Guillem Balagué has been a regular feature at Sky Sports for 16 years as a Spanish football pundit and reporter. He has written the biography of Pep Guardiola, ‘Another Way of Winning’ (nominated for book of the year in both the UK and Germany) and ‘A season on the brink’ on the Champions League final won dramatically in Istanbul. He is the UK correspondent of the Spanish newspaper AS and the biggest Spanish radio station, Cadena Ser, and also has a regular column in UEFA Champions magazine and Football 24/7.
I don't know if you read the comments of your articles, but I'm basically going to copy one of my comments. The most recent article you wrote was absolute crap. You just cherry picked stats to make you argument seem good. I thought it was full of flaws. First thing you talks about is the fixtures. Pellegrini says 9 fixtures. Yes, only 7 were in December, but one came on the last day of November, and one on the first day of January. That 9 games in 33 days. Lets look at some other English sides. Chelsea played 8 games in December. Near the end of the month, Chelsea played 3 premier League games in 7 days. Premier League games. Not cup games. 3 Premier League games in 7 days. That's ridiculous. Arsenal also played a significant amount of games in that time. You also dismiss the winter break like it meant nothing. Barcelona didn't play from December 20th till January 4th. That's 14 days in between. England teams don't have a winter break. Pellegrini and Van Gaal have both tried their trade in multiple leagues and have complained about the winter break. You're an idiot for thinking you know more than a proven manager. Next point you talk about is money. I dont know how you can so easily forget transfers like Neymar, Suarez, Rakitic, Mathieu, Kroos, Bale, James, Isco, Illaramendi so easily? All those transfers happened in the last 2 years. You then go on and talk about physicality and strength. Do you even watch Premier League football or are you just going off stereotypes and assumptions? Additionally, you write about the blame game. Every club does it; it's just that Premier League teams are more scrutinized for it. Tactical errors maybe the only point that you are right about, but you go into almost zero detail and your disregard of past results for the teams you question clearly shows your ignorance and bias.
I am a very big fan of your writing. Read both ur book 1. Messi (this book is just amazing - No book is even close to it) 2. Pep Guardiole - another way of winning
i have also read most of your articles on B/R and let me tell you one thing what ever people post on the comments section
yours are one of the best piece that i get to read on this site.
You Keep posting, we'll keep enjoying
as a soccer fan i dont know when will real madrid win this season without a penalty it is disappointing to see write an article about tthis concern only real madrid fans bragging abo utwinning games with cristian scoring penalties his hatricks including penaties that is not hatrick
Hi Guillem. Why a loan deal for Falcao? It's not like a big team loaning to a smaller team......
Hi Balague, I am a Dortmund fan but retain an interest as I do get good coverage of it and real/barca are still the two biggest teams on the planet. Just wondering now that Luis Enrique has arrived, will he stick with the 4-3-3 barca always use or will he switch it up. And if Suarez comes, how will he fit into the team along with Messi and Neymar. Messi as a number 10 in 4-2-3-1 perhaps?
Regarding your post about Fabregas, Man Utd bid over £35M for him last season so if his clause was that then why was it not activated? Ok maybe he didn't want to leave Barca, but maybe he didn't want to play for Man Utd. Do you honestly believe that having tried so hard to bring him back and signing him for £35m from Arsenal, that Barca would then turn around and put a £35m release clause in his contract so anybody could just turn up and take him for that? Given the current turmoil, the fact that United aren't even in Europe next season and may not be for a few seasons, do you honestly think Uniited are favorites over the other 'Champions League' clubs mentioned ? Fabregas is 27 and no spring chicken anymore, he cant just wait around for a few seasons while united get there act together. Also what you said about Arsenal 'not' having a buy back clause is just a downright lie, Arsene Wenger himself has stated that he has a buy back clause, that if a bid comes in Arsenal have to be informed and I believe you have also said as much in the past, why are you being biased toward Man Utd?
Guillem, overall I like your articles but in your recent article about Guardiola I think you were unfair to Luis Aragonés, the true "inventor" of tiki-taka. True that some of the players were from Barcelona but that is another story. Guardiola wisely inherited those players and adapted the style, with the added benefit of having Messi, a luxury that Spain didn't have.
If you don't like him don't read his stuff?! Stop crying about it, he's just a journo that says what he sees.
Find another career. Your writing is appalling. Thanks.
I want to thank you for your warm feelings for everything Barca-related. You truly are something.