Barcelona are still a week and a half away from the start of their La Liga campaign, thanks to their Champions League exploits.
Beginning their 2020/21 season behind everyone else will already put them at a slight disadvantage, but if Ronald Koeman can have his side firing from the get-go, then there’s no reason why they can’t close the gap quickly.
In any event, what would represent success for the Catalans this season?One could argue that retaining Lionel Messi for another 12 months could be their biggest win, albeit the Argentinian clearly doesn’t want to be at the club.
Silverware of any description, coming after a season without any, would clearly be welcomed too.
Mind you, Koeman will have to end a poor recent personal record in that regard. Is Koeman up for the challenge and for the daunting task of reviving a struggling and fragmented Barca side?
Not since the 2006/07 season with PSV (Eredivisie title), has the former Barcelona legend won anything of note as a manager, save for the 2008 Copa del Rey with Valencia.
After all of the upheaval off of the pitch, some of which is still ongoing even now, having a settled starting XI and a happy squad in the main is surely a pre-requisite.
Quique Setien’s reign was nothing short of total disaster and it has opened up a divide between board and players that it will be very hard to bridge.
Koeman can do his share on the pitch, for results will dictate the overall mood at the club and with its supporters, but there needs to be a thawing of relations elsewhere.
Perhaps the most important barometer of success in the forthcoming campaign will be the success of Barca’s young players.
Riqui Puig, Ansu Fati, Trincao and Pedri et al can play a full part in getting Barcelona back to where they belong.
Before Sandro Rosell and subsequently, Josep Maria Bartomeu took charge, the club placed great stock in La Masia and the ability of the academy to bring through players good enough to play for the first team.
Supporters would probably even forego collective success and trophies if they’re able to see the progression of the youngsters and the moulding of a new squad that was full of players who spent their youth at the club.
The club have always taken great pride in their strapline of ‘Mes que un Club’ (More than a Club), but they’ve wandered far from that in the recent past.
If they’re able to get back to basics then anything else in 2020/21 is a bonus.