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

The rift that could derail Barcelona’s season

After a poor start to their 2019/20 campaign, it was inevitable that fingers would be pointed at Barcelona’s players.

Although they’re only two points behind leaders Real Madrid after seven games, the manner of their victories hasn’t enthused the fan base, and the inability to keep a clean sheet – just one in La Liga so far – has been a cause for concern too.

However, a potential board leak has seen some of the players send coded warnings, and that doesn’t bode well for anyone connected with the club. Continue reading

Neymar is further away from Barcelona than ever

It was the transfer saga of summer 2019.

Just when it looked likely that Neymar would return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain, another spoke was put in the deal and, by the end of the window, neither party could agree on the move.

Now that looks even further away from happening after the most recent developments.

You’ll recall that when Neymar left Barcelona back in 2017, to compound the Catalans’ shock at his exit, the Brazilian wanted his loyalty bonus paid. Continue reading

Ernesto Valverde is on borrowed time at Barcelona

The rot appears to have already set in at Barcelona.

In four away matches this season in all competitions, the Catalans have failed to win any.

Two of those have come against teams that were promoted from the Segunda Division last season, Osasuna and Granada, and against the Andalusians last weekend, they were well beaten.

Continue reading

Time for Junior Firpo to take centre-stage with Barcelona

Although there have been suggestions that Barcelona dropped two points in Dortmund during the week, the truth is that a point and a clean sheet is a positive for a club that have been shipping goals.

In the so-called ‘group of death,’ Barca are no better or worse off than they were before the kick-off in Germany.

One issue they do have though is injuries to key players, and Jordi Alba was the latest to join that list. Continue reading

Barca must countenance a Messi exit

Over the course of the last few days, an interview that Lionel Messi gave to a Catalan newspaper has received widespread coverage.

The reason for the same has been because it was arguably the most in-depth the Barca captain has been in some time, in response to a tough line of questioning.

Moreover, it was an extensive interview covering all topics, with seemingly nothing off limits.

Not even the thought of Messi earning his living elsewhere. Continue reading

Long way back for Umtiti

It wasn’t that long ago that Samuel Umtiti was a fixture in Barcelona’s back four. An untouchable player and one of the first on the team sheet.

He’d taken to La Liga effortlessly and, considering how prices for players have sky-rocketed, at just €25m, he looked like an absolute bargain.

His skillset also complemented that of Gerard Pique perfectly, and there were never any question marks over his starting spot in the team.

In the space of a year, all that has changed. Continue reading