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Jamie Clarke - Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid just can't get close to Barcelona

Published: 18 Aug 2011 - 14:26:56

Last night's encounter between Barcelona and Real Madrid lived up to expectation once more after a lively and entertaining match at the Camp Nou. Rather than the genius of Lionel Messi, though, we are talking about one man and one man only.

The individual at the centre of debate is Real Madrid manager, Jose Mourinho. His main intervention last night was that of the act of pinching Barcelona coach Tita Vilanova’s face in the fracas that embroiled after a horrendous late challenge from Madrid defender, Marcelo, on new Barcelona debutant, Cesc Fabregas. The match was delayed for five minutes as both sides’ players and coaching staff collided on the touchline – a similar scene to that at the Santiago Bernabéu in the first leg of last seasons Champions League semi-final.

It’s they way Madrid play under Mourinho against Barcelona that troubles me. In all fairness, Madrid were the better side in the first half and kept the ball far better than their Catalonian opposition. Mourinho had got his team playing good, attacking football rather than focusing all of his attention on stopping Barcelona from playing their natural game. Let us not forget also, that when Madrid are not in action against Barcelona, they do indeed play some very attractive and attacking football. It’s just that Mourinho knows that his side cannot match the possession football that Barcelona possess all year round. Barcelona don’t adjust their style of play to counter any opposition as they know their manner and unique approach to playing the beautiful game, simply, cannot be matched. This apart, the second half was a far different scenario as Barcelona settled and took control of the game.

And when Madrid looked out of touch in the game and couldn’t get the ball off Barcelona, they decided to turn nasty in hope of unsettling the La Liga champions. The main culprits In the Madrid side – in my opinion – that will try every trick in the book as you may say, are Pepe and Marcelo. The amount of nitty-gritty fouls from the Portuguese defender and his play acting in the attempt to mislead the referee in to booking the opposition, is nothing short of a disgrace. The amount of body checks and flying arms in the faces of Messi, Andres Iniesta and Pedro were deliberate and unnoticed. Marcelo, on the other hand, kicked Messi when going up for an aerial challenge, which was needless to say the least. And the Brazilians late scissor tackle on Fabregas was awful, which led to both teams coming together. Incredibly, also, this is a half-fit Barcelona side as well, who still were too much to handle for Madrid.

The last three matches between the two teams has been played out in similar fashion and the English press and public have laid into Spanish football. This is wrong. Barca may play act occasionally - most notably Pedro and Sergio Busquets - but it is Madrid who are tarnishing these matches. It is they who rush to the referee after every incident, it is they who kick Barcelona at every opportunity and it is they that simply cannot get near the side, they envy most. People say Mourinho is a tactical genius and a miracle worker. If by using these tactics and methods is the only way he personally believes his side - which by the way - is full of world class talent – can get close to Barcelona, this is saddening. Gerard Pique is right to label Mourinho as "ruining Spanish football” and, in fact, he is ruing his reputation also.

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Jamie Clarke
As football grows more ludicrous by the minute and transfer fees continue to spiral out of control, there is never a dull minute in the most beautiful and controversial sport on the planet. Still young, at the tender age of just 22, I aim to write in depth analysis on the current issues in English football and with an admiration for other European leagues – I hope this can aid my writing with the increase of foreign managers and players in the top division. I have lived in Cambridge for my entire life with a brief stay in Southampton, whilst I completed my Sports Journalism degree at Solent University. As a kid, I was not forced to support my father’s team (as he did not have one) so I went for the glory route and picked up Manchester United as my favoured club. However, as I got older I began to figure out what football was all about and I decided to switch allegiances to yep, Ipswich Town. A club close to Cambridge, I saw this as the best choice. But you may still see me defending United as they are still a club I admire. Things I hate in football are: Chairmen who sack managers for no reason, players who demand huge wages when they quite clearly don't deserve them, players demanding transfers after signing long term deals, FIFA, deluded football fans (mostly Liverpool) and I am sure more will be added to the list. You can follow me on Twitter @jamiejourno

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