Barcelona’s start to the La Liga season in the opening eight matchdays has been very bad, but the team are not in complete disarray. They are not as bad as their coach says either though.
Atletico Madrid’s victory over Barcelona means they are nine points behind Simeone’s men with just eight games played. That has once again set alarm bells ringing in the Catalan capital.
The Catalan outfit are not performing and despite the fact Ronald Koeman says he does not see any cause for concern and that his team are getting unlucky, the truth is that things are not going well. Only Real Madrid’s inconsistency has kept them without touching distance. If Barca win their game hand, they will be just three points behind them.
Barca have lost two of their most important players in the last two games. Ansu Fati and Pique got injured and their freshness and experience respectively mean that they are huge losses for them. Up to now, Sergi Roberto, who has performed well and has surprising started ahead of Dest at full back, could be out for several weeks so the problems are mounting.
And there is not much else on the bench. Even Braithwaite who has hardly played in recent months, is having minutes constantly because of Griezmann’s poor spell. Of the rest of them Coutinho and Trincao seem like they are performing less well and there is practically no else else.
Barcelona were not as bad at Atletico as people say. They also had their chances and the match could have gone either way had it not been for the terrible error by Ter Stegen just before half-time.
The problem is maybe that people are expecting this Barca said to play in the same way as Guardiola’s men did. Leo Messi was also off colour and he lost the ball 23 times against Atletico Madrid. He does not want to be there and it is obvious.
It is then no surprise that Barcelona ended up losing the game. The team have fought in basically all the difficult games so far this season, but they have not had luck in practically any. They only managed to win in Turin thanks to Morata’s trouble with staying onside.
While they are doing perfectly in the Champions League, Barcelona have dropped points in every difficult La Liga match. Things started going down hill after an exciting start against Sevilla. They had more chances and they could have won had Trincao been able to take his chances.
Their first lost came away to Getafe in a horrible match for them. Despite that, Messi was very close to making it 0-1 before the penalty De Jong gave away changed the game. Even in ‘El Clasico’, which Barca lost 1-3, the Catalans had more chances to score. Coutinho could have made it 2-1, but he sent his header wide and then Madrid took the lead when Barca took the lead after their famous penalty commited by Lenglet.
The last two points that Barca had dropped before Saturday’s match was in Vitoria against Alaves. Once again they were the better team in the second half, but a mistake by Neto cost them dearly.
Despite the fact it is obvious the team are going through a transition phase, Barca have deserved more points than the eleven they have got. The problem seems to be that Ronald Koeman had still not understood that unlike in international football, putting up a good show is not enough. His team need to be more consistent and Barca are a long away off doing that.