Which should Atletico focus more on: The Champions League or La Liga?

As Atletico Madrid appear to be closing in on their best season ever, they have a big dilemma: should we focus more on the Champions League or La Liga?  Here you will find cases for both.

La Liga

Atletico appears to be on track to end the duopoly that Barcelona and Real Madrid have held over La Liga for so long. Winning La Liga probably was what Diego Simeone dreamed of when he took over  Atletico Madrid because the Champions League trophy then would have been considered such a far-fetched idea. This brings me to my next point.

Champions League

Atletico Madrid have never won the UEFA Champions League. It is by far the most prestigious trophy in club football. Another great thing about winning the esteemed, elusive trophy is that it will assure Atletico’s participance in the Club World Cup. Thus giving them the chance to be crowned the world’s best football club. Another pro to winning the Champions League is the fact that it may very well convince star striker Diego Costa to stay next season instead of departing to Chelsea, Atletico’s semifinal opponents.

In the comments, have your own say! Comment which competition you think Atletico should focus more on.737

Possible Replacements for David Moyes at Manchester United

Louis Van Gaal

It has been officially announced that after the World Cup, Louis Van Gaal will step down from the Netherlands manager job. Van Gaal has had talks with Manchester United executives about taking over the reigns as manager. Don’t be surprised if he is the man leading Manchester United at the beginning of the next campaign.

Jurgen Klopp

Borussia Dortmund’s manager has proved himself on the European stage. He has a Champions League final appearance and two Bundesliga titles is nothing to scoff at. He is Manchester United’s first choice to replace David Moyes.

Diego Simeone

This move is very unlikely considering how prolific a team Simeone has turned Atletico Madrid into. But, it would be hard to resist taking over the helm of the best English club ever.

Lessons from Manchester City vs. Southampton

Today Manchester City triumphed over Southampton 4-1. Here you will find valuable things learned from this game.

 

Lesson 1: Yaya Toure can’t be stopped

Yaya Toure converted a penalty in the second minute to give the Citizens the lead. After that Toure was unstoppable. Toure won a mind-boggling 7 out of 8 tackles.

Lesson 2: You can’t beat Manchester City at the Etihad

After demolishing Southampton 4-1, Manchester City moved to an incredible 14-1 at home in the Premier League. They have scored 52 goals and allowed only 10 in these games.

Lesson 3: Luke Shaw can be overrated at times

Luke Shaw did put in a decent performance today. But not one of a player attracting attention from European football giants. He played more of an attacking role than usual today which didn’t suit him very well. He was handed a 6.17 rating out of ten today.

Predicting The Top 5 2014 Ballon D’or Finishers

It is time to start thinking about who will win the 2014 Ballon D’or. There are a few clear-cut candidates already. Here you will find my predictions of who the top 5 finishers will be.

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Easily the best current footballer to have not won a Ballon D’or, Zlatan Ibrahimovic improves as he gets older. Currently playing for Paris Saint-Germain, the Swede must play even better than his current impeccable form to have a chance at the esteemed trophy as his nation won’t be in this summer’s World Cup.

4. Luis Suarez

The Liverpool and Uruguay striker has been unstoppable lately. He is on track to break the record for most goals in a Premier League season even though he missed the first six games (for biting Bransilav Ivanovic of Chelsea). Currently the lone leader in the EPL in both goals and assists, Suarez has done all but given his acceptance speech to collect the PFA Player of the Year Award. Suarez must also impress at the World Cup this summer and lead his team out of a difficult group to at least the quarterfinals. While playing very well along the way.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

The reigning Ballon D’or winner has a much harder path to the trophy this year. He has had a recent small dip in form with Real Madrid and now faces much stiffer competition in the form of Luis Suarez and a fully fit Lionel Messi. Although he easily won the last trophy, come January not many bookies will have him first on their list.

2. Neymar

The Brazilian wunderkind has played fairly well with club team Barcelona of late. But the key to him winning the golden ball of the whole world in January, is winning the World Cup with Brazil and winning that golden ball.

1. Lionel Messi

The 4-time Ballon D’or champion has the biggest chance of winning the trophy next year. He finished a close second to Cristiano Ronaldo last time around, even though he was injured for much of the season. If the stellar forward can keep up his current form and continue winning trophies with Barcelona, all he will have to do is finally have a good World Cup with Argentina (a title wouldn’t hurt).

FC Barcelona Season Review

Tata Martino’s first season in charge of FC Barcelona has been fairly successful. His team remains very much in the La Liga title race, has reached the Copa Del Rey final and are in the Champions League quarterfinals. They just haven’t played with the same allure and dominance as the Barcelona of late.

 

In La Liga, Barcelona is second, a solitary point separates them and leaders Atletico Madrid. They remain ahead of Clasicorivals, Real Madrid. They have come up big and won both Clasicos this year. They drew 0-0 with Atletico in their one league match. They did, however, beat Atletico this year on away goals in the Supercopa de Espana. In the Champions League, they have progressed to the quarterfinals with relative ease where they face Atletico. They drew the first leg at the Camp Nou, 1-1. They have progressed to the final of the Copa Del Rey where they will face Real Madrid.

 

Tata Martino had a fairly successful transfer window this summer. He did sign acclaimed Brazilian forward, Neymar, but he failed to bring in a much needed centre-back. Now it seems, that Barcelona won’t be able to bring in any new talent in the next two transfer windows now that they have been banned from activity in the next two windows by FIFA. This means that their starting goalkeeper may be 39-year old Jose Pinto and they won’t be able to replace retiring centre-back Carles Puyol.

 

In conclusion, Barcelona must improve on their performance this season. They also must win their appeal of the transfer ban to compete in anything more than domestic competition.

Does tiki-taka work the best for FC Barcelona?

Tiki taka football (passing) is much better for FC Barcelona than current manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s attacking style of football. There are many pieces of evidence for this.

Barcelona great Johan Cruyff, arguably the best footballer to walk the planet, introduced tiki taka football to Barcelona in the 1970s. The Dutch great was one of the fundamentalists who created tiki taka. Cruyff won many, many trophies as player and manager for Barcelona. For his whole time as manager he used tiki taka football.

The 1992 Barcelona team, nicknamed “Dream Team” thrived on tiki taka. Their midfield general, who was the heart of the team, Pep Guardiola managed Barcelona and turned them into football’s most successful team ever, using, of course, tiki taka. One of the greatest examples of how well tiki taka works for Barcelona is the world’s best player, Lionel Messi. He has led La Liga in goals and assists in at least one season. This shows how even the biggest goal scorers must pass a lot for tiki taka to work its magic.

The most successful football team ever was Barcelona in the 2008-09 campaign. They used tiki taka so well to a point where they were unstoppable. They won all 6 trophies that were available to them. This had never been done before. The mastermind behind this was manager Pep Guardiola. In 4 years as manager of the club, he won 14 trophies.

This season’s Barcelona hasn’t been nearly as successful as the 2008-09 Barcelona. They do have a chance at winning La Liga, but it is not guaranteed. They have reached the final of the Copa del Rey and are in the Champions League Quarterfinals. But they just don’t play with the same allure and dominance as the Barcelona of late. With tiki taka, Barcelona set the record for points in a La Liga season.

In conclusion, tiki taka football works wonders for FC Barcelona. It makes them unstoppable and even more beautiful to watch. No sight in football beats a full-strength Barcelona side using tiki taka.