IS IT TICKA TOCKA FOR ‘TIKA TAKA’?

Gerrardo Martino faces uncertainty over his future after a tough season for Barcelona's standards

Gerrardo Martino faces uncertainty over his future after a tough season for Barcelona’s standards.

If David Moyes’ start at Manchester United has been hard, its fair to say Gerrardo Martino it hasn’t exactly been a stroll in the park for the former Newell Old Boys manager. Here at ayyazmalik.com we take a closer look to see if the so called ‘tika taka’ style of football is to blame for the apparent failures of Martino this season.

The ‘tika taka’ which seemed to come into prominence in the trophy laden era of Pep Guardiola. Neat intricate passing,with good ball retention and not to forget to mention the very high pressing up the pitch, Barcelona were most teams nightmare. So you think with Tito Villanova carrying on the good work that Guardiola did, it would be hard to see where the problem is.

Fast forward a season, and Barca are third in La Liga and are out of the Champions League after being knocked in the Quarter final stage by La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid. Its not all bad lets not forget to mention that this year in La Liga its the closest tittle race in at least 20 years and as it stands at this current moment there is 3 points separating 3 teams (although Barca’s rivals have played a game less as it stands at this present moment). Wednesdays Copa Del Rey final does give them a chance of a trophy, so its not that bad but with Barcelona comes expectancy.

In tighter games this season they have failed, the matches Atletico Madrid and Granada. The Grananda game in particular Barca seemed to have no answer to the La Liga strugglers’ defensive shape where they lined up with ‘ 2 rows of 4’the Catalan giants couldn’t break them down and looked like never scoring in their 1-0 defeat to the La Liga strugglers, who ended a 3 game losing run with this shock win.

What seems apparent is that other teams (for example Liverpool and Bayern Munich) have taken the ‘tika taka’ playing system and improved by giving it more flexibility and not being afraid to have different formations. A prime example is when Bayern Munich came to Old Trafford and didn’t start with a ‘out and out forward’ but at the Allianz arena they did.Barcelona don’t have this player and thats maybe to there disadvantage, the Granada game again a example of Barcelona needing to change things, towards the of the game to be fair Barca tried to get more crosses into the Granada box, but unfortunately for the Catalans Lionel Messi is a ‘giant in stature and not in size’. Barcelona have lacked a plan B in games where its really mattered and thats one of the key concerns for Barca.

Iniesta,Xavi and Pedro for example are the epitome of ‘the Barcelona way’ but with no Champions League trophies in 4 seasons a club of Barca’s stature don’t take something like this lightly. Whats needed is ‘a slight tweak of their current playing style, where teams like Bayern have bigger players who are good athletes, Barca on the other hand have ‘small players and can and have been vulnerable on set pieces’, further emphasising the effect Carlos Puyol’s absence has had on the Catalan giants.

Barca might have to against ‘their football philosophy’ but thats part of having a ‘plan B’.The fact that Barcelona have had this transfer ban due to the Neymar affair ‘isn’t the worst thing in the world’ because this will prompt them to go and pick players from the famed La Masia academy, and that can’t be a bad thing.Barcelona are the founders of ‘tika taka’ and their model is being used by different clubs, so obviously there is still life in this system yet. Barcelona will be back Europe, rest assured this great club always bounces back from disappointment.

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