After being mostly an unused substitute or coming off the bench in limited playing time this season, Barcelona B handed David Babunski his first start of the 2013-14 campaign in Saturday’s game against Real Jaén.
David Babunski almost doubled his minutes played this season in the Real Jaén encounter. Going into Saturday’s game, he had only played a total of 100 minutes in five substitute appearances with the other games resulting in him staying on the bench as an unused substitute. On Saturday, however, Babunski started in central midfield and played the full 90 minutes in his team’s 0:3 home loss against Real Jaén.
Babunski was mostly quiet as much of Barcelona’s threatening chances were created by Joan Àngel Román and Denis Suárez. Still, the rust is to be expected with his lack of playing time. It is tough to be in form through practice only as that doesn’t duplicate the intensity of live game action.
Regardless, this was not the ideal timing for Babunski’s first start for Barcelona B. On Monday, Babunski is expected to arrive in Macedonia to begin preparations for the U21 national team for its two qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Norway. Since Barcelona B plays in the Spanish second division, and most second divisions across Europe do not halt play for the international break, they have a game scheduled for next weekend which Babunski will obviously miss. That could hurt his momentum of potentially getting more starts down the line if other players impress.
This was one of the points that Babunski made last month in his facebook post about the frustrations within the national team. He said, in part, “With every arrival to the national team, I sacrifice playing time with the first team of Barcelona B. Because with every arrival to the national team I lose the right to play in the next one or two matches for Barcelona B until I retain the rhythm of the trainings and the rhythm of the tactical gameplan with the other players of the team.”