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Ballou Tabla

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20 hours ago, Thomas said:

Go look at Ligue 2, African players outnumber French players 

I have my doubts...and that's not even taking into consideration the "African" players who are born and raised in France but rep their parents' country.

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Ballou started and was subbed out m. 79 as Barça B got a late goal to beat their division leaders Lleida 2-1. He had a chance first half. I also saw he celebrated enthusiastically off the bench for their stoppage time goal, when in past matches he often seemed slow to react to his own team's goals. So I take that as him being just that much more implicated in the group. 

I wasn't there, had a three hour strata meeting to argue about air conditioning units, which was quite thrilling. 

I heard too that Ballou had hung out with Dembele, but I don't think he is at all part of the all-night Fortnite circle. And I have never heard of him having any discipline problems at all, not once. It seems to me that he is in fact quite a timid guy who takes his career very seriously, and so I am pleased about that.

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On 12/15/2018 at 2:26 PM, Unnamed Trialist said:

Ballou started and was subbed out m. 79 as Barça B got a late goal to beat their division leaders Lleida 2-1. He had a chance first half. I also saw he celebrated enthusiastically off the bench for their stoppage time goal, when in past matches he often seemed slow to react to his own team's goals. So I take that as him being just that much more implicated in the group. 

I wasn't there, had a three hour strata meeting to argue about air conditioning units, which was quite thrilling. 

I heard too that Ballou had hung out with Dembele, but I don't think he is at all part of the all-night Fortnite circle. And I have never heard of him having any discipline problems at all, not once. It seems to me that he is in fact quite a timid guy who takes his career very seriously, and so I am pleased about that.

He trained with the 1st team as well 

 

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Ballou did not train with the first team this week, which sort of suggested he would not get the call for the Cup. In any case, since they lost first leg of round of 16 last night to Levante playing a lot of B team players, next week they won't rely on youth to get into the next round. So that rules him out for what could have been 1st team minutes.

In other related, there are rumours of a striker and an attacking mid leaving the first team this winter window, Munir (maybe Sevilla) and Denis Suarez (maybe Arsenal), so that thins out the attacking options. With Rafinha long-termed injured it would put him close to a 1st team call-up in case of lacking an attacker. Right now it would be Dembele, Coutinho, and Malcolm ahead of him, with only the first really a wing player if needed.

Edited by Unnamed Trialist

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However it happens, it would be great to see Ballou break into the first team.  I always held back my cheering when he was on the fence - I have had enough disappointment that I have learned to guard my optimism.  But now that he has made the (right) choice I hope he absolutely rips it up.  Having a Canadian international playing at Barca would be amazing.  You don't get to play there without solid skills and a strong football IQ.  That sort of influence on our national team - potentially for the next decade - is nothing but good.

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I have watched him live maybe 7-8 times now over the past year, and I see a few things I like, others I don't so much. 

Some of this was noticed by those watching him with our NT as well. 

He is obviously very talented and has a good dribble, usually from a static position though. He'll take someone on, but not with speed into space. Uses both feet and probably could play either side.  So he is a bit of a static player for Barça B. That is alright for this club, as there is a lot of total possession and teams sitting back when the 1st team plays, and in fact, I just saw a stat that said that Barça B has had more possession than the rival every game so far this season. So that does mean a lot of play with the defense settled in front of you, like a handball set-up. 

When he breaks into the middle, or is a bit more assertive, he can get shots, and does score. But does not really tally them up in a big way. 

The drawbacks I see are partially positionally and also his "attitude", or mentality when playing. He seems a bit passive at times, as if unsure, not always taking full responsiblity. He calls for the ball, and then often does not immediately go after his defender. I wonder if his coach is holding him back, when in fact what the team needs is for the strikers to really let their hair down and keep stabbing at opposition, as their scoring is a bit thin this season. In the same sense, he often does not combine in a creative way, which at Barça is basic, quick midfield combinations, there are even moments when he should probably go hard into space after giving and he doesn't. 

Finally, he is a bit disengaged with the team. You see this in little details, like when they score he is often the last guy to get to the celebration. He seems reserved, I wonder if in fact he might be very shy, which is fine alright. I have seen him a bit more integrated into the team, in better harmony in the last 2 months or so, but perhaps in this respect he has not fully found his comfort zone with all these other late teens like himself. 

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24 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

I have watched him live maybe 7-8 times now over the past year, and I see a few things I like, others I don't so much. 

Some of this was noticed by those watching him with our NT as well. 

He is obviously very talented and has a good dribble, usually from a static position though. He'll take someone on, but not with speed into space. Uses both feet and probably could play either side.  So he is a bit of a static player for Barça B. That is alright for this club, as there is a lot of total possession and teams sitting back when the 1st team plays, and in fact, I just saw a stat that said that Barça B has had more possession than the rival every game so far this season. So that does mean a lot of play with the defense settled in front of you, like a handball set-up. 

When he breaks into the middle, or is a bit more assertive, he can get shots, and does score. But does not really tally them up in a big way. 

The drawbacks I see are partially positionally and also his "attitude", or mentality when playing. He seems a bit passive at times, as if unsure, not always taking full responsiblity. He calls for the ball, and then often does not immediately go after his defender. I wonder if his coach is holding him back, when in fact what the team needs is for the strikers to really let their hair down and keep stabbing at opposition, as their scoring is a bit thin this season. In the same sense, he often does not combine in a creative way, which at Barça is basic, quick midfield combinations, there are even moments when he should probably go hard into space after giving and he doesn't. 

Finally, he is a bit disengaged with the team. You see this in little details, like when they score he is often the last guy to get to the celebration. He seems reserved, I wonder if in fact he might be very shy, which is fine alright. I have seen him a bit more integrated into the team, in better harmony in the last 2 months or so, but perhaps in this respect he has not fully found his comfort zone with all these other late teens like himself. 

In your opinion, from watching him play, has he progressed  sufficiently since leaving MLS?

It's difficult to judge his performances for the CMNT so far given the opposition

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3 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

I have watched him live maybe 7-8 times now over the past year, and I see a few things I like, others I don't so much. 

...

Thank you for these insights. These are the kind of posts I love about this board.

 

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11 hours ago, Bertuzzi44 said:

If he's technically strong, likes to dribble in tight spaces - but not often at speed - and is good with both feet, maybe he'd be better suited as a withdrawn forward/CAM?

So he could raise his profile as a direct rival to Messi?

Just joking. Folks have to remember that he has Suárez, Dembele, Coutinho and Messi ahead of him. Like half a billion dollars in football players right there, I don't think there is a more valuable strike force in the world. So its like: what DOES he need to do to get first team minutes? You tell me.

For me he is not a withdrawn forward for Barça for two reasons: first, we don't play that way properly speaking (only Messi does that); and second, that role is given to the dynamic creative mids, and he does not have that ball movement skill. Lately, from what I've seen, they have him on the left side as a mid-wing, while when he started he was on the right.

Here's that article about Barça b winning possession in every one of the first 19 matches of the season, in Spanish (note that they've only scored 22 goals, so that is possession, control, but an iffy attack):

https://www.fcbarcelona.es/es/futbol/barca-b/noticias/970735/el-barca-b-ha-ganado-la-posesion-en-todos-sus-partidos#

Edited by Unnamed Trialist

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He trained with the first team today, most 1st team starters where not in the main session as we played the late game last night. I checked today expecting this, with the Dembele injury yesterday and a heavy load of games all month with the Cup, we are short attackers. 

In the video in the scrimmage he is on the blue team, on the left side, has a goal at around 1:14 and a play around 1:45. 

https://www.fcbarcelona.es/es/futbol/primer-equipo/noticias/980689/recuperacion-antes-de-ir-al-pizjuan

With that Dembelé injury it only gives us Malcolm as a clear attacker sub for Messi and Suárez, as we've gotten rid of Munir and Denis Suarez is set to go to Arsenal, so it seems. We are looking to sign a possible reserve striker (heard rumours of Carlos Vela, Prince Boateng, but it has not come through ).

So there could be a chance to see  him get a call into the team vs. Sevilla in the away of quarter finals of the Cup this week, Wednesday at 9pm local time.

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45 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

He trained with the first team today, most 1st team starters where not in the main session as we played the late game last night. I checked today expecting this, with the Dembele injury yesterday and a heavy load of games all month with the Cup, we are short attackers. 

In the video in the scrimmage he is on the blue team, on the left side, has a goal at around 1:14 and a play around 1:45. 

https://www.fcbarcelona.es/es/futbol/primer-equipo/noticias/980689/recuperacion-antes-de-ir-al-pizjuan

With that Dembelé injury it only gives us Malcolm as a clear attacker sub for Messi and Suárez, as we've gotten rid of Munir and Denis Suarez is set to go to Arsenal, so it seems. We are looking to sign a possible reserve striker (heard rumours of Carlos Vela, Prince Boateng, but it has not come through ).

So there could be a chance to see  him get a call into the team vs. Sevilla in the away of quarter finals of the Cup this week, Wednesday at 9pm local time.

Here's hoping we do see him on a 1st team squad.  But Barcelona will use Messi, Suarez, Malcom & Coutinho rotation up top 3.  They have also used Sergi Roberto up top on the right and I can imagine them doing that before Ballou see the field.

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1 hour ago, Corazon said:

Here's hoping we do see him on a 1st team squad.  But Barcelona will use Messi, Suarez, Malcom & Coutinho rotation up top 3.  They have also used Sergi Roberto up top on the right and I can imagine them doing that before Ballou see the field.

You're right except Sergi Roberto, it's easy to confuse how high up our fullbacks get.

There is major pressure to rotate from press and fans, we're tired of winning the cup and then getting knocked out of Champions in quarters because of exhaustion. Even Messi started on the bench yesterday. 

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Man I would absolutely love Tabla to get a first team sniff this season. It would be a long short, but you can see how it could happen given the injuries.

Imagine, in the same season, Canada has an 19 year old debut for Barcelona and an 18 year old debut for Bayern Munich. That would be absolutely epic.

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14 minutes ago, Obinna said:

Man I would absolutely love Tabla to get a first team sniff this season. It would be a long short, but you can see how it could happen given the injuries.

Imagine, in the same season, Canada has an 19 year old debut for Barcelona and an 18 year old debut for Bayern Munich. That would be absolutely epic.

And maybe also a 19 year old making his debut for Liverpool!

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2 hours ago, Obinna said:

Man I would absolutely love Tabla to get a first team sniff this season. It would be a long short, but you can see how it could happen given the injuries.

Imagine, in the same season, Canada has an 19 year old debut for Barcelona and an 18 year old debut for Bayern Munich. That would be absolutely epic.

Even if he just makes an 18 man game roster will be impressive  considering the club of Barcelona.

Edited by Corazon

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2 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

You're right except Sergi Roberto, it's easy to confuse how high up our fullbacks get.

There is major pressure to rotate from press and fans, we're tired of winning the cup and then getting knocked out of Champions in quarters because of exhaustion. Even Messi started on the bench yesterday. 

You're correct, Barca has used him basically anywhere on the right side of their lineup

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15 minutes ago, Boominbooty said:

I think it is good that he might make the 18 but what are the real prospects of him making it versus being loaned out? If he doesn’t crack the 18 between now and summer is it best that he go to a different league/team? 

Seems early to do that. We are talking about cracking the first team of arguably the best team in the world - and one of the absolute best club teams in history. Expecting him to quickly walk into that team is unrealistic. I am quite happy that he is anywhere near the first team at this point - even if just for training purposes ATM. I think it is way too early to remove him from that kind of environment where the coaching and training infrastructure would be world class and instilling a more technical brand of footy than he is likely to get in any loanee club.  If a year goes by and he doesn't get close to any first team footy, even in things like domestic Cup games, then I think you start having that conversation, but at this point I think it is premature.    

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1 hour ago, Boominbooty said:

I think it is good that he might make the 18 but what are the real prospects of him making it versus being loaned out? If he doesn’t crack the 18 between now and summer is it best that he go to a different league/team? 

I think playing with Barca B makes a big difference.

Compare Tabla to, say, Timothy Weah at PSG, who is also a winger/forward but a year younger than Ballou. Weah was involved with the PSG first team, but couldn't find an opportunity and is now on an 18-month loan at Celtic. That makes more sense than playing for PSG B because the level is not sufficiently high and the player will not be challenged. It is likely much lower than what Tabla is playing at with his B team, so I do think Tabla can continue to develop in his environment and a loan is not critical.

I would wait until the end of the 2019-2020 season before I think loan. By then, Tabla would 21 years old and presumably would have over 70 Barca B games under his belt (maybe some in the 2nd tier if they promote) and, if things go well, a handful of first team games also. At that stage he can contemplate how realistic it is for him to play regularly with Barcelona, and make a loan move (or a permanent move) if necessary.

 

Edited by Obinna

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If Barça B promote to 2nd division I think he'll stay, (stupid underline)  regardless of any other consideration. That's a high enough competitive level and they could even give him a salary boost. If not I'm sure they'll loan him out, and most go to modest Liga clubs, or 2nd. I don't think he's in line for a 1st team squad number just yet.

I'm fantasizing him coming on late tomorrow and drawing a penalty to give Barcelona a late away goal in the Copa.

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17 hours ago, dyslexic nam said:

If a year goes by and he doesn't get close to any first team footy, even in things like domestic Cup games, then I think you start having that conversation, but at this point I think it is premature.    

I assume you mean another year. Because in 3 days it will be a year already since he signed.

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