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  • Sports - Football - All Teams
  • Updated: July 01, 2020

La Liga: Barcelona Falling Apart Or Wrong Personnel?

La Liga: Barcelona Falling Apart Or Wrong Personnel?

Barcelona Football Club have come under fire in recent days after their failure to go past a determined Atletico Madrid side, in a keenly contested match that ended 2-2. The Blaugrana handed Real Madrid the advantage and now, Barcelona might likely end the season trophyless, what would be termed as a failure at the Camp Nou. 

AllNews, in its usual manner, looks at what could be wrong with Barcelona and the ways they need to improve. 

President: Josep Maria Bartomeu

After the departure of Neymar and Iniesta, Barcelona brought in Frenkie De-jong and Antoine Griezmann to fill the void but signings look more like a business one, rather than a footballing one. The signing of the Brazilian Paulinho from Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande was more of a business move than sporting and the club witnessed its first-ever horrible defeat when Roma came back from 3-0 to knock Barcelona in the Champions League. Truly, they won the double that season; Spanish La Liga and the Copa del Rey but even the club knew that it was thanks to the world-class performance of the 6 times Balon d'Or winner, Lionel Messi. Over the past three years, some have called for an election and if this crisis does not change for the better in time, Bartomeu may have to go. 

Coach: Quique Setien

The two consecutive come-back in the club history happened under Ernesto Valverde and that led many to 'call for the coach's head', and they didn't come for his head after losing the Super Cup in Saudi Arab to Athletico Madrid which also happened in come-back fashion. Xavi, the coach of Qatar Stars League football club Al Sadd was called upon with excuse that he is not ready and wants to honor his agreement with the Qatar team. Last resort was Quique Setien, he fits the profile of Barcelona manager with his tiki-taka football and success in the La Liga team especially his feat in turning the Real Betis team into one that can compete in the league and does qualify for some European football. With the exclusion of the corona break, his 3-4th month in office has taken a twisted turn, Barcelona is no longer the league leader with 2 points behind their eternal rival Real Madrid, out of the Copa del Rey (their most won trophy 30), and Champions League match with Napoli (with no more home advantage, all to be played in Lisbon). He might end the season trophyless something that has not happened in the Catalonia capital in 7 years that is in 2013/2014 where they won the Supercopa de Espana only which was counted with the previous season due to the yardstick of the cup. He might be sacked with suggestions across Europe saying Xavi has once again being contacted.

READ ALSO: Coaches Who May Be Out Of Job At The End Of The Season

Are Old Players Getting Tired?

The Barcelona team is currently ranked with 7 first team players above 30 years. The team's most important player, Lionel Messi is 33 years old, while his mesmerizing runs, passes, goal-scoring abilities are still there to sometimes see Barce through difficult times, the team cannot rely on him forever.

Luis Suarez is one of the game's lethal strikers, with 193 goals since arriving in the summer of 2014 to make the MSN trident that torn Europe apart, but he also is 33 and his scoring streak has dropped significantly. Vidal is already in the twilight of his career before even bringing him in but so far has added some fire and manpower to the team, though not enough especially for a team like Barcelona.

Busquet has held the Blaugrana defensive midfield role for 12-14 years now and he is old. His vision, tackles, passes are still there but not as his prime years. Alba connected with Lionel Messi in the 2017/2018 season as he was always seen running down the left flank which made Barcelona very deadly that year. However, his form is no longer the same and after one or two injuries, coupled with the fact that he is 31., he had lost steam.  All efforts to get him a replacement have been futile from Lucas Digne to Junior Firpo, none could internalize that left-back role as the Spaniard had done for so many years.

Pique, the 1.94m Spanish defender has been the most consistent center-back after the retirement of Puyol, and he is now old, make silly mistakes. His place has slowed down and wingers could take him on with ease.  Mind you, he is 33.

Young Players Not Given The Opportunity?

The Catalonia club boasts one of the finest football academies in the world producing players like Messi, Pedro, Thiago Alcantara just to mention a few but now it is just a showroom for other clubs to pick from. Except for Ansu Fati and Ruig Puig in recent times, they have sold others especially Carlos Perez to Roma, Xavi Simmons to PSG while in the past, they have loaned them or sold them with buy-back clauses.  Things have changed and the first team is suffering. 

Interest In Old Players

Much fresh in mind is the swap deal of Arthur for Pjanic - a deal unlike the Catalonia giants.  When Arthur was brought in, even Messi said he understands the club football and the only Barcelona could give him is time to play and grow. Legends such as Iniesta, Xavi were not world-class by 23 but with time they became the legends we know them as today. As if selling him was not bad enough, he was sold and replaced with a 30-year-old player from another league.  Though a veteran, he has not played in Spain ever before.

Neto was swapped with Cillessen at the beginning of this campaign. Though both are old, Barca could have sold Cillessen and used the money to get a young goalkeeper for a long term replacement of Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Emergency signing Martin Braithwaite is 29 and by next year, he will join the oldies. This means come 2012, with the inclusion of Pjanic, Neto, Barca would have 10 players in the 30 years and above age bracket provided they do not add to it.

Rumoured Division In The Dressing Room

On Saturday, in the match against Celta Vigo, during the cooling break, Eder Sarabia, Quique Setien's assistant was trying to pass a message to the Captain, Messi but the footage showed the No. 10 ignored him twice. That was not the first time in months or this year that division would happen in the dressing room. Luis Suarez pointing fingers at the coaching staff for the bad away from when asked after Celta Vigo match. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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