Time for Barcelona’s kids in the Copa del Rey

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The draw for the Copa del Rey quarter finals has thrown up an interesting conundrum for Barcelona.

The Catalans have been paired with Sevilla for the two-legged tie, the Andalusians being one of, if not the toughest opponent they could’ve faced.

It will see a quick return to the Camp Nou for Munir El Haddadi, recently signed by Pablo Machin, and how he would love to put a spoke in the aspirations of his former side. Continue reading

Is Sergi Roberto in danger of losing his place at Barcelona?

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It took Sergi Roberto an age to break through at Barcelona, but thanks to his persistence and utter belief in what he had to offer, eventually all of his hard work paid off.

For a few years now, Roberto has been a member of the first-team squad, and because of his versatility, he’s rarely left out of the starting XI when Ernesto Valverde is putting his team together.

Steeped in Blaugrana, and the last La Masia graduate to truly make an impact in the senior side, Sergi has become something of a standard bearer for all subsequent academy players at the club. Continue reading

Barcelona shouldn’t make Munir an outcast

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If, as has been rumoured, Munir El Haddadi’s agent has demanded vast sums to ensure his client will sign a new deal at Barcelona, one can perhaps understand the club’s ire at being held to ransom.

Frankly, agents are the bane of the modern game, but for many players, they are a necessary evil when it comes to the business side of their employment. Continue reading

Where does Coutinho fit in at Barcelona now?

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Against Getafe on Sunday night, Barcelona’s record signing, Phillipe Coutinho, was again left on the bench.

That’s right, €160 million worth of talent being given a cursory eight-minute cameo at the end of the match.

Predictably it wasn’t enough time for the Brazilian to really make an impact, and that is becoming a consistent theme for him of late. Continue reading

Barcelona are wrong to put the squeeze on Valverde

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It’s not even the new year but Barcelona have already placed their demands on first team coach, Ernesto Valverde, reiterating their stance that he must make his mind up about his future contractual intentions by February at the latest.

Though they can’t be kept waiting indefinitely, one has to question the wisdom of asking for a decision during the part of the season which will be amongst Barca’s busiest.

The Champions League will have just begun again and, depending on league results in the next few weeks, the majority of the first team’s focus will have to be on domestic matters. Continue reading

Have Barcelona blocked La Masia pathway?

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Barcelona’s capture of Jeison Murillo on loan from Valencia continues to follow a pattern that is at odds with the club’s perceived directive.

For years now, the Catalans have always spoken with great pride about its academy, La Masia.

Though the talent pool has dwindled somewhat, there’s still more than enough young players that can be called upon if and when required.

Take Chumi for example. Continue reading

Three players who could leave Barcelona in January

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There are just another few weeks remaining until the transfer window is open for business once again.

Noises have already been made from various players and clubs, some more subtle than others it must be said.

Most of the spadework on deals will have been done prior to January 1, 2019, with the nuts and bolts of any switch to be ironed out in good time after that date. Continue reading

Self-criticism would serve Denis Suarez well

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In the wake of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey round of 32 second leg victory over Cultural Leonesa, Denis Suarez completely changed tack in his post-match interview.

To this point the Galician had always been more than happy to adopt the party line that he was going to ‘wait for his chance,’ and ‘work hard’ at Barcelona etc.

However, after a two-goal salvo against Barca’s Segunda B opponents, the attacking midfielder was in no mood to beat around the bush anymore. Continue reading

Umtiti’s selfishness could cost Barca

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Samuel Umtiti is going to have ‘conservative’ treatment on his persistent knee problems in a bid to cure them, rather than resorting to surgery.

The Barcelona centre-back has clearly been short of his best this season, and one can deduce that it’s due in no small part to those ongoing issues.

To that end, it’s surprising that the French World Cup winner, when the problem first became apparent, didn’t immediately go under the knife and ensure the problem was resolved once and for all. Continue reading