Monday's league-opener, the 5-0 thumping of Villareal, is perhaps the greatest proof to date of Pep Guardiola’s genius as the manager of FC Barcelona. With a slough of injuries to his squad’s back line, Pep was forced to improvise. By employing a 3-4-3, he maintained an experienced back line, rested aging superstars, gave minutes to young studs, and fielded one of the most dynamic attacking sides football has ever seen.
Pep Guardiola kept his cool. He kept his inexperienced youngsters on the bench and put the three men he could trust in the back (Abidal, Busquets, and Mascherano). He decided it would be up to the rest of the squad to support these three. Keita was inserted for extra strength and defensive presence. To complete the eleven, he chose the most beastly six footballers you can imagine, all under the age of 24 (with the exception of Iniesta), all capable of a relentless 90 minutes of pressure, all willing to track back doggedly in defense, and all sharing a fearsome proclivity for tormenting goal-keepers: Messi, Pedro, Aléxis, Thiago, Cesc, and Iniesta. Ok maybe Iniesta isn’t that fearsome,but the rest of these players are absolute beasts.
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