Report: After the disappointing second half of the 2010/11 season David Villa's first Barça campaign ended with a long range curling effort against Manchester United. Villa's 2011/12 season began the same way but this time the opponent was a different football giant, Real Madrid. It was a world-class goal from a world-class players and it showed that Villa forgot all about the goalscoring slump he found himself in the year before.
David Villa's season started much like the way his first Barca season began - he was a goalscoring machine. Villa's longest goalscoring drought lasted just five and in two of those game he came on the pitch late in the game as a substitute. He showed remarkable consistency and it was a very encouraging sight.
Playing mostly on the left wing Villa was constant threat may it be with his accurate shot or with a good cross into the penalty area. His dribbling left much to be desired but Villa was still able to get past inexperienced right-backs pretty easily, however, seasoned veterans quickly realized which way Villa was going to go and often dispossessed him.
All the encouragement brought by Villa's positive performances disappeared pretty quickly when Spain's All-Time leading scorer was stopped by a fractured tibia against Al Sadd. Villa was bothered by an injury in that area for some time but he though he was going to be able to play through it. His body disagreed and he was destined for a long spell on the sidelines.
At first people thought his loss won't be so significant but with injuries to several other players and some players struggling with form Villa's absence was felt in a big way. Barça really missed El Guaje's experience and big game performances in the season's second half, and who knows maybe his injury was really all Real Madrid needed to end Barça's successful La Liga run.
Fcbsoul's View: Somehow last season people stopped valuing his contribution for a while until they saw what we lost when he was no longer on the pitch. Scoring around 45 goals in a season and a half is no joke - and most of them were very important goals. Left-wing, right-wing, striker - he's comfortable at all of them. Wishing him all the luck for next season. David Villa, El Guaje is back!!!!
Moment of the Season: This is a far back in the past I had to go for a moment of the season because this one happened in the very first game of the season. Villa just avoided being caught offside by the Real Madrid defense when Lionel Messi passed the ball to him and after taking a few steps closer to Iker Casillas Villa unleashed an unstoppable shot inside the far post.
|Started on the bench||9|
|Shots on goal||34|
Record with David Villa in the starting lineup: 14-2-1
2012/13 Outlook: Villa will be slowly brought back to full fitness and into game rhythm. He has been making steady progress in training and even got some time on the pitch in a friendly game (as evidenced in this video made by our very own fcbsoul). Of course Villa will have to start the season at a slower pace than he would like to but at this point it is critical that he doesn't force it. If the recovery process is completed the way everybody expects (and hopes) Villa should soon return to bagging goals and will be an enormous boost to the team. That might just be difference Barça need to dethrone Real Madrid again.
Next Up: Isaac Cuenca