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Barcelona’s return to earth suits Guardiola fine


Barcelona have made the best start to the Spanish league season by any club since Bobby Robson’s 1996-97 vintage scored 30 goals in their first nine games.

Under Pep Guardiola, the Catalans have amassed 28 goals from nine league matches, winning their last seven to move to the head of the standings.

They have let in just eight, joint lowest in the league with Villarreal and Sevilla.

But looking back through the stats, you can see why Guardiola is so cautious (“We’re top with 87 points still to play for,” he said at the weekend.)

Does Henry merit a place in Barca’s starting XI?


Henry listens to the ref

Thierry Henry is in danger of playing a peripheral role in Pep Guardiola’s new look Barcelona with his continued failure to find his feet in Spain.

The France striker missed Sunday’s 6-1 rout of Sporting Gijon due to a throat infection, and that leaves Guardiola with a tough choice as to whether to keep a team that claimed a first league win of the season, or continue rotating his players for Wednesday’s visit of Real Betis.