Barcelona Big-Game Form Shows They Are Missing Tito Vilanova Above All Else

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIFebruary 26, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 06: Head coach Tito Vilanova of FC Barcelona gives his thumbs up prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou on January 6, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Barcelona's recent run in all competitions has turned a lot of heads.

The Spanish side huffed and puffed to wins over Granada and Sevilla and they've lost two important cup games against AC Milan and Real Madrid.

Spectators, media, fans and opponents all have their thoughts as to what have been the major problems for the Blaugrana in current times.

The problems in the back have always been there. The supposed reliance on Lionel Messi as well.

What it really comes down to is Barcelona missing their coach, Tito Vilanova.

Unfortunately, he Barca boss has been getting cancer treatment in New York for the last few months and is only able to communicate to his staff.

Since January 19—Vilanova's last game on the sidelines—Barcelona's record stands at five wins, two draws and two losses.

Add in the away game against Real Sociedad on the 19th and you add one more loss to this 10-game sample. 

While that record seems like no cause for concern, the team's performances in certain games certainly is.

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Games against Milan and the Copa Del Rey semifinal obviously stand out but Barca has been devoid of real passion and efficiency during this stretch.

Now you may think at this point, "Well Juventus did pretty well without Antonio Conte on the sidelines."

True, they did. But these situations are still drastically different.

Conte was able to train his side between games and give direct instructions to his assistants. 

Vilanova is thousands of miles away and in the end, a lot is left to Jordi Roura and Co. as well as the fantastic squad.

Jordi Roura has been unable to inspire the troops or change a game with tactical decisions.

Vilanova's players may get the occasional conversation with him, but that's nothing compared to receiving his instructions in training or on the pitch.

The Blaugrana have continued to beat the teams they're expected to beat. That is down to the overall brilliance of the Barcelona squad.

What they've lacked in the big games is a motivator and tactician. From what we've seen so far, Jordi Roura is neither.

Missing Tito Vilanova has already had a negative effective on Barcelona.

They are out of the Copa del Rey and are almost out of the Champions League. The league title is well in hand but without Vilanova, there could be a few blips.

Barcelona's current form, in big games especially, highlights that even big teams need a big manager.

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