantly done? My reasoning was that I don't see Real winning La Liga(for reasons already stated), see them struggling in CL(although hard to predict) so they'll try and win something.
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    (Original post by Undisclosed 15)
    The Copa America is a big disadvantage for barca going into next season with Messi and Neymar playing in it

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    Well Suarez I think is still banned right? Suarez should be fine for the start of next season, if they keep Pedro and use Munir and Rafinha early on again, then any fitness issues would not affect their title defence too much, while Messi and Neymar try to find fitness and form early on next season.
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    (Original post by jam277)
    Same could be said for predicting who will win the CL or whatever cup there is yet that's constantly done?
    Yeah, no doubt. It is pretty futile in my opinion to predict something like the FA cup at the outset of the season - but I've already given reasons for why the CDR is especially worse. The CL is slightly different because we now have a world in which there's 3 European teams that are all going to make it to the semis in 8/10 seasons. And predicting a competition with 4 teams in it isn't as outlandish as predicting one with 32, or more. Plus there's no factor of 'other competitions', teams prioritise the CL.
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    Holy ****. Just seen Neymar's showboating from last night. All kicked off didn't it.
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    (Original post by Bubzeh)
    Verratti will sign for Madrid.

    Madrid will win everything domestically.

    Madrid will beat Chelsea 4-0 in the Champions League Final.

    Barcelona will finish 5th in the League.

    If Carlo was still in charge then maybe but they better make it quick with their ban imminent.

    We shall see how Madrid do but I'm sure Rafa will have a hard time with the dressing room.

    Do you have the lottery numbers for next week? Should be easy if you can predict next season's final.

    Barca outside of the CL places? Alright then some top trolling.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Holy ****. Just seen Neymar's showboating from last night. All kicked off didn't it.
    Not showboating. It's a way to get past a player :P lol
 
 
 
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