Barcelona vs Osasuna

Without mincing words, the club Barcelona is gradually coming close to an environment of insanity or bedlam; as the club’s captain, Leo Messi is ostensibly frustrated with the drama of ignominy going on at the Camp Nou.

Rightly so, for a player that has been heavily relied upon in the past and yet again contributing massively this season with double digit of goals and assists in the league, he’s scored 23 and assisted 20 of their 81 La Liga goals so far in 2019-20 and been involved in five of their 10 Champions League goals.

He has the right to cry out when everything seems to be messy.

Barca’s loss at home to Osasuna on Thursday night proved to help Real Madrid’s cause to win La Liga with a game to spare. A feat the Los Blancos also achieved in 2017 when they won the League. The loss also confirmed that for the first time in 8 years, the Blaugrana club may end the season trophyless if they fail to clinch the UEFA Champions League.

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Lionel Messi
A dejected Lionel Messi reacts after the midweek home loss to Osasuna confirmed the Liga title for Real Madrid. (Getty Images)

Just as the old popular clichè goes; “Goliath’s death cannot be talked about without having to mention David”, Barca’s misfortune cannot be discussed without mentioning the mysterious sacking of former manager, Ernesto Valverde.

Ernesto Valverde was axed by Barcelona having won the league in the two full seasons he was the manager at Camp Nou, losing only two of the 28 games he managed in the UEFA Champions League. He also won a Copa Del Rey title and lost in the competition’s final last season while they were on top of the league at the time he was sacked. On the basis of these facts, one begins to wonder why exactly he was sacked.

The simple truth here is that Barcelona were already on a steady decline in terms of performances before Luis Enrique left. But in Ernesto Valverde, they had a manager who deployed a philosophy that was going to make Barca a consistent Champion on the home front and if given time, would eventually bag the club’s most coveted trophy, the UEFA Champions League.

Due to the impatience of the Barcelona hierarchy, the consistent backlash the former Athletic Bilbao trainer had to endure from the fans of the club simply because Valverde was not playing “the Barcelona way”, and because of the consecutive ouster from the Champions League, he was relieved of his job. While this was going on, Real Madrid on the other hand were silently expanding the depth of the squad, signing future players to complement the efforts of the established players in the squad.

Rather astonishingly, many narratives have been unearthed since Real Madrid emerged as Champions on the recruitment pattern of Barcelona; with suggestions coming that if some things do not change as per the recruitment strategy of the club, there’d never be change. That said, it’s now Crystal clear that regardless of the transfers Barca might make if some issues aren’t addressed, the beginning of the end has begun even before the probable exit of Leo Messi.

What should Barcelona do?

The current squad had enough quality in it to deliver a league title when it was already four points ahead. The club and its fans should now know that the La Masia academy’s inability to consistently produce starlets into Barca’s senior team in recent years is really costing the club, So much so that even the B Team got relegated in the Spanish Segunda division.

Hence, panic buying is not the way out. The club can perhaps take a clue from the extensive scouting before Real went about their transfer dealings, it may help them in finding a solution to the transfer conundrum. Even the personnel in charge of transfers must be reviewed too. They seem to favour physically-imposing players in the transfer market and this has brought about many transfer misses.

Also, changes must be made at the administrative level. With the forthcoming election, a change at the helm of affairs is imminent.

Quique Setien
Quique Setien’s future is in serious doubt. (Getty Images)

Additionally, for the aforementioned to be achieved, a managerial change is perhaps needed because for a manager who has not won a cipher in his 20-year career, it is difficult to see how he will turn the tide for a team that has lost the confidence and that fighting spirit.

Whatever damage Valverde might have done when he capitulated in the champions league, Quique Setién has done worse by losing the league to Real Madrid. It’s possible that if Valverde wasn’t sacked, Barca might have held on to La Liga glory.

Patience and contentment are great virtues!

Babajide Adewunmi-EverBlazin
July 19, 2020
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