Resignation is the state that best defines the Barça environment after the debacle against Bayern in the Champions League, a resounding 0-3 in which the Bavarians were far superior. The words of Gerard Piqué They were as sincere as they were forceful: “It is what it is”he said without trying to find an explanation further. “We are what we are,” he added. And in the same line it was shown Ronald Koeman in the subsequent press conference: “This is what there is at the moment,” declared the Dutchman.
A day later, the institutional message of Joan Laporta, in a short video recorded, it was not much more encouraging. “What is happening is one of the scenarios that we contemplated,” acknowledged the Blaugrana president, who asked for time. “I am as hurt and outraged as all of you, I ask for your patience and that you continue to support the team.”
It is surprising, in a way, how all the illusion of the season has faded in just one game. Messi’s departure was a hard blow, very hard. And also important was the sale of Griezmann. But the confidence in the new signings –such as Memphis Depay or Eric García– and in the youngsters –with Pedri at the helm– gave the culé fans hope.
The question is: is this really what there is or are there reasons to think that FC Barcelona can compete to win titles and go far in Europe this season?
On the day of 2-8 against Bayern, the attack was formed by Leo Messi and Luis Suárez, while Antoine Griezmann came out as a relief from the bench. Yesterday, the attacking duo was Depay – Luuk de Jong, with Coutinho as the first relief.
The names make it clear that Barça has lost a lot of offensive potential. From having the best player in the world, to going out against Bayern with a dismissal of Sevilla, that is perhaps the reality that hurts the most in Can Barça.
Well it is true that injuries haven’t helped, and that is perhaps the burning nail that the Barça team must cling to. Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembélé and Kun Agüero are now out and their participation should change the face of the Barça attack.
But … is that trio enough to make Barça a candidate for everything? It should be remembered that Kun is now 33 years old, that last season he hardly played and that his best games seem to have already passed. Dembélé is a coin in the air. Of great talent and with a lot of goal, the constant injuries have prevented him from performing at the level of what was paid for him (well above 100 million). In addition, the contract ends in a year, it will be necessary to see the motivation with which he faces the year.
A) Yes, hope is Ansu Fati. The best young player in Europe a year ago, the great promise of Spanish and continental football aimed at superstar before he suffered a very serious injury that has had him out for more than a year. Will the Hispano-Guinean be the fast and explosive player that he was? His age, 19, plays in his favor. The urgencies of Barça, against him: it is advisable not to rush with their return.
When Koeman took a look at the bench, he found a bleak outlook: Dest, Umtiti, Lenglet, Mingueza, Coutinho, Riqui Puig and a group of very young lads from the quarry with hardly any experience.