It’s been exactly 11 games since the man dubbed “the most complete center forward in the world,” aka David Villa, has found the net.
That’s quite the goal drought for a usually prolific striker.
If he doesn’t find his goal-scoring boots soon, his contribution could come under much scrutiny since he has, more or less, scored just as many goals as his predecessor, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
While it would be unfair to directly compare those two, Ibrahimovic, due to his size, played more like proper No. 9 than El Guaje currently does. Although it is too late to complain about either acquisition, I do wonder why Pep Guardiola didn’t buy a left-sided forward in the first place.
After splashing out almost 100 million Euro just to replace Samuel Eto’o, not once but twice, neither David Villa nor Zlatan Ibrahimovic improved the attack significantly.
The only thing that is crystal clear: Lionel Messi will score upwards of 40 goals, regardless of who is partnering with him. Though the lazy elegance, and immobility, of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has restricted him to the wings, little Lionel still managed to score 47 goals in all competitions.
David Villa on the other hand provides much more agility and movement, but he is still hovering around the 20 goals mark.
Twenty goals in all competitions doesn’t exactly single out David Villa, or any striker for that matter, as a flop (heck, Tottenham Hotspurs would break the bank for 20-plus guaranteed goals) but at a 40 million Euro price tag, one expected more.
El Guaje has scored 21 goals so far, which is a testimony to his ability to play on the left side of a three-man attack. And it’s not like FC Barcelona don’t create chances; there aren’t as many sides that can produce as many scoring opportunities as the Blaugrana.
For now, El Guaje has matched his worst goal-drought of 11 games but looking at some of his illustrious colleagues (Fernando Torres, Wayne Rooney); one has to wonder whether David Villa will endure an equal spell.
It can be argued that Wayne Rooney is slowly but surely getting back to his best, just in time for the most crucial phase of the season whereas Fernando Torres has cost the Blues the Champions League. Where does that leave FC Barcelona’s Villa?
The last two Clasicos crucially exposed both FC Barcelona’s weaknesses as well as David Villa’s limitations as a left-sided forward. El Guaje cannot take on defenders 1-on-1, he just can’t. While his off-the ball movement is excellent, he isn’t the greatest dribbler in the world.
And in games like the El Clasico, where space comes at a premium, dribbling becomes an essential skill. Which begs the question, why doesn’t Pep replace David Villa with Ibrahim Afellay?
Sure, the young Dutchman isn’t the goal-machine David Villa is, nor fully adapted to FC Barcelona’s slick passing game, but has El Guaje produced anything worthwhile in the last two months?
Am I the only one who wonders why it took Pep Guardiola 105 (!) minutes to make a substitution in the Copa del Rey final?
David Villa was below his best in the 10 games preceding the final; horrible in the first half of the final and continued his woeful performance in the second half.
Last year, Pep Guardiola made the right call when he benched Zlatan Ibrahimovic in favor of Bojan, why is unwilling to do so this time around?