Eidur Gudjohnsen believes that if Barcelona are going to salvage anything from the remainder of this season, they are going to have to emulate English clubs. Clearly disappointed after seeing his side knocked out of the Champions League at Anfield, the Icelandic striker says that Barcelona cannot afford to take time out to feel sorry for themselves.
With Real Madrid visiting the Camp Nou at the weekend, Gudjohnsen feels that it is the perfect opportunity for his team mates to show the watching football world what they are made of; "It is a good moment to play against Madrid, and a good moment to give some joy back to the fans," said Gudjohnsen, who scored Barça’s goal at Anfield.
"There is no time to be disappointed as there is a very big game coming up, which can serve to boost our confidence if we win it."
Barca are currently second in the Primera Liga, one point behind leaders Sevilla and five points ahead of fourth-placed Madrid.
Gudjohnsen insists there is still plenty to fight for this season with Barcelona through to the quarter finals of the copa del Rey as well.
"We have to continue on forwards as we have two very important titles to go for," said the Icelandic forward, who admits it was always going to be a tough order to repeat the club's Primera Liga-Champions League double from last year.
"After a season like the last one it is very difficult to stay at the same level.
"Every team had difficult moments, but we have sufficient quality to improve and continue working."
However, Gudjohnsen is not afraid to say where he feels that his team have been getting it wrong, and he thinks that Barcelona must emulate their English counterpart’s energy, commitment and application.
“We’ve got more quality than them, but if we aren’t prepared to make sacrifices and work till we drop, then talent is never going to be enough”
After eight seasons in the premiership with Bolton and Chelsea, ‘Guddy’, as the Catalans have taken to calling him, has noted the difference between the two footballing cultures.
“Without a bit of extra work, quality is not enough. Everyone must be prepared to sacrifice that little bit more. If we work as hard as our opponents, we will beat them. We must work harder together – Liverpool were more of a team than we were the other night”
It’s hard to disagree with him based on Wednesday’s performance alone. Liverpool were first to the ball and perhaps most significantly, were always looking for the space to receive the ball when in possession; something that Barcelona were masterful at last season. This season, and particularly on Wednesday the Barcelona players were static far too often.
Gudjohnsen is right when he says that “They (Liverpool) worked hard as a unit and the players were prepared to run for each other”
However, he was eager to point out that he believes recent off field news stories have little to do with Barcelona’s recent form. ; “It’s not necessary for us all to be best friends off the pitch. The important thing is that we work hard on the pitch and that we all work for each other and the team”
The football world will be watching on Saturday night and an equally under pressure Real Madrid will provide a stern examination. However, it remains to be seen if Barcelona’s players are able to fire themselves up, not just mentally but physically as a combination of a lack of desire and fatigue continue to take their toll.