Remember when some of you said I was too harsh when I called this FC Barcelona team "Bipolar Barça?"
What do you have to say now?
Barcelona, as always, won the possession battle, but as you all know, ball possession doesn't mean much. It's all about the goals and none came against Getafe.
Real Madrid is now four points up on FC Barcelona in the Liga table.
Is La Liga over? Of course not. But the way Madrid are winning, it's going to be tough to bounce back. Barcelona would need a win over Los Blancos at the Camp Nou in late March, then rely on other Liga teams to slow down Madrid in order for Barça to have a shot at winning La Liga—not to mention Barcelona has to roll in the second half of the season. Impossible? No. Very tough? Absolutely.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I use the hashtag "Luchoism" quite often. I use this to describe Luis Enrique's saying, mistakes, and utter ineptitude.
#Luchoism may be the word to describe this 2014-15 Liga season for FC Barcelona.
I won't count the Champions League (for now), but in La Liga, we've seen Lucho make poor decisions in his lineups and his tactics. It's no longer the lineup; it's his tactics, which I don't know if he truly has any for this team.
Getafe is simply concentrating all their attacks on the right where Alves forgot how to defend years ago. The weakness is clear.— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) December 13, 2014
Yet, Martin Montoya is the outcast and not wanted by Luis Enrique? Pure ridiculousness.
To be honest with you, part of me feels like I was lied to. I did believe that Luis Enrique could bring something new to this team. But as we saw against Getafe, Lucho is not looking any better than Tata Martino.
At least Lucho dresses better than Tata, I will give him that.
Lucho refuses to change his "tactics" (whatever those are) and remains stubborn. If Luis Enrique doesn't have a moment of clarity and changes his ideas soon, Barcelona will continue to slip down and Lucho will be out of his dream job by June.
Luis Enrique: "I'm not unhappy with how the team played. We used the same system as we always do. We created many chances today."— barcastuff (@barcastuff) December 13, 2014
Lucho is using the same system, and expects a new result. His pride won't let him change? I guess Lucho is more stubborn and selfish than I thought. Then again...
What about the players?
As much as I and most Culés will go after Lucho, let's be fair: the players were not good enough to get a win. How did these players that defeated Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 a few days ago look so off against Getafe? Yes, Barcelona was on a winning streak, but many of those games relied on Messi's individual performance (APOEL, Espanyol, Ajax, Sevilla) or a late comeback (Almeria, Valencia). The win against PSG was a great boost, and now Barcelona falls flat against a weaker opponent. Bipolar Barça.
FT: Getafe 0-0 FC Barcelona. A deserved draw for Barcelona, who were not good enough for nor deserving a win. Liga slipping away...— Xoel Càrdenas (@XoelCardenas) December 13, 2014
So what now?
The season isn't over, and Barcelona moves on. But Culés should lower their expectations of winning the Liga. The Copa del Rey moves on, and we will see which team Barcelona plays in the Champions League, round of 16. But the way this bipolar team is managed and plays, don't get your hopes up of making a trip to Berlin for the final. I hope I'm wrong, but when you have well-managed teams like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Chelsea (sorry, it's true) in the quarterfinals and/or semifinals, it's going to be tough for this poorly-managed and tactically weak Barça team to try and win on individual performance alone. Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez can't do it all.
We always talk about the Barcelona board having to step down. No, it won't happen tomorrow nor this week (although it would be nice). But if Barcelona go another season trophyless, you better believe that there will be pressure by socios demanding the resignation of sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta and president Josep Bartomeu. Elections are scheduled for 2016, but back-to-back trophyless seasons along with the transfer ban should call for a change.
Let's say if Barcelona goes without a trophy. Zubi would be asked to step down, but I wouldn't be surprised if he fights it, as he is as stubborn as Lucho. Bartomeu wouldn't step down; he'd have to be forced out. But if Lucho is fired and Bartomeu stays for the 2015-16 season, does Bartomeu go outside the Barcelona "family" to hire the new manager? Desperate times would say "of course!" The big name out there may be Jurgen Klopp, who is struggling to keep Borussia Dortmund out of the relegation zone in the Bundesliga. Would Klopp leave Dortmund? Would Bartomeu, if still in charge, go after Klopp? Would Klopp even consider being part of a club run by "Milhouse" Bartomeu? Who knows.
One thing I do know is that if FC Barcelona goes 2014-15 trophyless—after revamping the team yet making a few bad signings (Douglas, Vermaelen), brining in Barça's version of David "The Chosen One" Moyes in Luis Enrique and failing, and the transfer ban—the Barça board has to go. And if they have any dignity left, which I very much doubt, they will step down and elections will proceed in 2015.
I doubt Bartomeu and the FCB board would ever step down. They are as stubborn as Lucho. Maybe "Luchosim" isn't the word of the season. Maybe it's "stubbornness."
It's funny yet sad that the selfish FC Barcelona board rely on a team known for sharing and putting the team first. Bartomeu, Zubi and the rest of them don't care about FC Barcelona. Their words they say tell you they care about FCB, but their actions, mistakes, selfishness and utter ineptitude says something different.
The drawing for the knockout stage in the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League will take place on Monday. Copa del Rey action heads to the Camp Nou on Wednesday vs. Huesca. Barcelona ends their 2014 calendar year at home next weekend against Cordoba.
La Liga is a marathon, not a sprint.
But this FC Barcelona has stumbled and has fallen behind.
Does this team have the strength to come back? Yes. But now, Barça depend on others to get them back in the race, and that's never a good thing.
Even though I am critical of the players when merited, I will always support the players. I can't nor won't do the same for the manager and the FCB leadership. They don't merit trust whatsoever.
Support the players only. One day, all Culés will be able to support the FC Barcelona leadership again. I can't wait for that day!