29 nov. 2019
In his latest column, Guillem Balague reflects on Real Madrids struggles, Barcelonas mistakes against Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrids change of approach and answers your questions. Cheap Nike Shoes From China ... Following their 1-1 home draw with Eibar at the weekend, Real Madrid have lost six points in their last three league games and have drawn four consecutive games in all competitions. Zinedine Zidane says the team is not in crisis but it looks very much like the kind of results that could end up in a crisis. We will have to see how the players react. I am sure Real Madrid will start winning soon but it would be good if they analysed closely why this is happening. If you listen to Zidane, its very difficult to agree with him. He says the team lacks intensity, they start the games badly and it has nothing to do with how well or badly they play. I think it has everything to do with that. At the weekend, because James Rodriguez got injured in the warm-up, they ended up with Isco, Mateo Kovacic and Toni Kroos in midfield. With that midfield, who can keep the ball and pass it around, you would expect a team to control the game and keep possession. Instead they ended up putting 30 crosses into the box.I dont think anybody knows what Real Madrid are playing at, what style they have, what they are trying to do, and that points directly at the manager.Zidane has been good in the short competition of the Champions League - no doubt helped by the draw last season - but Real Madrid always compete well in the short competitions. In the long term you have to deal with managing the egos, rotating the side and giving them more collective, tactical answers. He hasnt done that.The team hasnt got enough of them, that would suggest their work in training is not detailed enough and not tactical enough. As we said at the beginning of the season it might well prove the downfall of Zidane in the medium term. Ronaldo shows his frustration during the draw with Eibar Yes, Casemiro and Luka Modric are missing, but it is unbelievable that with two players out they cannot beat a team like Eibar or Las Palmas. Whats worse is that Zidane said they studied the goal that Eibar scored, but the team had not reacted to it. Why didnt they? Are they too relaxed with his approach?There are a lot of things to point out as a head coach that doesnt get the team tense enough at the start of the game. His own words. When they concede first they always react because they have players with the winning personality, but they should come out with more tension and a better mental disposition than they have at the moment. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just ￡6.99. No contract. It must be said that Eibar were fantastic, they played with so much order and everybody knew what they had to do. They had more shots on target than Real by four to three and there was a moment in the game that showed the calmness and clear heads of the Eibar players. In the 89th minute Real were putting a lot of pressure on and instead of defending in their own box there was a cross and Cristiano Ronaldo was offside because they had kept the line so tight.That is very difficult to do when you are at the Santiago Bernabeu and its 1-1 and any mistake can cost you. That shows how much they believe in the ideas of the coach and how hard they work to get it right. Casemiro was missing for Real at the weekend Atletico Madrid are top of the table and in their 2-0 win at Valencia they showed exactly what they want to do, in clear contrast to Real.Atletico have a very clear idea (as explained in this Revista Bitesize), both in the approach of the team - they shoot more and have more possession - and the line-up with a midfield of Saul, Koke and Gabi and a 4-3-3 with Angel Correa, Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro even though they were away at Valencia. They are going more on the attack which is pleasing to see.Griezmann keeps improving and is top of the scoring charts with six goals. He also again scored the first goal of the game which is always key. Atletico were tight defensively and they are the type of team that makes you believe they are defending because they cannot come out, but then when you dont expect it, they do come out and attack. Thats what they did that against Valencia.Atletico won despite Diego Alves saving two penalties. The first to deny Griezmann was fantastic with a very strong hand. He has stopped 22 penalties in 45 that have been taken against him since he arrived in Spain.He is fast in the way he jumps, agile, some of it is intuition, but some of it is the work of Jose Manuel Ochotorena, who is the goalkeeping coach of both the national side and Valencia - a legend. Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring against Valencia He was the goalkeeping coach at Liverpool and Jerzy Dudek thanked him for the penalties he saved in the Champions League in Istanbul. Its a mixture of work, intuition, ability and agility - certainly a case study for goalkeepers how he does that.Barcelona lost to Celta 4-1 last season, it was 4-3 this time, and for me the person who takes most of the blame is Luis Enrique, for many reasons.Firstly, he rotated the side and played a team very similar to the one that he fielded against Sporting, but Celta is a completely different proposition.He decided to have a midfield that doesnt control games in Andre Gomes, Arda Turan and Sergio Busquets, and without controlling against a side that is happy to give you possession and counter attack, in a game that becomes punches after punches from one team to the other, box to box football, you risk losing possession in key parts of the pitch and being punished, and thats what happened.One goal was a mistake of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, one was a mistake of Busquets losing possession and then one was Turan doing the same in the build-up. Celta won in a wonderful way, they went for it, had individual marking all over the pitch, which is risky, but they felt it is the way to unsettle Barcelona and they got it spot on. They were intense, aggressive but not excessively and again focus on the job at hand. Playing out from the back isnt always the best option as Barcelona goalkeeper Ter Stegen found out A lot of people will blame Ter Stegen but he is a crucial part of Barcelona. He has to continue playing that way because it creates superiority from the beginning of the build-up which is absolutely necessary. In the goal his mistake was not to give continuity to the passing. He got the ball, should have passed to his right where Gerard Pique was waiting, instead he decided to lob it on top of the Celta player, which was the worst option.If he gets rid of mistakes like this then Barcelona will have the kind of goalkeeper they need. He is still one of the best with his feet. A lot of people would say keepers are there to save, of course they are, but modern football is going in a different way so get used to seeing more and more of this kind of keeper.Guillem answers your questions...Do you think Luis Enrique should try Jasper Cillessen as first choice keeper? @DJ_PapiNo. Ter Stegen is one of the best keepers in the world and if, after a mistake like that, when you have told the goalkeeper to play like that, the manager decides to change it sends the wrong message. Ter Stegen will show everyone how good he is, but as I said earlier he needs to choose his passes better and be a little bit less casual.Whose absence is hurting Real Madrid more? Modric or Casemiro? @MannichahalFor me they are two players who havent got any replacement. They are both absolutely crucial. When Modric has been absent the team is less fluent, Bale loses one of his links with midfield because Modric always looks for him, and the team is worse, but they normally still win games. Gareth Bale scored his 50th goal for Real Madrid in their 1-1 draw against Eibar, we take a look at some of his best goals However, with Casemiro out there is no defensive midfielder, you can see that in the goal they conceded against Eibar. The position of Kroos, who gets dragged towards the ball, like everybody else at Madrid, and when the cross gets put in, there is no holding midfielder stopping the arrival of an unmarked Fran Rico to head the ball. Its really poor from Real.Whats your take on Jorge Sampaolis Sevilla so far, Do you think they can mount pressure and finish in the top three?@lubuulwachrisSevilla is a funny team, they are a bit lucky. He still hasnt found the system he wants, the style he wants, the players he wants, but in the meantime they have been winning games, which is a great platform. But that luck generally evens out and unless he finds the style and system he wont be able to compete with the top three.I think everybody will drop points, certainly they are a candidate for top four, but I dont think are ready for top three. I hope the experiment of Sampaoli, which we have only seen glimpses of so far, continues for long enough to enjoy it. He is still miles away from what he wants from Sevilla.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the Japan Grand Prix on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! Discount Nike Shoes . A groundswell for raising the number of playoff qualifiers to seven in each conference figures to get plenty of support from the 32 owners. Most notably, Arizonas Bill Bidwill, who saw his Cardinals go 10-6 and not get in, while Green Bay (8-7-1) qualified by winning the NFC North. Wholesale Nike Shoes . However, after review it became clear Kadri kicked the puck in.PHILADELPHIA - Jiri Tlusty scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night. Nathan Gerbe had a highlight-worthy goal and Alexander Semin also scored for Carolina, which improved to 3-0 against Philadelphia this season. Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell scored for the Flyers, who lost for just the second time at home in their last 14 games. Tlusty beat Flyers goalie Steve Mason from close range high to the glove side with 6:10 remaining. The game originally was scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed due to the snowstorm that hit Philadelphia and much of the Northeast. As a result, Carolina also moved its home game against Ottawa from Friday to Saturday in order to avoid playing on three straight nights. The Hurricanes play at Buffalo on Thursday. Semin opened the scoring for Carolina with just over 8 minutes left in the first period when he fired a wrist shot over Masons glove hand into the top shelf. Neither team generated much offence in the opening period, as the Hurricanes outshot Philadelphia 8-3. Each team scored once in the second period, with Gerbe putting the Hurricanes up 2-0 with a breakaway goal with 6:22 left in the period. Gerbe benefited from a mistake by Flyers defenceman Luke Schenn, who misplayed a pass back to the point and couldnt recover when the speedy Gerbe got behind him. He put the puck through his legs and wristed it past Mason with his hands in an awkward position on a goal that surely will be plaayed countless times on the nightly highlight shows. Cheap Nike Shoes . Philadelphia got on the board with 35 seconds left in the second when Giroux scored from a tough angle when his backhander ricocheted off the chest of Carolina goaltender Anton Khudobin and into the goal. And the Flyers tied it just 3 minutes into the third period on Hartnells power-play goal. Giroux took the initial shot from the top of the left circle and Wayne Simmonds failed on the rebound attempt. But the puck caromed off Khudobin and to Hartnell, who scored from point-blank range. Mason had struggled in his last four games, with a 4.55 goals-against average, but brought a strong career record against Carolina into Wednesdays contest. Mason entered 5-1-1 with a 1.85 GAA against the Hurricanes. He finished with 29 saves. NOTES: Tuesdays postponement marked the first time in Flyers history that a home game was postponed due to weather. Philadelphia had to postpone a home game on March 13, 1993, due to arena issues at the Spectrum. ... Philadelphia RW Jakub Voracek started after being questionable due to a left hand injury suffered in Mondays game against the Islanders. ... Carolina hadnt won three straight against Philadelphia since a six-game winning streak from Dec. 22, 1990-April 15, 1992 when they were the Hartford Whalers. ... Peter Laviolette was fired after Philadelphias loss to Carolina on Oct. 6 and replaced by current Flyers coach Craig Berube. ... Carolina won for just the second time in the last 10 meetings against the Flyers in Philadelphia. ' ' '