Pep Guardiola May Have Been Right In Selling Samuel Eto'o
Surely the sale of a major striker at Barcelona, who happens to be a top goalscorer, netting 25 goals a season, raises some questions.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola had, since arriving to the Barcelona managerial post last season, expressed his desire to sell Cameroonian star Samuel Eto'o.
Eto'o has been instrumental in Barcelona's success story for five consecutive years, finding the net 130 times with the Catalan giants and winning the UEFA Champions League twice.
Many have questioned Guardiola's wisdom in selling one of his top stars, who have established themselves in La Liga. As part of the mega swap deal between Inter and Barcelona, Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrives to Catalunya.
Although no one can deny the talent of the Sweden international, Ibrahimovic will need time to fully adapt to Spanish football.
However, there is another side in the shadows of this story. Guardiola might be analyzing the past experiences of Barcelona and building on them in his future plans.
Guardiola's predecessor, Frank Rijkaard, had just won the double in the 2005-06 season in style when things started to go in the wrong direction.
After a magnificent season that saw Barcelona dominate Spain and Europe with Rijkaard building a strong team around Ronaldinho with a brilliant attacking 4-3-3 system, the Dutch manager failed to bring changes in the following years.
He sticked with the same tactics and players and eventually lost the Spanish and European crown.
While upon his arrival, Guardiola put the major faces in Rijkaard's era up-for-sale. Deco was transferred to Chelsea and Ronaldinho was sold to AC Milan.
Since the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi are deemed as the heroes at Barcelona, the last unwanted piece of Rijkaard's time is Samuel Eto'o.
Thus, Guardiola wants a new era of success and sees that change must come every year to enhance the team from one hand and keep the enthusiasm at the Catalan club at the highest level possible.
The change is not merely restricted to the modification of faces at the Nou Camp. Ibrahimovic's arrival means there will be a change of tactics.
It is quite different when a team plays an attacker such as Eto'o up-front and a team that employs Ibrahimovic as striker.
Eto'o is characterized by his pace and his finishing attributes. Meanwhile Ibra is a better player in terms of technique and strength. Ibrahimovic is considered a target man.
Ibrahimovic can be employed as a second-striker as he can easily set-up plays and assist. Eto'o, on the other hand, is a perfect striker who enjoys to run with the ball towards goal and confronting the opposition's goalkeeper.
Another possible reason for this swap can be Barcelona's need to bring attention to their club. While Real Madrid spend great sums of cash on players, the Madrid giants were taking all the media attention away from the treble heroes.
The only solution to bring the media focus and the supporters' delight was to splash the cash by making a big-name signing.
This big-name signing had to be Ibrahimovic. However, there is no denying that Eto'o is a big loss for Barcelona.
Guardiola will hope "Ibracadabra" can bring some magic to his team's performances, but still Eto'o is a major loss and I still think Inter Milan got themselves a great deal after signing Eto'o and making a decent €40 million in the process.
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