Barca boss defends long balls

Gerardo Martino defended Barcelona's use of the long ball in the wake of fan restlessness during the 4-0 Champions League win over Ajax.

Last Updated: 19/09/13 at 18:39 Post Comment

Gerardo Martino: Coach adding 'alternatives' to Barcelona's style of

Gerardo Martino: Coach adding 'alternatives' to Barcelona's style of

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Martino's first Champions League match in charge ended in a resounding success at the Nou Camp, with Lionel Messi netting a hat-trick.

Martino said on the club's website: "FC Barcelona recently reached footballing excellence and therefore the fans are more demanding.

"I understand that they didn't like the first half, that they weren't satisfied. But they should be fairly satisfied with the second half."

The Catalans won the Champions League twice in three seasons under Pep Guardiola, most recently in 2011.

Martino said his objective was to "reach the same place Barca always reach" but he will not stick exclusively to a tiki-taka style.

He added: "We don't want to change the team's style of play, but I saw (former Barca defender Rafael) Marquez make long passes too five years ago.

"It doesn't mean we're changing the style if we add alternatives to our play."

The Argentinian accepted his side's first-half performance against the Amsterdammers was not up to scratch, but was happier with the way they played after the break.

"It wasn't a brilliant match, but we put in a strong performance," he said.

"Our second half was better than our first. We controlled the game better, we pressured and we defended well.

"If we had played the second half like we did the first we would have taken a step back, but we corrected our errors and I believe that we took a step forward.

"We had a noticeable change. I think our victory is just, especially because of what we did in the second half."

Ajax boss Frank de Boer saw positives from his side's start to the game - they trailed only 1-0 at the break - but said they were punished in the second half.

"I'm very pleased with the first half," he said on the Ajax website. "We had just as many opportunities as Barcelona, and continued to play good football.

"I thought that we gave away too much space in the second half. In the end, it cost us four goals, and that's painful. We need to stay positive and look ahead to the next game."

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Footer 365

Tim Sherwood expects Christian Benteke to remain Aston Villa player

Tim Sherwood is convinced Christian Benteke wants to stay at Aston Villa, although he has not broached the subject with him.

Steve Bruce at a loss to explain Hull City's dreadful season

Hull City boss Steve Bruce had no idea his side would be in a relegation fight after building what he saw as a strong squad last summer.

Liverpool boss says Raheem Sterling is being led by his agent in seeking a move

Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling "is being led by his representative" and deserves the support of the Liverpool fans at Stoke on Sunday.

Mail Box

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...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

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