Are Barcelona in crisis?

On Friday morning, Barcelona announced that Pep Segura, the head of their footballing operation, had had his contract terminated.

The failure to progress to two successive Champions League finals when well placed seems to have been the catalyst for a change at the top.

It’s the latest in a long line of decisions that could suggest that the Catalans are in crisis, which isn’t what’s needed at the start of a new season. Continue reading

Is Barcelona’s move for Neymar on the verge of collapse?

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It was a move that seemed unlikely even as recently as a few weeks ago, but the Neymar saga is destined to be the soap opera of this summer’s transfer window.

Clearly, the Brazilian wants out at Paris Saint-Germain and, if media reports are to be believed, Barcelona are the only club he wants to go to.

That the Catalans have even considered re-hiring a player who burned every bridge in the book when he left, is a surprise, but it just shows you that football as a business is a breed apart. Continue reading

Are Barcelona making a mistake by selling Cucurella?

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Having had a successful loan spell throughout the 2018/19 season, it was no surprise that Barcelona’s Marc Cucurella wanted to stay at Eibar.

The youngster had impressed, particularly in the games against the bigger sides in the Spanish top flight, and he even had the audacity to score against his parent club at the end of the campaign.

Eibar, quite rightly, exercised their purchase option on the player, a measly €2m, but Barca then utilised their buy-back clause to secure him for €4m. Continue reading

If Messi isn’t the Ballon d’Or, they should scrap it

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It’s long been contended that the Ballon d’Or has lost its shine as a worthwhile award.

Why?

Tactical voting, ridiculous PR campaigns designed to ensure certain players are front and centre around voting time despite having a poor year.

No definable metrics as to exactly how becoming the Ballon d’Or is measured. Continue reading

Barcelona’s difficult fixture list for 2019/20

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It’s fair to say that Barcelona have monopolised La Liga over the last decade, with eight league titles in 11 years since Pep Guardiola first took over.

Ernesto Valverde will be going for his third successive title but the way that the fixtures have fallen this season makes that a difficult task.

Barca travel to San Mames on the opening day, a ground where they’re unbeaten in five. However, they’ve started off some seasons slowly and that really isn’t the best place to begin 2019/20 unless each player is already firing on all cylinders. Continue reading

De Ligt pain is Todibo’s gain at Barcelona

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In the not too distant past, Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, suggested that he ‘knew’ where Matthijs De Ligt’s next playing destination would be.

The inference was that the Ajax captain would follow his former team-mate, Frenkie De Jong, to the Camp Nou.

It’s thought that a deal had been agreed between both clubs, though the meddling of the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, has ensured that De Ligt will be plying his trade elsewhere. Continue reading

Barcelona must rest Messi more than ever in 2019/20

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Barcelona have the biggest of seasons ahead of them in 2019/20, and Lionel Messi will be required to work his usual magic for the most part.

The Argentinian is the glue that holds the Blaugrana together and the more Barca try to rid themselves of their Messi-dependance tag, the more it stays as a millstone around their necks.

Though the No.10 and captain has been front and centre for the best part of a decade, now is the time for him to take a back seat. Continue reading

Has Coutinho played his last game for Barcelona?

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In hindsight, the gesture from Philippe Coutinho after scoring against Manchester United in the Champions League was ill-advised.

Putting his fingers in his ears as if to say to the Camp Nou crowd ‘I can’t hear you’ was always likely to rile the supporters further.

They’ve never been backwards in coming forwards to let the Brazilian known what they think, but he should’ve had the maturity to ride out the negativity.

It showed, beyond doubt, that there’s a real disconnect between player and fan base. Continue reading

Is Joan Laporta right about Barcelona?

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Ever since Joan Laporta was beaten in the FC Barcelona 2015 presidential elections, the former man in charge has made a habit of popping up every now and then with a soundbite or two.

His ire towards Josep Maria Bartomeu is clear, given that when he first took the post it was by default, after his running mate, Sandro Rosell, was deposed.

Suffice to say that it was a shock when Bartomeu was voted in on his own merit (albeit after a treble win), leaving Laporta in a ‘no man’s land’ of sorts.

But is the latter right in his critique of the way the club is being run? Continue reading

De Ligt is right to delay the decision on his future

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At just 19 years of age, Ajax’s Matthijs De Ligt has already shown himself to be a true leader of men.

Mature beyond his years, he commands his team with the authority of someone much older.

But the fact is that he’s still a kid.

And FC Barcelona will do well to remember that in the immediate future, whilst the player makes the most important decision of his professional career.

Continue reading