Barcelona has bamboozled us this season with a bright and sunny start amidst the darkness and haze surrounding the camp prior to the fixtures.
A team that was hailed as below par in preseason has actually putted precisely to participate and prolong the flight as well as the fight of an eagle. They can thank some of the personnel which didn’t look prolific on paper but have perpetuated their perseverance to achieve the potential this season. Let us look at those personalities that have pleasantly surprised us this season.
The signing of Paulinho was a center of trolls both from outside and inside as the fans were disappointed and demonstrated their defiance publicly, what people didn’t realize that he has been a regular in Brazil national side set up for a while now and the sticky stint at Spurs was very much behind him.
He has scored 8 goals in the La Liga, comes across as the physical specimen dominating duels in the middle and providing steam to the attack which has brought variety to this skillful side. His mental prowess has brought his peak back to accompany penetration with the power to achieve precision.
Semedo is an example of slob struggling to find his mojo in the lower ranks to finally hit stride in the mid-phase of his career moving step by step to achieve solidarity, after Dani Alves’s departure, the right fullback slot has been up for grabs with the likes of Sergi Roberto, Rafinha and even Montoya for a period toiling hard to cement their place in the side.
Semedo ha silently chipped in with consistent performances this season that has created an aura of creativity and continuity on that right side that has always been a lethal weapon in the Barcelona attacks over the years. Semedo has the Portuguese flair and flamboyance but his fire remains in the engine that has emerged excitingly this season.
Barca thrives on low profile personalities whose management mantra lies in the art of coaching classes rather than promo press conferences, Ernesto has definitively earned his place at Barcelona with the passion and positivity he has brought with his participation to cancel the critics and secure the skeptics on his side. His confidence in his players, the Neymar situation which such grace and gratitude to lift his own players giving power to them is pleasurable, to say the least.
Barcelona is a hub for coaching excellence and when a hard-working professional becomes a manager of the superstar squad, he will always find ways to be reflective rather than reactive acting reasonable in the process.
I was a fan of Vermaelen in the Premier League and used to always pick him on my fantasy XI because he used to score goals and his athleticism was both abrasive and astounding accompanied by an impeccable technique. Unfortunately he lost his form, fitness and confidence in the later stages of his Arsenal career continuing the horrific ride at Barcelona signaling the band was beyond fixing.
Fortune favors the brave and we are finally looking at the vibrant Vermaelen who replaced the injured Umtiti with similar reactions if not rigor. His performance against Real Madrid reinstated his arrival which is very much a acclaim to his revive. He has finally found his form even if it is for short term to supply much-needed solidarity as well as serenity at the back. Average passing % of 92.8 in his 6 appearances plus 0.7 fouls per games states that he has the skill and the discipline to feel as a belonged figure at Barcelona.