Even the most seasoned of pundits will tell you not to pay too much attention to a side’s pre-season friendly results when formulating a prediction for their season. However, the over-whelming success for Barcelona recently has meant this rule has now kind of become exempt in a city where fans are accustomed to success and with two defeats on the bounce to Manchester United and Chivas, Barcelona boss Pepe Guardiola now faces a balancing act if he wishes his players to be ready for their opening away clash against big spending Malaga on the 21st August.
Guardiola described their 4-1 thrashing to Mexican outfit Chivas as ‘a wake up call’ today and despite fielding a weakened side the result still came as a huge shock to the footballing world. Not even David Villa, Pedro and Andreas Iniesta could prevent this embarrassing defeat especially on the back of losing to Champions League finalists Manchester United 2-1 in a friendly the Sunday previous with out of favour English striker Michael Owen providing the killer blow on 76 minutes.
Will Barcelona have one last dip in the transfer market before the domestic season begins? Whilst the Cesc Fabregas to Barca speculation seems never ending, perhaps the Catalonians instead should be on the look-out for a new central defender with Barcelona having a tendency to leak goals whenever the partnership of Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique aren’t present.