Only a few weeks into the season and what a campaign it’s been already. A real rollercoaster and not necessarily on the pitch either.
However, it’s on the pitch where it counts for Ronald Koeman and Co., and to that end the next couple of weeks, whilst not decisive by any means, will begin to shape the season for the blaugranes.
Against the backdrop of off-field shenanigans, the first team have done remarkably well to come through three difficult games unbeaten.
What’s more, they’ve looked magnificent at times, and that’s surprised many.
How long have we waited to see the press that we were once renowned for return. That hunger, that desire.
Perhaps it comes as a result of Koeman ensuring that the youngsters will get their minutes in. Maybe it’s that the squad have realised that their place isn’t safe if they don’t perform, and there is genuine competition for places again.
For far too long some players were comfortable resting on their laurels, and from what we can see and hear, that’s certainly no longer the case. All power to Koeman for nipping that one in the bud so quickly.
Whilst the victories over Villarreal and Celta, and the draw against Sevilla, have put us in an enviable position with just three games played, the next couple of weeks doesn’t really do us any favours either.
Getafe away on Saturday, a traditionally difficult fixture, comes on the back of an international week where some players won’t return to the group until Thursday or Friday.
Hardly the best preparation.
Then comes a winnable Champions League fixture against Ferencvaros before Los Blancos come to town.
Real Madrid top La Liga at present despite not playing brilliantly, but that’s been a sign of Zinedine Zidane’s tenure throughout.
Whilst Barca fans generally prefer to be entertained, I’m sure a few ground out victories would sit ok with them if it meant silverware at the end of the campaign.
Were the blaugranes able to negotiate those two league games also unbeaten, then arguably we put ourselves in the box seat in the league even if we’re still behind Madrid.
All five of our opening fixtures on paper were tough ones and they’d be done and dusted before what should be, theoretically, a less taxing run of games leading into Christmas.
We do also have Juventus to round out the month in what is likely to be our toughest Champions League fixture of the group stage.
If we finish these next couple of weeks in a healthy state, then it would be a brave new president - should elections follow shortly after - who turfs Koeman out on his ear.