Winners and losers from Barcelona’s pre-season

The preparation is over and it’s time for things to get serious.

After everything that’s been said and done since the 8-2 hammering against Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League, Barcelona have the chance to put it all behind them.

If they’re able to hit the ground running against Villarreal on Saturday, and Ronald Koeman can get everyone playing as they can, the Catalans won’t be too far off the pace for long. Continue reading

What would represent success for Barcelona in 2020/21?

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? Continue reading

Koeman’s conundrum at Barcelona

Although La Liga begins this weekend for most of the teams in the Spanish top flight, Barcelona still have a couple more weeks of their pre-season before their 2020/21 campaign begins in earnest thanks to their participation in the latter stages of last season’s Champions League.

This evening, a friendly against Gimnastic Tarragona will showcase Ronald Koeman’s XI for the first time, and likely to hint at the formation and style he will play in the forthcoming season. Continue reading

Are there any winners from the Messi situation?

It was one of the darkest periods in FC Barcelona’s recent history.

When Lionel Messi gave notice, via an official burofax, that he wanted to leave the club, it signalled a huge changing of the guard at the club.

He has since had the opportunity to clarify why he had taken such a decision, and it won’t sit well with many of the clubs supporters.

The fact that he was particularly scathing about president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, will have irked as much of the fan base as it will have delighted. Continue reading

Ivan Rakitic leaves Barcelona with his head high

After the 8-2 humiliation against Bayern Munich, there were always going to be casualties, and not just on the coaching side.

The result was so cataclysmic for the Catalans, that if a root and branch clear out wasn’t necessary, then something approaching it probably was.

Barca’s lowest ebb of this millennium needed strong decisions to finally be made, no matter what. Continue reading

Lionel Messi is not bigger than FC Barcelona

As unpalatable as the current situation with Lionel Messi at Barcelona may be, the Argentinian is not bigger than the club.

Yes, he is by far their greatest ever player and yes, the club owe him a monstrous debt of gratitude, but that’s where it ends.

The captain is an employee just like anyone else. Continue reading

Selling Luis Suarez is the right decision for Barcelona

It’s all change at Barcelona with Ronald Koeman having been handed the task of getting the Catalans back to where they belong.

A horrific 8-2 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Bayern Munich laid bare just how far the Blaugranes have fallen, and on the back of such a seismic result there was always going to be casualties.

Quique Setien and his staff were quickly followed by Eric Abidal, but now it’s Koeman’s turn to weed out the under-performers from his squad. Continue reading

Could Messi leave Barcelona?

There was seismic shock on Sunday evening when news broke that Lionel Messi was seriously considering his future at Barcelona.

Although there have been occasions – such as his tax trial – where the suggestion of him leaving has reared its ugly head, never before has it come to a point where the option of him actually going has truly existed.

After the 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich, all that has changed. Continue reading

3 things to watch in the Barcelona v Bayern game

It’s arguably the tie of the Champions League quarter finals, and Barcelona v Bayern is the only one which features two former winners of the trophy.

All the other six remaining teams have never had their hands on the cup with the big ears, so in some respects the experience of the two FCB’s benefits them enormously.

However, only one can go through and, on current form at least, the Bavarians will be expected to waltz into the final four. Continue reading

Is Patrick Kluivert the right man for the Barcelona job?

Ahead of Barcelona’s final game of the season last Sunday at Alaves, news filtered out of the Spanish media that the first-team’s players had suggested Patrick Kluivert take over the coaching duties from Quique Setien.

Whilst it’s been common knowledge for a while that the Cantabrian had ‘lost the dressing room,’ the notion of appointing the Dutchman appeared to be an odd one to say the least.

And why should the players be allowed to dictate who trains them or not? Continue reading