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Where Have the Goals Gone?

After five weeks of La Liga football action the two offensive favorites of the league both have subpar offensive numbers.

Heading into this weekend’s fixtures neither Real Madrid or Barcelona would be included as one of the top two clubs in goals scored so far this season. And although it is still very early into the 2010/2011 campaign, this shockingly low total goals scored by either team may be proof that they are not as dominant as we thought they were over the Spanish opposition.

Real Madrid is only averaging slightly better then a goal per game numbers at the moment and Los Blancos have only mustered six goals in five efforts so far this year. That is only the ninth best result in the league and Jose Mourinho is certainly not pleased with the low figure. Mourinho summed up his team’s early season form when he made the obvious statement:

Defensively we are a very solid team, we have only conceded one goal in six official games. There is no problem tactically, but we aren’t scoring. It’s not due to the quality of the players because we all know they are players with lots of goals in them, but at this moment we can’t score. That’s my only concern.

Mourinho is right. The result has nothing to do with quality. In fact Real Madrid and Barcelona are supposed to overwhelm smaller teams like Levante with their superior talent. But one issue that is highly underrated is the club’s familairity with one another. You can assemble a team of all star players, but that doesn’t exactly guarantee freakish results. The team must play as a cohesive unit and often that takes time to build.

Barcelona has a few new boys this season as well, but their offensive presence will likely be easier to ease into then Real Madrid considering they have the same coach in office as last season and the main core is still around too. Still Barca is tied for third with two other teams in goals scored at the moment and their dominant scoring ability has been at least contained so far this campaign. And Pep Guardiola also stressed his early season frustrations with his side in front of the net:

We must have more desire, more ambition to say ‘I’m in front of goal and I have to score’. When we create chances around the six-yard box we must score them.

And as I said earlier, it is very fresh in the year and many players haven’t really been around for even an entire month yet. Once players settle into their roles and begin to proerly analyze their opposition then these offensive giants will take full flight. And that will create some serious problems for the rest of the league.