After ten years, Barcelona failed to reach the Copa del Rey semi-final for the first time. The Catalans are behind Real Madrid in La Liga. Due to their unsuccessful season, neither bookmakers are any longer considering Barcelona as favorites to win the Champions League.
Nobody knows what will happen in the final phase, but so far, Barcelona is having one of the worst seasons of recent years. What are the causes of all this?
5. Unused De Jong
De Jong plays a much more offensive role in Barcelona than he did in Ajax. Ajax head coach Eric Tenn Hagg also commented on this. He said that De Jong’s job is not to score goals. He is a supply player who distributes the ball and orchestrates team attacks.
The Ajax boss also said that once De Jong was pulled off the pitch because Frank was playing too far forward.
4. Weak Defense
In La Liga, Barcelona have conceded twice more goals than Real Madrid. This is a very unusual result, as Barça were one of the best in La Liga at this point.
Ter Stegen cannot solve the problems alone. Currently, the Catalan line of defense is not a significant obstacle for rivals at all. In 22 matches, Ter Stegen managed to keep the door dry only six times and conceded 26 goals.
3. Poor Attack
Barcelona spent 345 million on Dembele, Coutinho, and Griezmann transfers, but none of the three strikers could adequately get on the team, and no one came close to replacing Neymar.
Lionel Messi has an excellent season individually, Leo has scored 19 goals and made 15 assists in 26 appearances, but Leo alone cannot win everything.
2. Conflict in the team
After three assists against Betis, we may think that the angry Lionel Messi is good for Barcelona, but fans of the Catalan squad could not be happier with the recent conflict. The match showed once again that the team is very much dependent on Lionel Messi.
Messi’s contract expires in 2021, and the Barcelona president has confirmed that there is a clause in his contract according to which Messi can leave the team in the summer.
While the chances are low, the untitled season would significantly increase Leo’s ability to leave the team, putting the team under even higher pressure.
1. The Coach
Quique Setien faced a challenging task in Barcelona when he was appointed head coach of the team. Barcelona have won only 1 out of the last five games and have not been in good form. So far, Quique wins every two matches and loses 1.
The traumas of Suarez and Dembele have given us the reality that Setien has one of the weakest Barcelona in recent years.
It would be tough for Setien to end the season satisfactorily in this situation, though it may not be Quique’s fault at all.