Spanish Giants having a tough start to the new season.
By: Emmanuel Mendez
It was always going to be tough when the greatest player in the Club’s history, Lionel Messi, leaves for free. The expectations were low after Messi left but the start of the season has been very grim for the Catalan club.
FC Barcelona has had only one win in their previous six games.
The injury crisis is one thing Barca is suffering from. Ousmane Dembele and new signing Sergio Aguero have still yet to play in the new season and are good options for Barca`s attack right now. Barca signed striker Luuk de Jong and loaned out Antoine Griezmann to Atletico.
This infuriated fans and so far, Luuk de Jong has had no impact on the pitch.
Martin Braithwaite suffered an injury that would get him off the pitch for months. Barca will hope to have Dembele and Aguero back to fitness to help the team get more goals.
Ansu Fati has finally recovered, and it will take time for him to get back in good form. Fati did score in his return to the pitch against Levante when Barca won 3-0.
The lack of money they have because of the large debt they owe is what punishes them from buying good players. Barca is looking at free agents rather than spending money on players. President Joan Laporta hopes to get rid of the debt before splashing big money on quality players that could improve their team.
Barca will have to trust more on their youth academy, La Masia, to get Barca out of this terrible form they are currently in. Players like Nico Gonzalez, Riqui Puig, and Gavi are among the players many Barca fans are excited about.
There is a lot of pressure on these young players, but they seem unfazed and are working hard to keep Barca up as one of the best teams in Europe.
Their bad form and results have been blamed by coach Ronald Koeman. Koeman has tried different formations like the 4-2-3-1 and the successful 3-5-2 but lately, it hasn’t been working.
Without Messi, there is a lack of creativity which this Barca team desperately needs.
In the Champions League, Barca was beaten in the first two games 3-0 by Bayern Munich and Benfica. Bayern dominated the game at Camp Nou and scored more than 3.
Gerard Pique looks to struggle due to his age and the team’s lack of intensity. Bayern was all over them and they barely looked threatening.
Barca once again struggled against Benfica away from home. Barca was surprised early in the game and Benfica defended well against the Barca attack.
De Jong couldn’t capitalize on two clear chances and Memphis Depay looked vulnerable in the attack. 0 points after two games in the Champions League is concerning and Koeman has lost trust in fans.
The problem of sacking Koeman now according to Laporta is the lack of options Barca can choose to be the next manager. Many names are thrown out in the press like Roberto Martinez and Xavi Hernandez.
Martinez is currently with the Belgium national team and Xavi is “too inexperienced” according to Laporta. Fans hope to see Xavi in charge because they believe Koeman`s time is up.
Results are still bad and their latest game against Atletico proved that form isn’t changing. A change might be a positive for the Spanish team and the injuries will probably improve the team as well.
Only time will tell and up next for Barca are tough games in La Liga with Valencia next and El Clasico against Real Madrid around the corner.