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Sunday Football - Barcelona style (Part 5)

A couple of weeks ago, due to the amazing power of Twitter, I had a kick about with Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague. After a game that demonstrated why we are not professional players, but why we love the beautiful game, we had some Tapas to round off a pleasant afternoon.

Guillem is a massive Espanyol fan, and that night I had tickets to visit Espanyol’s shiny new stadium to go watch my adopted Spanish side, Levante.

Now, just as I explained to Guillem, the reason I support Levante is that they represent for me what football is about. A team with no money, made of players who had been disregarded, but, with organisation, hard work and team spirit, are succeeding.

People say that Barcelona are the perfect football model, but they also require immense talent to play that way, Levante prove that if you play to your strengths and as a unit for a team, without individual egos, then you can succeed too.

Intricate tactics

As I am helping manage an amateur side, I do not have Xavis and Iniestas at my disposal, nor do I have endless hours to train an intricate tactical system that Barcelona deploy, as much as I may try.

However, what I can do is, organise the players, make them difficult to beat, install team spirit and ensure we make up for our lack of ability on the ball with hard work and organisation off it.

Levante gave the Darwinian performance they have been giving in the last few weeks, and again this weekend ground out another win. This has taken us from the team that finished bottom last season with two wins all season, to the dizzying heights of third, only four points adrift of the leaders after a run of three wins on the bounce.

This was the Barcelona experiment, but it seems we are emulating another Spanish side who play in claret and blue. We will continue to work on passing the ball better, because as Brendan Rodgers is showing at Swansea, you do not need a team of superstars to play to attractive, effective football.

However, as we continue to try to reach that level, at least within our bubble of amateur football, we are more than happy to ‘do a Levante’ and rack up the points.

By Jasmit Jabbal


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