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08.08.2008 11:54

Job well done before the qualifying matches

David Puig

Josep Guardiola’s team has worked a lot and well in Scotland and the US to make sure that they are ready for the Champions League qualifiers. Overall the preseason has been very positive and the team has impressed.

The first team coaching staff is happy with the attitude and performance of the players in the preseason. The team has worked hard in training, the new signings have blended in well and the young reserve team players have stepped up to the plate.

And that’s been seen out on the pitch. Barça has won all five friendlies played in Scotland and the US quite easily. Especially significant is the side’s ability to score, having found the net on 25 occasions for an average of five goals per game.

Guardiola appeals for caution

IMG_5959.JPGManager Josep Guardiola has been pleased with the team’s attacking potential, though he warns against excessive euphoria. “I’m very pleased about the goals we’ve scored but at the same time it worries me,” he said. “Though it might seem a bit of a contradiction, the fact that we’ve scored so many goals may make things look easy, and what we’re playing for in the qualifiers is too important for us to take our eyes off the ball. We’ve got to be careful and get mentally prepared.”

Lot of mobility

Aside from the team’s good statistics, one of the most eye-catching features of the way Barça is playing is the mobility of the players which has opened up space in attack and created lots of chances.

chivas-fcb_x12x.jpgIndeed, goals have been well shared out. Eto'o with five heads the list followed by Messi with four. All parts of the team have found the net: strikers Bojan, Pedro and Jeffren have two apiece and proved very effective as has the midfield and defence. Xavi, Touré and Hleb have all scored as have defenders Puyol, Márquez and Martín Cáceres.
Job well done before the qualifying matches
More goals than in 2007
Last season Barça played five friendlies during a preseason spent in Scotland, China and Japan. Like this year the team won all its matches but was not so effective in attack. They scored eleven times, fourteen fewer than this time round. However, defensively 2007 was better with just one goal conceded.

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