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View Full Version : 3/5/07 Barca look to Eto'o



Dermo
03-05-2007, 12:35 PM
As a former Liverpool player and lifelong fan of the Anfield club, Michael Robinson will be rooting for the Reds when they take on Barcelona on Tuesday.

Yet in his role as the top football presenter on Spanish television, Robinson is well aware of the threat posed by the Catalans.

Although Barcelona trail 2-1 after the first leg at the Nou Camp, he says only a fool would count them out.

"Let's make no mistake, Barcelona have got the football to beat anyone by two clear goals, anywhere in the world," Robinson told BBC Sport.

"They play pure fantasy football and I wouldn't put any particular result beyond them.

"But Rafael Benitez's Liverpool aren't any old team, especially not tactically. That's what makes this match so fascinating."

Robinson, who played in the 1983 FA Cup final for Brighton before moving to Liverpool, believes the return of Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o could make the difference for Barca.

Eto'o missed the first leg because he was still recovering from a right knee injury sustained against Werder Bremen in September but has played in Barca's last three league games.


Michael Robinson
Sometimes it seems that Rafa Benitez is sat in the dug-out with a remote control

Michael Robinson
"Eto'o makes an enormous difference to Barcelona, principally because of his movement up front," said Robinson.

"He gives far more alternatives to the midfield players when they have the ball than Javier Saviola or Eidur Gudjohnsen (who have played in the absence of Eto'o).

"Often we will praise Andres Iniesta, Deco or Xavi for a great pass but what we might not notice is the way Eto'o lost his marker and moved to open up the possibility of the pass.

"He is also fantastic at defending from the front, closing down and making it difficult for the opposition to get the ball out from the back.

"Eto'o makes an enormous difference to the general play of Barcelona, even forgetting his goals."


The 25-year-old can also be an outspoken and controversial figure, as shown in the run-up to the first leg.

After Barca coach Frank Rijkaard claimed that Eto'o had refused to come on as a late substitute against Racing Santander, the Cameroonian said: "Whoever says that I refused to play is a bad person."

He also hit out at team-mate Ronaldinho, who was reported to have rebuked Eto'o for not thinking about the team.

"If a colleague believes that I have to think about the team, he is the one that has to think about the team. I always think first about the team and then about the money. That's what has hurt me more," stated Eto'o.


SINCE THE FIRST LEG...
Barcelona:
v Seville, LOST 2-1
v Zaragoza, WON 2-1
v Bilbao, WON 3-0
Liverpool:
v Man Utd, LOST 1-0
v Sheff Utd, WON 4-0
Robinson says "stories about a divorce in the dressing room seem to belong to the past now", despite Saturday's top-of-the-table defeat by Seville, which saw them replace Barca in top spot.

The Canal Plus presenter also believes the return of Eto'o and continued improvement of Lionel Messi will help Ronaldinho.

The Brazilian star has been criticised by sections of the media and some fans after failing to reach the heights of last season.

"When somebody played so brilliantly last season and is only playing well now, they will get criticised," commented Robinson.

"But if you look at the number of goals he's scored (19 in all competitions), it's a very important total. And for most of the season he has been without Eto'o and Messi, so teams have been able to focus their attention on Ronaldinho."

Despite all of this, Robinson thinks "Liverpool would have to do particularly poorly to lose by two clear goals".

The 48-year-old presenter, who won 23 caps for the Republic of Ireland, has followed Liverpool manager Benitez's career closely.

"He's a very educated man who sees football tactically brilliantly," said Robinson.

"Sometimes, for my own taste, he gets over methodical with the tactics. Sometimes it seems to me he's sat in the dug-out with a remote control.

"But the times I do enjoy watching Liverpool play are when it seems the batteries are going low on the remote and the players do what they want.

"When the script is forgotten and the improvisation starts, that's when I enjoy watching them. If you want entertainment from Rafa, you might be left wanting.

"But if you want to win and be extremely competitive, he's your man. He's won a European Cup and I don't think any other manager could have done that with the same players.

"And the result in the first leg against Barca was sheer mastery."

With the return of Eto'o, Benitez might have to display his tactical genius again at Anfield if Liverpool are to progress.

rodger p
03-07-2007, 05:00 AM
barcelona wur shit last nite
eto'o n ronaldhinio wur der worst players just didnt get going
liverpool playrd better over the two games

Nickolai
03-07-2007, 07:36 AM
Hope Liverpool Get Kncoked Out In The QF

rodger p
03-07-2007, 07:59 AM
Hope Liverpool Get Kncoked Out In The QF

yeah i agree..tht will b far enough 4 tha cunts

WestBelfastIreland
03-07-2007, 09:47 AM
Jealous Bastards..... How Does Them 5-stars Look..? * * * * *

rodger p
03-07-2007, 09:58 AM
look shit actually:finger:

WestBelfastIreland
03-07-2007, 12:35 PM
haha....jealous cunt.

Nickolai
03-07-2007, 12:47 PM
Its Not Jealousy, Just We Like Bein Able To Go Out Without Robbin'! :D