Having received eight of the previous 12 league titles coming into this marketing campaign, the place has it gone so wrong for Barca?
IF NOT MESSI, THEN WHO?
Lionel Messi has 30 Liga targets to his title, and coach Ronald Koeman stated after the Celta defeat: “If he’s not at the club, who is going to score the goals for us?”.
Barca’s second-highest scorer within the league is Antoine Griezmann, with 12 targets, 5 of which have come within the final ten video games.
Lionel Messi (AFP Photo)
Barca allowed Luis Suarez to affix Atletico Madrid final summer time for a nominal sum, and the Uruguayan’s 20 targets have shot them to the brink of the title.
Messi’s contract expires subsequent month. Should Barca fail to retain him, they may discover themselves in a battle for Champions League subsequent time period, reasonably than a push for the title.
Koeman has usually lamented the truth that sides have been scientific in opposition to Barca, however that displays the standard of the possibilities his aspect supply up.
They are nonetheless as reliant as ever on 34-yr-previous Gerard Pique and neither Clement Lenglet nor Samuel Umtiti have appeared succesful of partnering him.
Gerard Pique (AP Photo)
However, the behavior of counting on Pique was ruthlessly uncovered by Paris Saint-Germain within the Champions League.
The picture of Kylian Mbappe sprinting away from Pique of their 4-1 Camp Nou win has was an web meme.
A dependable accomplice for, and successor to, the centre-again are required.
ANOTHER WRONG APPOINTMENT
Barca’s choice to sack Ernesto Valverde, who had received again-to-again titles, whereas prime of the league in January 2020 has by no means appeared as miscalculated.
His alternative, Quique Setien, was fired that summer time and changed by Koeman.
Ronald Koeman (Getty Images)
While a membership legend as a participant, Koeman’s teaching report at membership stage made him a raffle that appears to have backfired.
Barca received the Copa del Rey – the Dutchman’s first trophy since 2009 – nonetheless their large recreation report has suffered.
Local media reviews counsel he’s on the brink of exiting, with one other membership legend, Xavi Hernandez, within the body to switch him.