FC Barcelona have undoubtedly been struggling this season in many ways. Injured players have only been the start of it, but the issues run deeper. At a club like Barcelona, it is not simply winning that matters, but also how convincing those victories are.
Expected to compete at the highest level both in Spain and in Europe, Barcelona look far from being favorites in either competition. Taking a deep dive into their problems, Mundo Deportivo has highlighted six glaring issues.
Xavi has undoubtedly tried many varying tactics this season. From changing the formations to changing the inner workings, the Spaniard has made up some very complicated solutions to different opponents. However, by overdoing this there remains no uniformity for his own side.
A highlighted example is that of Joao Cancelo. The Portuguese fullback has been deployed as both a right and left-back this season, alongside being played as a central midfielder and also as a right winger in the front line.
Tensions in the attack
Barcelona certainly lacks profiles in attack that can overload and unbalance opponents. Ousmane Dembele was one such winger that Xavi Hernandez liked to count on for this exact feature. However, there is now arguably only one such player in the Barcelona frontline
His name is Lamine Yamal, and he is only 16 years old. Moreover, when the young teenager sometimes attempts to be daring, he is met with frustrated teammates. A recent incident between him and Lewandowski has rather poorly highlighted such an instance.
Last season, Barcelona were among the very best sides in Europe in terms of defensive integrity. This season, the picture is the complete opposite. Having conceded 13 league goals already, Barcelona had only conceded 4 last season by this point in time.
Lack of urgency from the higher-ups
Barcelona president Joan Laporta continues to put his faith in Xavi. Following most games, the President even directly meets with the manager and discusses proceedings. However, it is beginning to seem that blind faith without any consequence could make this Barcelona side complacent and it seems to be the case.
Over the last eleven games played by Barcelona, the Catalans have acquired victory by the difference of only one goal. With seven wins, two draws and two losses, Barcelona have been poor.
While their victories have come marginally, their performances have arguably been even worse. This needs to be resolved on an urgent basis if this season is to come to fruition at the end of it.
The media and the staff’s handling
Xavi has consistently mentioned this season that outside noise has to be ignored. However, he also continues to state that criticism is necessary. This constant influx of confusion and noise from the outside has demoralized Barcelona and it clearly shows.
Thankfully, Barça now have time to sit back and rethink things. The international break will now take over, and this will leave Xavi will ample time to reflect before the next game against Rayo Vallecano in La Liga.