Is Eric Abidal to blame for Barcelona’s funk?

It’s hard work watching Barcelona at the moment.

A few weeks into the season all that was being talked about was how it was their worst start for 25 years, but a few big wins at home switched the narrative to some extent.

Unfortunately for the Catalans, that didn’t last long.

Used to powering ahead of the chasing pack, Barca seem to be treading water most weeks, and a prime example of their funk came against Leganes a short while ago in La Liga. Continue reading

Rakitic will be a big loss to Barcelona

As football teams evolve, so players come and go.

New managers have different ideas of how they want the game to be played, and that can often mean that players who were previously untouchable as starters, are left on the periphery.

That set of circumstances has befallen Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, albeit he still has the same coach in Ernesto Valverde. Continue reading

Barcelona’s reserve full-backs must take their chance

When a player gets to join the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, the next step is to ensure that they get regular minutes on the pitch.

Often this only comes about because of an injury to a first choice player, but far too often at these big clubs, so-called reserve players don’t take their opportunities.

With success evidently required with some degree of immediacy these days, managers simply don’t have the time to persevere with those players that aren’t at the races from the get go. Continue reading

Has Antoine Griezmann been a success or failure at Barcelona?

Though it came a year too late, Antoine Griezmann finally donned the Blaugrana from the beginning of the current season.

Seemingly seeing the error of his ways, the Frenchman departed Atletico Madrid for Barcelona with the good wishes of his former club.

To say that he wasn’t well received by the Barca fans who felt cheated by his behaviour from a year before, however, is an understatement. Continue reading

Lionel Messi: Barcelona’s solution or their problem?

For the best part of 15 years now, Lionel Messi has wowed fans of FC Barcelona.

Even as a young 17-year-old, the Argentinian had the ability to get supporters off of their seats with consummate ease.

As soon as he’d made his debut in the first team, there was never any doubt that he would go on to become a world star, but that’s been almost as much of a curse as it’s been a blessing. Continue reading

Would Ronald Koeman be the correct choice for Barcelona?

In the last couple of weeks, it has come to light that the Netherlands national team coach, Ronald Koeman, has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave in the summer of 2020.

That clause only applies to one club, however. FC Barcelona.

The news has already sent the chattering classes into overdrive, with many cules suggesting that he’s precisely the sort of coach that’s not required. Continue reading

El Clasico postponement sets a dangerous precedent

So it’s finally official.

After a few days of consultation, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) have made the decision to postpone the El Clasico fixture between Barcelona and Real Madrid, initially due to be played on Saturday, October 26.

The reason being given is that security of supporters cannot be guaranteed, even though the Catalan Police have given precisely that assurance. Continue reading

Was Barcelona’s appointment of Victor Valdes destined to end in disappointment?

So, it’s official.

On Monday of this week, Barcelona brought the curtain down on Victor Valdes’ swift return to the club, sacking him for what they considered to be conduct unbecoming for one of their coaching staff.

Always known as a spiky individual, one has to ask the question as to whether the club’s appointment of their former goalkeeper was destined to end in disappointment?

After all, he was never going to toe the party line. Continue reading

Has Valverde turned the corner at Barcelona?

It’s a 24/7 job being Barcelona coach, and the pressure to get it right is very evident on the faces of the last few people in the position.

Pep Guardiola had a full head of hair when he began in 2008 and was bald by the time he left in 2012, and both Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde have gone from dark to grey hair in the time they’ve spent in the hot-seat.

The latter’s comments about the role are interesting too. Continue reading

Victor Valdes likely to be sacked by Barcelona

Just a couple of months ago, and after learning his trade away from the bright lights that working with Barcelona brings, Victor Valdes accepted an offer from the Blaugrana to return.

The former first team goalkeeper became the coach of the U19A team, and with moves then afoot to also recruit his old team-mate, Carles Puyol, it looked like there was a concerted effort from the higher-ups to ‘get the band back together.’

Since then, things have started to unravel. Continue reading