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Tata's Barca are over reliant on the long ball.
After half a dozen games this season, Tata Martino's tactics were being hailed as a breath of fresh air.
Gerard Pique was one player who broke ranks to eulogise, per Gazzetta Dello Sport h/t Marca:
Barcelona was a slave to tiki-taka. We've had a number of years with homegrown coaches in charge, first Pep and then Tito and we tended to exaggerate our style of play to the point where we were almost slaves to it.
Now Tata has come in from the outside. He has the same football philosophy, to maintain possession of the ball, but he also has other options and that's a good thing, in the sense that it gives us alternatives.
If the pressure is on, there is nothing wrong with a long ball now and then. It can change the pace of the game and give you a breather. In football you have to keep improving and developing, otherwise you become predictable.
Whilst Pique's stance at the time was admirable, even if his wording was a little ill-advised, the issue is that Barcelona are not using the long ball "now and then."
22 games in, there is now an obvious over-reliance on the move as some sort of "get out of jail free card."
It's not the Barca way and, in fact, the longer cross field diagonal ball is becoming as predictable as tiki-taka was previously. Teams are wise to it now, and Barca aren't having nearly as much success as they would like.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. A few tweaks here or there are perhaps required but not a complete overhaul of a system that has served the club so well over the years.
A couple of Champions League fixtures aside, the short, incisive passing game is what Barcelona were, and are, all about.