In the wake of any defeat, particularly one where you’re 2-1 up with less than 10 minutes to play and cruising, there’s always going to be repercussions.
For some while now, Barcelona’s senior players have got through games by winging it, and having just that little bit of extra quality.
However, it’s entirely fair to suggest that they’ve been found out in others. Perhaps the most recent example is the draw at Espanyol, though the Supercup defeat to Atletico Madrid will have hurt.
Antoine Griezmann certainly didn’t pull any punches in the aftermath of that game;
The former Atleti player, whose header had given Barca what looked to be a match-winning lead, wasn’t looking for excuses and in this day and age it’s quite refreshing to see a player immediately take responsibility.
Before his arrival, the Frenchman wasn’t a favourite amongst culers, but he’s certainly won them over with his willingness to work hard, defend, and play in whatever role is necessary for the good of the team.
An uncertain period at the beginning of his tenure at the Camp Nou has long since been forgotten, to the point where it would be hard to justify Ousmane Dembele’s inclusion at his expense once his international team-mate is fit again.
Griezmann loses the ball, Rakitic misses the ball, Pique exposes the defence and we concede pic.twitter.com/8P0VmA3iYv— Mazen (@91Goalz) January 9, 2020
Griezmann’s words will have certainly reverberated around the dressing room. Criticism of your colleagues doesn’t often end well, but what he had to say was bang on the money.
Coming from someone who was allegedly quiet behind the scenes, his outburst will surely carry more weight too.
Barca are a million miles away from being a Champions League winning team at this point. Frankly, there’s not even any point in getting even remotely excited about that competition at this stage.
Any team with pace will kill our centre-backs at the moment, which makes a potential loan deal for Jean-Clair Todibo even more baffling.
Lothar Matthäus (German football legend): "Todibo is the best centre back I've seen in a long time." [via sport] pic.twitter.com/AwuaAnyxCS— barcacentre (@barcacentre) January 9, 2020
Regardless, the Blaugranes have to take on board Griezmann’s comments and accept them. They must do better. Significantly better. What’s more, they can do better.
It’s all very well believing that this whole entire mess is down to Ernesto Valverde, but the players have played their part in this malaise too. That shouldn’t be forgotten.
Time for each and every one to stand up and be counted.
To rid themselves of the errors which Griezmann is referring to and which threaten to cripple Barca’s season long before it comes to a natural conclusion.