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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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