Whenever the Spanish league resumes, there’s little point in putting the elephant in the room to one side.
There are certain players in the team that are the wrong side of 30, and whose playing situation, both immediately and longer term, has to be addressed.
Gerard Pique, Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez all offer something different, but should they stay or should they go? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of keeping them for a while yet.
Simply put, without him Barca would’ve lost a lot more games than they have to this point.
A colossus at the back, with impeccable timing, and who leads by example. It’s a long, long time since he played the clown to Puyol’s straight man.
Great in the air, and can provide a supplementary attacking presence when required.
If there’s one thing that goes against Geri, it’s his lack of pace. He was never the quickest, but he has been exposed of late by attackers that can motor across the pitch.
His outside interests have to be a consideration too. Football clubs, tennis tournaments, media commitments... all must take a toll, regardless of what Pique might have us believe.
Like Paulinho before him, when Vidal’s signing was announced, cules were beside themselves. How could a player ‘like that’ play for the club. And yet, just like Paulinho, he quickly became something of a cult hero.
A player with passion, unbridled energy and who will always give 100 percent. He may not be to everyone’s taste, but there’s no doubting he brings a magnificent competitive edge to the side when he plays.
His exuberance can often boil over into nastiness, and Vidal is of no use to anyone once the ref has booked him. It takes away the intensity that he’s loved for.
We’ve also seen times when his attitude has not been what’s expected of a first-team player. Social media rants, alleged training ground bust ups, sulks on the bench. Vidal has to be better than that.
Still knows where the goal is. Give him a chance, or even a half chance come to that, and he’ll gobble it up. Nothing wrong with his instincts.
Is the type of player you love to hate as an opponent. Not only for the amount of free-kicks he earns, but for his incessant moaning, berating of the ref and general all-round belligerence. Great when he’s on your team though!
Like Pique, his speed has all but deserted him. In a footrace, it’s not often now that he gets the better of any defenders that are marking him. Has taken a while to get going in recent seasons too.
His reputation precedes him, but can he really still be considered one of the best strikers in the world?
Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.