6 Oct 2012

'He's absolutely shocking!' - LFC legend slates Barca star's performances. Harsh...?

Real Madrid face Barcelona this weekend in the first 'Clasico' of the season, and despite their flying start to the season, Liverpool legend Steve Nicol believes that that Barca could come unstuck against Madrid, especially if former Reds midfielder Javier Mascherano players in central defence.

Previewing the game on ESPN recently, Nicol - who won the Footballer of the Year in 1989, a rarity for a defender - questioned Mascherano's defensive abilities, citing the recent goals conceded against Seville as evidence of the Argentinean's defensive frailty:

"He was shocking. Absolutely shocking. It was like watching QPR defending.

"Mascherano was nowhere to be seen against Seville, and the goals they lost were down to two centre backs being out of position.

"If Song and Mascherano play against Real Madrid in the Clasico, then Real are favourites".

Sevilla 2-3 Barcelona by goalsarena2012-3

Whenever I watch Barcelona, I always find it strange to see Mascherano playing as a central defender; he never looks 100% comfortable, but with only 5 goals conceded in 6 league games this season, you can't argue with Barca's defensive record.

In July 2011, Mascherano called on Barcelona to sign Agger, praising the Dane as a 'a great guy who takes his work very seriously' and a 'calm and clever player' who he 'enjoyed playing with'.

In an interview in the latest issue of Champions League magazine, Mascherano then entered the realms of 'player tapping' with his nakedly self-serving attempt to influence Agger. He said:

"It would be absolutely fantastic to have Danny here, and it does not surprise me that Barcelona have shown interest in him. A player with his qualities will always be welcome with open arms here at the club. It was down to me, I would bring him to the club immediately, as he is without doubt a player Barcelona-type player. Let's hope he comes to the club soon"

If Agger signed for Barcelona he'd almost certainly replace Mascherano in defence, so it seems strange that Masch is so keen for the Dane to come to the Nou Camp (!)

It's too late now though anyway as Agger signed a new contract with Liverpool on Friday.

I wonder how Masch would've got on for Liverpool as a centre-back?

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Never rated him too high. He wasn't in the league of Steve or Xabi. We haven't had great midfielders since them leaving so we tend to rate him high only coz we were left with shit....

  2. Rafa played him right back a few times. He may have won the lot at Barca, but deep down i am sure he feels his own career both literally and metaphorically has went backwards. Waste of a truly exceptionally defensive mid.

  3. does this guy ever say anything positive?

  4. mash and alonso were the best centre mid pairing in the last 20+ years for liverpool. we all know what alonso was about but mashcerano was awsome at tackling and closing down play, just a great balance, a better player than alot of people give him credit for.
    but at centre back, its a joke.
    id welcome him back anytime, miss that bite in midfield, and a good passer of the ball

  5. when you are a barca player you play where the boss tells you to play. You get on with your work without complains. Unlike some flops like Downing, who is starting to bitch about the type of player he is and not.
    Masch has been reliable at the back. Even top players have a bad day at the office.

  6. I don't get it why Barcelona even bought him because Mascherano doesn't work well in their system. He isn't techically good enough to play in Barcelona's midfield whereas at centreback he is square peg in a round hole and always struggle with his positioning. Barcelona could have easily bought the world class centreback for that kind of money and also same is true for Song who wasn't needed by them.

  7. Mascherano is technically good enough to play in Barcas midfield if it were not for Busquets who is a brilliant player himself Masch would be in the midfield.

  8. I tip my hat to Agger so often you hear about world class players talking up a move for themselves when the club is going through a rough period, whereas Agger was busy telling the world how he wanted to sign a new contract for us, which he has now done!

  9. you and nicol are 2 complaining c*unts

  10. Mascherano would have been murdered at CB in Premier League, playing for most teams.

    Barca are unique. They defend by starving the opposition of the ball.

    Mascherano wouldn't play centre half at any other club

  11. i think that Mascherano would have been a world class defensive midfielder, as in fact he is,, and as such i would have wanted to keep him at Anfield,, but i can also understand that when a club like Barca comes calling,, players jump to the opportunity.

  12. Different league. He wouldnt last more than a handfull o games in the epl here. Especially against teams like Stoke who excell at hoofing the ball upfield bypassing midfield.

  13. I can't for the life of me see why Barcelona would be interested in any Liverpool player.

  14. Just watched the game Barca v Real. Looks like Nicol got it wrong ! Again !!