I’m not trying to portray that Barcelona have had a disastrous start to the campaign, because they haven’t. They are just a point off the top of the table and the Champions league has only just started. So nothing is terribly wrong with the results. But if you take a closer look at their performances, something looks missing. Like this weekend’s loss to Sevilla, the midweek game at Celta Vigo or even during their win over Atletico, Barcelona seemed to be missing their pomp.
Why is the flair missing?
1. Lack of freshness
I believe every squad needs a bit of freshness at the start of every campaign, and this season Barcelona couldn’t add anybody to the squad due to the transfer embargo. (Arda Turan did sign, but is yet to play a part in their campaign)
Maybe that has made them a bit predictable and slightly easier for good opposition managers to read them?
2. Fixtures list
Barcelona haven’t had the easiest of fixtures. They’ve played Bilbao, Atletico, Roma (CL), high flying Celta and Sevilla all away from home at the very start of the season. Maybe that’s got something to with it? Or is that simply not a good enough excuse at a club like Barcelona?
It could be argued with all the young players continually coming into the squad that in some ways the Catalan giants are perennially in transition. You always have a few youngsters coming on to the scene.
But the focus on them perhaps is larger now than it was while they had the likes of Xavi, Puyol, Abidal, Villa and even Yaya Toure in the side to make up for their shortcomings.
Or maybe the upcoming crop simply isn’t as good as the previous one? Which is not that much of an insult because it’s impossible to improve on perfection.
Is it simply a case of the manager not being good enough? But it does seem a bit silly questioning a treble winning manager. After a not so perfect start last season,Barcelona swept everyone in their stride and won everything there was to win.
But the thing with hard managers like Luis is that players can sometimes get tired of their ways, especially if they don’t rate him very highly.
And maybe the success of the previous season was simply down to the brilliance of the front 3, Leo Messi in particular. It is possible that a few players make a manager look very good. (Remember LFC’s title challenge a couple of years ago?)
I know everything I’ve said is extremely speculative. But the early parts of the season are all about speculation.
Tell me in the comments what you think of my opinions. And whether I’m simply over evaluating things and that there’s nothing wrong at Barcelona.