It’s Barcelona time to find out their missing link
Barcelona’s all defeat from Paris to Turin to Rome to Levante are linked somewhere and they need to find out their missing link soon. Otherwise, the club will once again lose its identity which they have built over a period of time with lots of hard work.
Barcelona is trying to become a modern-day football club majoring their success with the trophies they have won and revenue they generate. In the meantime, they are losing their essence as a football hub towards which everyone looks up with respect.
They had the perfect recipe for success under Pep Guardiola. But after four managerial changes and still winning almost everything out there, that success is not keeping up with the respect they hold a few years ago. It might have to do something with bitter rival Real Madrid’s successive European success, but they really need to find out where they are missing out.
The last time I saw Barcelona really playing their way and knocked out of the Uefa Champions League was 2011/12 season when Chelsea knocked them out at the semi-final stage. Barcelona may have lost that tie but they were the best side in that tie. They were just called unlucky not to go to the final which Chelsea ultimately goes on to win against Bayern Munich on penalties.
But their 7-0 aggregate loss against Bayern Munich in 2012/13 raised the eyebrow. They were completely outplayed by the Bavarians. It was time for Barcelona to rethink but they took it as one of their off days in business. And from there every big loss was labeled as one of the off days in business. Whether it was 4-0 defeat in Paris against PSG, 3-0 defeat against Juventus in Turin or their 3-0 latest defeat in Rome in the competition.
Those off days have become normal for this Barcelona team in European away fixtures and it has cost them the title they watched their bitter rival Real Madrid win from their TV at home. Leaving European games behind, this domestic season unbeaten run even doesn’t justify their supremacy and in the end, they lose conceding five goals against a lowly Levante side in their last away outing.
All those defeats have something in common. Their defensive line allowed conceding three or more goals on each occasion. And, the team hasn’t yet able to find out their missing link. From where I see, I don’t see anything wrong happening on the pitch. It’s a person on the touchline which causes a concern for me, whether it was Tito Vilanova, Gerardo Martino, Luis Enrique or Ernesto Valverde.
None of them have impressed from the touchline. They often looked surprised when their team suffered and out of ideas to turn the match into their favour. It’s lack of personality or charisma on the touchline which is costing Barcelona lately.
They haven’t been able to add value to this Barcelona team. The team is playing the same way, they were playing under Guardiola. The only thing which has changed in new managers are not bringing any spark in the game from touchline and players are left on their own to battle on the ground.
It feels like some of the Barcelona senior players have taken the onus of the coaches running out of ideas and putting their own show. Messi has been able to take the burden on himself and carry out the team on his own shoulders every time they have struggled in last three seasons. And the day he goes out missing; only the God can help Barcelona.
You are no longer having trust on your academy players. You’re ready to splash heavily on outside players, so why go for a coach who comes from within the system. Let’s try for something new in that department as well, he may change the things and finds the missing link.