The timing of the Supercopa de España ensured that this week’s power rankings were pushed back a day to Tuesday, which means that we have a total of three competitive matches on which to rank the squad. Of course, there have been some ups and downs over the course of those 300 minutes of football, so this might get controversial…
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Three goals in three matches…it’s almost like Lionel Messi has never been away! Except he has, and it’s also blatantly obvious that he has. His opening tirade against Sevilla was classic Leo; but from about half-time onwards in Tbilisi, he hasn’t quite been himself. Definitely chalk that up to a lack of match fitness; oh, and courtesy of some dreadful performances by the rest of the team, Messi is still in top spot by default.
For any Blaugrana fans out there that aren’t fluent in Spanish, or at least Spanish insults, here’s a top tip from Barca Blaugranes: don’t ever repeat what Pique said to the assistant referee to another human being. Unless Franco himself has risen from the grave. Now we have that out of the way, let’s wax lyrical about the elegant Catalan centre-half. We literally fell apart without him on Friday, and generally looked excellent with him back last night – if that doesn’t display his importance in neon lights, nothing will.
Claudio Bravo isn’t just the best goalkeeper at the club, he is also one of the three best goalkeepers in the world. Discuss.
Consistency? Well, Suarez has occupied this place for the past three weeks now and while by all accounts he stunk up the joint at San Mames, he’s still been one of the driving forces in anything positive that we’ve produced. Two assists and a goal is testament to that fact.
Neymar hasn’t played and based on how we’ve fared without him, it’s pretty clear that he’s an integral cog in this footballing machine. Please get well soon Ney, we need you!
OK, so Rakitic hasn’t quite been as electric as he looked in pre-season proper, but he’s still looked good. Maybe both he and Andres Iniesta need to offer more defensive support, but otherwise, I’ve got no reason to complain.
Iniesta’s withdrawal against Sevilla coincided with the Andalusians’ comeback, although to be honest, it was probably coming anyway after Jose Antonio Reyes pulled one back with our captain still on the field. That whole substitution made his omission at San Mames all the more unusual – and as it turned out, costly. Oh well, que sera sera and all that.
Busquets hasn’t yet all that great, nor has he looked all that bad. In all the games thus far this season, he’s slipped under the radar – I’m still unsure whether that’s positive, or negative. What do you guys think?
Mascherano falls just by association as he started that defeat at San Mames.
Oh my goodness, Jordi Alba is literally a million times better than our deputies. PLEASE STAY HEALTHY!
A big jump for a big performance in a big game against Sevilla. The whole Athletic debacle kind of put a dampener on things, but let’s not take anything away from Rafinha for the fact that he looked like he *belonged* in the attack in Tbilisi. More of this please.
I really wanted to push Pedro into the top ten, and perhaps on reflection it would be a true measure of his importance. However, I am resigned to the idea that his time at the club is coming to an imminent end and I’d rather try to downplay his significance, if only to make myself feel better about the whole ordeal.
We’ve seen some boneheaded things from Dani Alves over the years, but can someone explain what the hell was going through his mind when he gave away that penalty on Friday? The ball wasn’t remotely near the front post and his challenge bordered on psychotic anyway. It’s a shame, because he actually looked OK against Sevilla and I wanted to keep him in the top ten.
Not his best week, and let’s leave it at that.
I was really impressed with the enthusiasm and energy that Sandro offered off the bench last night; he seems like a more immediate replacement for Pedro as compared to Munir, and I’m excited about the added dimension he can bring off the bench this season.
The first-half against Sevilla went well. Then he went downhill and that culminated in Monday’s most abject jump award as our giant French centre-half lost an aerial battle with...Oscar de Marcos. YUP...
Only climbing a place because I really didn’t like anything from the guys below him.
Munir also impressed me off the bench yesterday; sure he could have picked better footwear, but his heart was in the right place. Chasing down loose balls and even tracking back to cover some of the defensive space created by Piqué’s dismissal. Not bad Munir.
If someone asks me whether Marc Bartra is ready to start for Barcelona, I’mma just play them the Athletic match, and the period where he was on against Sevilla. That should provide a pretty definitive answer.
He’s back from injury, not that he looked all that fresh or useful.
I wondered whether Vermaelen wasn’t a joke last week. Now I’m firmly convinced that he is the new Alex Song, and come this time next season we’re gonna be shopping him down Las Ramblas, just trying to offload him to any wide-eyed tourist that even half looks our way.
It’s your last week in the rankings kid, enjoy it.
If we thought we played badly against Athletic, just imagine how much worse it would have been with Douglas. Suddenly the 0-4 isn’t looking quite so bad.
If he gets a paycheck from FC Barcelona, then why can’t I?
(Unranked: Arda Turan, Aleix Vidal, Alex Song)