Another day, another embarrassment for Barcelona.
The Catalan giants are sustaining among the most challenging spells in the club’s history, and Saturday night’s 2-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid was a suggestion of simply that.
Travelling to the ruling La Liga champs, Barcelona were beat in every department on the pitch. It was yet another disrespectful awakening to the truth that Ronald Koeman’s side, regardless of being the magnificent Barcelona, are miles far from the top of the domestic ladder – not to mention the continental one.
Setting out in a more familiar 4-3-3 development this time out, the pre-match sensation was among optimism at the truth that the club had actually gone back to its more natural identity. Free-streaming football, breaking with smooth imagination with a compact and difficult front 3 flanked by aggressive and marauding full-backs – well, that’s what it seemed like.
Instead, what we got was a Barcelona lineup having a hard time to execute those unplayable characteristics.
At full-back, the naturally right-footed Sergino Dest could not supply a hazard from the left while Oscar Mingueza, who is a centre-back by trade, stopped working to include any hazard in the last 3rd whenever he ventured upfield.
In midfield, it took place with time that Koeman had actually executed 2 holding midfielders with 2 strolling broad males, restricting the side’s capability to dramatically play through a vibrant and well-drilled Atletico group.
The expected fluidity of a front 4 relatively including Memphis Depay, Philippe Coutinho, Gavi and Frenkie de Jong was absolutely nothing however puzzled, careless and unpleasant. Contrasting to the ruthlessness and mastery on program from Luis Suarez, Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar for the hosts, Barcelona’s effort at taking chances with an interchangeable cutting edge was honestly humiliating.
In fairness to the Catalans, that 2-0 defeat to Los Rojiblancos represented their very first of the La Liga project. However, it was yet another night showing their serious and unrecognisable absence in team depth and general quality.
There was, nevertheless, a favorable to eliminate in the middle of all the regrettable occasions from Saturday night.
Barcelona still have an identity – an instructions…sort of.
Against Atletico, Koeman set out with 5 La Masia graduates in the beginning XI. That’s marking down the prodigal Ansu Fati, who made another alternative look on his roadway to complete healing, and Sergi Roberto and Riqui Puig, who likewise both included off the bench.
If one silver lining comes out of the torturing and pestered cloud that is Barcelona’s monetary chaos, it’s the renewal of the value and existence of the club’s renowned academy.
Through requirement, Koeman has actually reintegrated the sublimely gifted youth of La Masia into the club’s future, providing the similarity Mingueza, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez the platform upon which to advance, establish and shine.
17-year-old Gavi, in specific, is revealing his perseverance and class on the field and, after another intense efficiency on Saturday, he’s another little suggestion that the club does have instructions regardless of a dreadful present circumstance.
An absence of first-rate quality will undoubtedly cost Barcelona any sort of fairly decent result to the 2021/22 project – that much is currently clear. However, their conserving grace might well be the introduction of more academy potential customers into the senior side – a clear course on which the club is heading.