Veteran Barca players annoyed at falling into Real Madrid trap


Veteran Barca players annoyed at falling into Real Madrid trap

| sport

There is no scaremongering at Barça. October is not even over and four points behind Real Madrid is 'nothing'. The message is clear: we have to keep working because it is from February onwards when it gets serious. That analysis does not, however, detract from the fact that there is irritation in the dressing room about what happened in Saturday's Clasico. Several of the more experienced players agree in their diagnosis: there was a lack of maturity from the 60th minute onwards.

In the dressing room there is satisfaction with the way the team went out on the pitch. Barça showed optimum levels of concentration, intensity and play. The 'problem' was that after 55 very good minutes, the score was only 1-0. Two posts prevented what would have been a 2-0 lead, but fortune also played its part and it decided to leave the Clasico open. Some of the more experienced players felt that the team should have shown more intelligence in the last half hour.

With 1-0 on the scoreboard, there are those who believe that Barça fell into the trap. They point to the bad luck of conceding Bellingham's equaliser in a totally isolated action, although they feel that from then on they lacked a bit of pause to have long possessions and control the game. It is not the first time that the Barca have lacked being able to keep the ball to minimise possible accidents. 

On the other hand, the drop off in pressing after losing the ball led the team to concede meters. This, combined with the introduction of vertical players such as Raphinha and Lamine Yamal in the last quarter of an hour, led Barça to become unprotected. The distances between the lines widened and Barça were unable to recover the order they had lost.

Sources in the dressing room insist on pointing out how much damage Bellingham's 1-1 draw did and recall that, while Real Madrid were able to bring on Modric in the second half, key players in midfield such as Frenkie de Jong and Pedri were unavailable. These are not excuses, but the absence of both deprived Barça of a great deal of possession.

After the game, Ilkay Gündogan surprised everyone with a statement in which he called for "more anger in the dressing room after such an important game". "I didn't come here to lose these kind of games or allow these kind of gaps to open up," the German said. "This is part of the problem, emotions have to come out when you lose. And when you know you can play better and do better in certain situations," he warned.

It should be remembered that Barça's current squad is a mixture of experienced players and young talents who still need to experience more situations of all kinds to reach the level of experience that Gündogan, Íñigo Martínez, Lewandowski, Ter Stegen and Co. have.

This Sunday, although the mood was still a little down, the group had a little chat in which they admitted the need to improve some aspects but without underestimating the great work of the team during the first 60 minutes of the game. They insisted on the idea of continuing along the same path and praised the effort of the squad in the face of a delicate stretch of the season. Some of the players have been on a lot of training without rest, while others have been working hard to recover from their respective injuries in order to help out. The Barça dressing room is pulling in one direction and behind closed doors they even see it as healthy and positive that the heavyweights are angry when the expected results are not being obtained.

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