Well it certainly wasn’t the best advert for Barcelona on Sunday night, but it was a long way from being the worst too, so we should be thankful for small mercies.
Coming from behind against a Valencia team that aren’t too shabby has to be seen as a positive in a week where all that matters is getting points on the board.
To a large extent, the manner of the performances over the next half a dozen games or so is somewhat irrelevant.
Three positive results from this week would do wonders for confidence, and, given how poor things have been to this point in 21-22, that’s a win in itself.
Dare we say it, perhaps Ronald Koeman was right all along. The Dutchman had always maintained that once he got his best players back and playing regularly, then the Blaugranes would look a completely different outfit.
The briefest of cameos from Sergio Aguero told us precisely nothing, though there’s plenty of time to see how the Argentinian dovetails with the rest of the front line.
A front line in which Ansu Fati appears to have been the catalyst for a return to the Barca we’ve all become used to. Quick balls into the front men, sharp interplay, devastating finishing.
It feels wrong to heap so much pressure onto Ansu’s shoulders so early in his career, though one can’t help but feel that he has taken Messi’s mantle in more ways than one.
The jury is still out on Memphis Depay in my opinion.
His movement against Valencia was good and his passing was ok, but is he the No.9 Barca need? Not so sure about that.
He is a clear upgrade on Martin Braithwaite and Luuk de Jong mind, so perhaps he just needs a little more time in the role to find some consistency to his play.
With any luck, it won’t be too long before Ousmane Dembele can be added to the starting line-up, and the Frenchman will give the team some zip, some width and something extra.
The issue for Ronald Koeman are his injury concerns and for Joan Laporta, his contract situation.
Sort both of those out and Barca still have a match winner in Dembele.
Fati-Aguero-Dembele as a first choice with Memphis-De Jong-Braithwaite as a back up three isn’t the worst situation to be in up front, and is a healthy enough position for the club to be in at this stage.