Camp Nou

Next Game

Ath Bilbao v Barcelona

Saturday, 30 May 2015, 20:30

Copa del Rey Final

Camp Nou

Last Game

Barcelona 2 - 2 Deportivo

Saturday, 23 May 2015, 17:30

Spanish Primera BBVA

Player power

Barcelona's 3-0 triumph over Malaga - which returned them to the top of La Liga on Sunday - proves off-field matters aren't affecting the players, Marcelino told Revista.

Last Updated: 03/02/14 at 10:46 Post Comment

Messi: playing a deeper role for Barca

Messi: playing a deeper role for Barca

There was boardroom upheaval at the Nou Camp last week when club president Sandro Rosell resigned amid an investigation into Neymar's contract.

However, former Mallorca and Newcastle defender Marcelino says that while Barcelona's executive leadership may be up in the air, the team's performances on the pitch remain impressive.

"I don't think any Barcelona player is too bothered by all the off-field chaos," he said.

"Neymar put a tweet up on the same day that Rosell resigned saying it was a lovely day because the sun was out - that is how much it is affecting them!

"They just want to play football and are focusing on the next game. The chaos is hardly affecting their form is it?

"Barcelona are looking very much the in-form team at the moment, Lionel Messi's return has had an influence, of course, and I think the whole team are looking fluid and are scoring goals in different ways.

"They are putting numbers around the ball and it shows that they are really up for it and want to score goals and create as many chances as they can."

Rotation

Guillem Balague agreed that Barcelona are now hitting their stride and says that compromises between manager Tata Martino and his players has helped the team to get better.

"We said at the start of the season that Tata came in with an idea of what he wanted to do. He started to change some things, rotate some players and play a lot more direct than they are playing now," explained the Sky Sports pundit.

"It got to a point where players said 'hold on, can we do things a little different with more possession?'

"From that compromise comes the Barcelona we see now."

Former Spanish Super Cup winner Marcelino reckons it takes a special manager to be able to listen to his players - but suggested when you have multiple medal-winners such as Messi, Andres Iniesta and Neymar in your team, it would be silly not to heed their advice.

"Tata has inherited a way of doing things; we have spoken in the past of the self-management of the dressing room at Barcelona," he said.

"I think he did try and make some changes at the beginning of the season but little by little we are seeing what we were seeing in the prior seasons - it works so why change it?"

Decisions

An example of Barca's key players making their own on-field decisions can be seen by watching Messi, says Balague.

The Argentina ace, since returning from his hamstring problem, is dropping off more often than previously - and Balague suspects that is the player's idea, rather than the manager's.

"Messi can do whatever he wants and that has been said by Tata," he said.

"What he wants to do at the moment is drop deeper, to get more of the ball, to assist - and he has four assists in the last two games.

"He is dropping off because he wants to reserve his energy because it is a long season and he also wants to see how well he has recovered from the injury.

"We will now see him more as a No.10, rather than a false nine."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Middlesbrough 0-2 Norwich: Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond strike as Canaries seal immediate return to Premier League

Norwich City gained promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Yaya Toure will stay at Manchester City, insists agent Dimitri Seluk

Yaya Toure will stay at Manchester City, according to his agent.

UEFA chief Michel Platini says it would be good for football if Sepp Blatter loses FIFA election

Michel Platini is backing Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan in Friday’s FIFA presidential election.

Mail Box

Can We Combine Danny And Theo?

The finishing of Theo Walcott and the hold-up play of Danny Welbeck would be just perfect. Plus, lots of Brendan Rodgers, some Big Sam and all hail Degsy...

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company