Not much is being said about Xavi Hernandez's failure at Barcelona. It isn’t too early to start questioning him, rather it’s late and further delay will only make matters worse. I’ve been deleting several drafts for the past few days, for they are all written in anger. After several days of throwing tantrums on Twitter, and replying various tweets supporting Xavi, I think it’s high time I dropped an article on the issue.
Support of the board
I haven’t seen a Barcelona coach in recent years that has as much support and patience from the board as Xavi. Koeman complained about the board not supporting him but a few weeks after Xavi took over Barcelona approved a £50 transfer of Ferran Torres. That’s how much he is supported by the Board.
When the transfer window got opened Barcelona got every single player they wanted despite their financial problems, they sold part of the studio rights just to leverage things, they persuaded some players not to leave and Xavi seems to have all the ingredients at his disposal.
Image from ESPN FC
Support of the fans
I haven’t seen a coach who has the backing of the fans like Xavi, their beloved masterio is back as coach, they say he is a blend of Cruyff, Guardiola and Enrique. They sing his name and are always ready to find an excuse for him when his team loses. “He inherited a weak team from Koeman” they will say, some will even say “We should be grateful, he is repairing the damages done by Koeman” another group will say. But how long will the repair last?
Xavi is stubborn and rigid
Maybe I view football in another way or we Barcelona fans are not seeing what Xavi sees. Every week people complain about his starting 11 but the following week he will stick to it.
Using the two youngsters together isn’t the problem, they deliver whenever they are called upon but Frankie de jong offers something extra. Gavi marks and provides an offensive threat no other person on the team has but Frankie offers more attacking threats. It’s not about collecting the ball from the opponent alone, what you do after getting the ball matters.
Fdj has some deep runs that penetrate the opposing defence and catch them off guard, this is essential for any team hoping to play through the middle.
Another player whose constant omission is surprising is Kessie, he was arguably the best player in his position in the Serie A last season but he is only fit to sit on the bench at Barcelona? Even when the schedule is a busy one, Xavi still doesn’t see him worthy of starting ahead of his favoured starters.
Playing with two left legs
Playing Dembele and Raphinha is like playing with two left legs together. I will pick Ansu Fati ahead of Raphinha and swap Dembele and Raphihna in matches or one (most likely Raphinha) act as backup for Fati.
I know the money spent on these players is another reason why he is sticking with them but isn’t the result the most important thing?
Barca vs Inter
The last time I felt so much pain was against Roma. No matter how heavy the defeat is, I don’t feel much pain because I’ve been supporting this team since the 2006 Champions League final against Arsenal and I’ve experienced a lot of victories and defeats, I feel like I’m immune to pain until Rome happened. I covered myself with more shells and I lowered my expectation until this season.
Despite writing about how bad Xavi has been, I was still hoping for a great outing against Inter at Camp Nou, especially with what we have at stake but what happened? I was disappointed yet again and this one is on Xavi?
Madrid vs Barca
Not surprised but disappointed regardless. He started an almost identical 11 with the inter-match and I wasn’t expecting anything great from them. We play like a team that has playing “shots” as a taboo. We were dealt with accordingly but as usual the King of excuses “Xavi” gave his usual post-match excuses. Europa here we come.
I can’t change my club, I will continue to hope for the best but with not much expectation so far Xavi is still in charge. As the saying goes “Love the one you marry” so my Love story with Barcelona continues
Thanks for Reading! ⚽️💙⚽️