While Lionel Messi’s relentless goalscoring has been reaching heights never seen before, his attacking teammates at Barcelona haven’t exactly been at their prolific best, far from it. Having Messi in the team definitely makes this less of an issue than it’d be otherwise, but it has still raised a lot of concerns with some of the club’s fans, aware of how reliant the team is on Messi for goals at the moment. But while Villa, Sanchez and Tello haven’t exactly been setting the world on fire, Pedro’s case is more curious and perhaps more worrying.

There was a time under Pep Guardiola where Pedro scored one goal for every two shots; now he doesn’t seem to be able to buy a goal if his life depended on it. The La Masia forward has only scored 2 goals this season so far, both at the very beginning of the season – it has now been 20 matches since he last scored, during which he has missed a lot of excellent opportunities to score, some of them in a pretty bizarre way. Yet, despite this, Pedro keeps getting the nod to start more often than not, over the likes of Sanchez, Tello and even Villa, much to the surprise of some.

However, there’s a method behind Tito’s ‘madness’; there are reasons why Pedro remains a regular starter despite misfiring in front of goal. The fans might be growing impatient with the forward’s wastefulness and lack of finishing product, but the manager knows better. Pedro has always offered a lot more on the pitch than just goals: he has a full understanding of the Barcelona system and knows exactly where he must position himself and what he has to do on the pitch at any given time.

He also has a tremendous work ethic, his ability and willingness to relentlessly put pressure on the opposition when the team lose the ball and help it regain possession quickly is perhaps his most under-appreciated quality. He’s also a perfect foil for Messi, combining brilliantly with him in the final third. His recent wastefulness in front of goal is definitely a concern, but his overall contributions have been more than good enough to justify a starting place in Barcelona’s front trio despite that. Tito Vilanova is aware of Pedro’s value better than anyone, which is why he keeps trusting him fully despite a 20-match barren run.

Barcelona

Not scoring, but still a key member of the team

The fact that he has already racked up 8 assists so far this season further proves that there is nothing wrong with Pedro’s overall game and he’s been an excellent contributor; besides, all it probably takes is one goal for Pedro’s confidence in front of goal to rise again and for him to steadily become the deadly finisher he once was all over again. That’s been Pedro’s problem in a nutshell – lack of confidence in front of goal.

Chances that he’d usually put away in his sleep are now being missed in the most unbelievable ways possible and each miss only adds to Pedro’s doubts and insecurities in front of goal. Ai??But this is a problem that does not detract from Pedro’s excellent contributions on the pitch, not to mention one that can and will probably be solved quickly, one goal is all it takes for Pedro to get his confidence back.

Moreover, his competitors for a starting spot, while generally more prolific, are far from offering as much on the pitch as Pedro does, on and off the ball. In Villa’s case, there’s still his long layoff to consider; although he’s mostly played when called upon, Tito is trying not to rush his return and see him peak later in the season when the big trophies are at stake. Pedro has fully justified his spot in the lineup, he has fully proved his worth and deserved the praise and confidence of his manager.

The goals are not there at the moment, but that is far from his only mission on the pitch, especially on a team that includes arguably the sport’s finest ever goal-scorer in Lionel Messi. As long as he keeps showing the same tactical awareness, work ethic and ability to link up with his teammates up front, Pedro will remain a starter for the club even with limited goal production – which shouldn’t be an issue for long, as he is likely to fight his way out of his slump in front of goal.

Some overly critical and dramatic fans have shown little understanding of Pedro’s role and influence, but the results show that indeed Tito knows best and is right to show such trust in one of the least consensual (among fans and pundits) players in the squad. Just like Guardiola, Tito knows the exact value of the player he has at his disposal and shows nothing but full confidence on Pedro, and so should the club’s fans.

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One Response to “Pedro Rodriguez’s Goal Scoring Draught Shouldn’t Raise Any Alarms For Barcelona”

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  1. somy says:

    The most surprising thing is that his goal scoring for has been epic for spain, he has scored 7 goals in last 5 matches for spain, but for barca he is failing to bring that kind of finishing, anyways hope he gets his goals backs sooner rather than later.
    And i totally agree with his regular starts, he has immense work rate, except xavi probably no one is barca puts as much effort as he does, always working hard for the team, if he can get back his goalscoring form he will be an ideal barcelona player.