Well it is finally down to that expected time of year that we thought it would be. Barcelona remains the one undefeated team going into the October week break for the international World Cup Qualifier final matches. And of course it is no surprise that the treble winners are the lone undefeated squad and remain a perfect 6-0-0 after about two months of football.
It should also be no surprise that teams will begin over-stacking their defenses just to remain level with the offensive force that Barcelona possesses. And can you blame Almeria last week? The club had five defenders in at all times and continued to present a lot of pressure on the Barca stars with their midfielders as well.
The game’s majority of action was largely played on Almeria’s half, but the result was only 1-0. Many critics question the over defensive tactics done by Almeria due to their lack of trying to score and even label the game plan as “boring”. One person who claimed this was Barcelona’s Xavi:
We will have to get used to it. It’s a shame that they come here to pack the defence. I’ve never been marked like that. It was madness, obsessive. Even when they had the ball or when I was going to take a corner they marked me.
Corner marking may sound obsessive, but what Almeria is doing here is one of those necessary things for the majority of clubs in La Liga. You can’t play with Barca the way a normal team would play against another normal team.
Because Barca is not normal and if you play even with them they will beat you. You must stack the box if you want to even be in the game with the treble winners and if you’re a club like Almeria. It’s that easy!