By David Puig
Barça has scored 31 goals this pre-season, eleven of which were the work of midfielders and defenders. Goals are not just for the forwards. The whole team is involved in attacking moves.
One of the premises set out by manager Josep Guardiola when he took charge of the first team was the implication of all the players in defence and attack. Defending is not only a job for defenders and neither is attacking only for forwards. The players have taken note of this and in the pre-season 11 of the 31 goals scored by Barça were by midfielders and defenders, which accounts for 35% of the total.
The second line works
The midfielders have been particularly inspired in front of goal, especially Xavi Hernández, who scored three of the seven goals from players in the second line. The man from Terrassa is on a roll and we also have to add to the tally the goal he scored for the national squad on Wednesday against Denmark. Gudjohnsen, with two goals and Touré and Hleb with one, have also scored this pre-season.
The defenders score too
The attacking play of the defenders has paid off with four goals. Of these two were scored by the Barça captain, Carles Puyol, especially the one against Boca Juniors in the last Joan Gamper Trophy. Martín Cáceres and Márquez were the other goal scoring defenders for Barcelona.
Variety in attack
If we look back at the 31 goals scored this pre-season we will see a lot of variety. They have scored two with headers, from outside the box, from corners, goals scored from crosses from the wing, in individual actions and in fast triangulations. Sylvinho summed it up well in Tuesday’s press conference: “We have players who finish the play off well. Others push up dangerously from the second line. It’s also important to have good players on the wings and that the crosses come in as we already have players who specialise in interior play, capable of triangulating, blocking and dribbling.”
Effectiveness in the air