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More than a club, more than a team, more than 11 players

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BILBAO, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 06:  David Villa of FC Barcelona controls the ball during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Bilbao, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BILBAO, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 06: David Villa of FC Barcelona controls the ball during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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December is finally here… Time for fun and frolic. Do you know why I feel it’s one of the best months ever? We have Christmas, New Year’s and many get together functions, all at the same time. It’s like we want to press the stop button in the Worlds Clock. But as soon as all this is over the most important highlight is that short January transfer window which opens up on New Year's Day. A nervous feeling for football fans all around the world. One side of football fans are happy that the transfer window has started. While the others are just sitting there waiting for it to pass by keeping their fingers crossed. Throughout the month there is a voice inside their head which goes on asking "Will my favorite player leave my team? Are all these just rumors?" And this year majority of Barcelona fans are a victim to it. David Villa leaving!!!

In just two weeks from "David Villa to Liverpool", to Chelsea swap-rumors really do make you start thinking "Are all these really true? Will our Guaje leave forever?" How do I feel about this? In my opinion this is not true and being a football fan, knowing anything can happen I am keeping my fingers crossed. But there is a different side of the story which I would like to express.

First of all, I have never seen Pep clarify so much about anybody’s importance in the team. Pep knows very well that Villa is listening to him and playing as he wants him to. He would not be straight with it, but if he did not want Villa, he would have just brushed this whole thing as media hype. To prove to the world his importance there was a separate article on the FC Barcelona official website with Villa himself stating his pleasure to be here. No one would go through these pains just for 2 months.

The thing which really ignited the fire was when Villa was not in the starting lineup for the Classico. Villa, who was the savior of Barcelona in the Super-cup was now sidelined. But there is a more technical aspect to this which everyone fails to understand. We have more than 11 players in our team. Everyone cannot start always. At this present moment we have 6 Defenders (Alves, Puyol, Pique, Mascherano, Abidal, Maxwell, Adriano), 5 Midfielders (Xavi, Iniesta, Cesc, Thiago, Busquets, Keita) and 4 forwards (Messi, Villa, Pedro, Alexis,) leaving aside Cuenca and Fontas.

During Guardiola’s reign, many players have come and gone, the only thing which has not changed is the style of the game. Other teams have become bolder this season. Some attack more while some defend more and both have caused us problems. Sevilla at home (0-0) and Real Sociedad away (2-2) both were successful in achieving their 1 point target.

Things had to change, Real Madrid was becoming stronger and the title fight had become more open. This is when the 3 defender system had to be implied .A system which was yet unknown to a lot of opponents. This system was criticized as stupidity, to be so over confident but Guardiola did not budge. You can see the results in the AC Milan (2-3) and Real Madrid (1-3) matches. Cuenca was introduced to send in crosses to beat the whole team inside the penalty box. With the arrival of Cesc (who was also considered to be a bench player this season) and Thiago we have more versatility within the team. At least 15 players of the squad are deserving to be in the starting lineup. But sadly, going by the rules not all can be in the top 11 list, some have to be kept on the bench.

When Pep was asked about comments from Mascherano, in which he said that Puyol and Pique are the first choices in central defence , the manager's response was very clear:

"It's Mascherano's opinion, but they are not the first choice. Everybody has to win their place on the pitch. Depending on each game, we try to get everybody involved, because I feel that's the best way forward and I have faith in all of them. I think they'll all carry on here this year, and the next."

Yes I agree, Villa now may not feature in the starting lineup of every game, but I am sure to death that Pep would not let him rot on the bench. Every player has a different role and every system is built with different roles. People just assume that a player does not start because he is not in form, without considering the system being played.

As fan of Villa, somewhere deep beneath I too am a little tensed. But looking at all the system changes taking place, I really do have faith in Pep and his words. But only time will tell what is true and what is not. I really hope Villa stays in Blaugrana colors for ever.

Visca el Barca. #inPepWeTrust

I wrote this article a couple hours before the horrific injury to David Villa who is facing a long road to recovery. I really wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery. It will be great to have you back David. #animsVilla

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