La Liga starts on Friday, but FC Barcelona are still far from revolutionizing the squad like some thought they should after a disastrous end to last season.
The Catalans did manage to keep Lionel Messi, which in fairness is the most important step towards winning La Liga. And again, to be fair, a lot of deals were already agreed a long time ago. Pedri, Francisco Trincão, and Miralem Pjanić all came via incoming transfers, while other players such as Philippe Coutinho and Carles Aleñá returned from loans.
But after the shocking defeat to Bayern Munich, has this team moved to revamp the squad further? Not really. Ivan Rakitić left for Sevilla. And... that’s it, really. Arturo Vidal and Luis Suárez are still here. There are whispers of signings of a midfielder (Georginio Wijnaldum, Thiago) and a forward (Lautaro Martínez, Memphis Depay), and perhaps a defender or two (Eric García, Héctor Bellerín), but nothing too concrete.
The coach was sacked, and Ronald Koeman has taken the reigns. To his credit, he has made quick judgements of certain players such as Vidal or Rakitić, and instituted what for the moment at least seems like stronger training sessions and a policy of more rotation and less surefire starters. These are good moves, but it remains to be seen how much impact the former defender will have. He has had good stints as manager in his career, but they are usually followed by disappointing seasons, as well.
A shakeup of some players, and a new manager, could in theory help the team revamp a bit. But it’s surely not enough right now. This team still has the same back four and goalkeeper that conceded eight. It still has the starters in other positions for that match still hanging around as well. A change in formation, tactics, and training will help. But it can only do so much. At what point should this team speed up the process?