FC Barcelona is going through changes.
Andres Iniesta is set to leave the club, the domestic double seems rather bland, and despite going unbeaten this season in La Liga so far, the fans seem to despise the man in charge.
So what exactly is going on?
It's hard to put our finger on it but the pieces are there for one to get a clearer picture. We know that the current midfield structure is criticised from a tactical perspective. Despite many wanting an attack-heavy ideology, the coach has opted a defensive one for most of the season. Paulinho has seen an incredible amount of minutes and the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Nelson Semedo have been put on the bench.
It's not unusual for a coach to make choices that go against the popular narrative, but there is something seriously wrong with how Valverde has operated in his time with the club; the board has reiterated their support for him and he is likely to continue next season.
The domestic double is an important achievement for a new manager considering the sheer dominance that Barcelona have displayed this season in terms of results. Despite a Champions League exit, the probability of going invincible should generate enough motivation for the team to keep performing at a high level. Yet, there's a tastelessness to the whole saga. Barcelona had the league wrapped up months ago and the only thing exciting on the pitch was the lure of winning another treble.
Barcelona crashed out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion and that explains part of the doom and gloom.
The more devastating news, however, is the fact that Andres Iniesta is leaving. Everyone who follows Barcelona, or even football for that matter, will be sad to know that one of the greatest footballers of this generation is finally parting ways with his boyhood club. Iniesta has won it all with Barcelona and there is nothing left for him to achieve here.
With legends departing the club, ideological differences creating a divide in the fanbase and a dodgy transfer policy, Barcelona is going through a period of change. In light of all this, the club can go one of two ways--either it adapts to the current market and goes on to implement whatever is the latest fad, or it goes back to its roots and reimposes those principles which helped the club become the most dominant footballing force of this era.
We could either buy the most popular player in the market, or find someone who will live and breathe the Blaugrana.
Barcelona is at a crossroads and the only way forward is to go back to basics.
Times may change, but one must remember that somewhere, there is another little Iniesta just waiting to be discovered.