Barcelona is in bad shape at the moment despite having too many superstars in the team.
Let’s look at the biggest problems Barcelona has in the Champions League.
- -dependecia. It’s real. The team and coach are so pampered that if Messi doesn’t contribute in goal, that’s the end of the road. It’s proved in 4 straight CL tournaments. This is not a successful business model if you have a single point of failure.
- Lack of home-grown players. Anyone who watches
- Lack of a reliable striker. is not the same Suarez we know anymore. He is not able to catch up with his age. It’s been forever since he scored an away goal.
- Formation is tilted at the top. Ever since Neymar left and Suarez started aging, Messi pretty much is doing everything in the attack including creating chances. Dembele is still working on his fitness and Coutinho can never settle as a winger. If Messi has to attract defenders, someone else has to step up on the other side to do the dirty and heavy work. The hole is still there.
- Defense. Attack wins games, Defense wins tournaments. Barcelona is becoming less and less press-resistant by each passing day. There’re multiple reasons, the main being aging Pique and no backup for Alba. Klopp took advantage of this fact. Liverpool tried to capitalize on every single instance of Barcelona losing the ball.
- Coach. Enough said.
How to solve the problem? Barcelona board is partly working on it.
- A stronger emphasis on bringing homegrown players. This is the most important thing to do which will reap you benefits in the long term. Look at Ajax, Barcelona in 2008–09, etc.
- Find a backup left-back who can take off some load from Alba who pretty much did everything in 2018/19. I still think selling Digne is a bad decision.
- Give midfield some break. De Jong, Arthur, and Busquets is the midfield you should go with along with Alena, Vidal, Rakitic and Puig as other options.
- De Ligt should be signed ASAP. The role being played by Pique is the most challenging. De Ligt looks like the best possible replacement to lead Barcelona’s defense.
- Semedo should be the main RB. It’s been proved time and again that Semedo is better at defense than Sergi except for El Clasico(beyond science why Sergi plays so well against them).
- A Striker. Suarez should be used as a super substitute. He doesn’t have the same work rate anymore. No player except Messi is irreplaceable
- Change the coach. Valverde is the least adaptable coach among the elite teams in Europe. He is being outplayed in almost all the big games unless Messi takes control of the game and steers it. He makes it look like he is worse than Van Gaal.
Barcelona had the best chance of winning Champions League this season but bottled it because of terrible managerial decisions.
They should have a coach who can guide them play to the best of their abilities and adapt the lineups to the opponent playstyle. 2019–20 will be the same if the coach isn’t changed.