New Barca, same old story.
There’s nothing fresh or new about a team that have underperformed for the best part of a year now.
In the first 45 it was great to see some of the confident passing we’ve become known for coming to the fore.
There was no end product, but as a confidence builder, that was, to some degree, acceptable.
Once Memphis’ stunner had given Barca the lead, then it really should’ve been game over. That it wasn’t can’t be pinned on Sergi Barjaun’s shoulders.
The caretaker coach has barely had 48 hours to work with this group of players and whilst there was a little more zip about them at times, free of Koeman’s shackles, there was a vast drop off in quality in the second half.
Whether it’s Xavi or someone else that comes in to steady the ship, they really do have their work cut out. Patience will absolutely be required and not the usual culer tactic of a couple of bad games and out come the white hankies.
If the appointment is semi-immediate, the new incumbent could be without a huge number first team players after Sergio Aguero, Gerard Pique and Nico were added to a growing injury list that includes Pedri, Ousmane Dembele, Frenkie de Jong, Ronald Araujo, Sergi Roberto and Martin Braithwaite.
Taking just a point from a match that on paper should’ve easily been won has left Barca marooned in ninth, and enduring their worst start since the 2002/03 season.
Looking at the situation as a glass half full person, it can’t really get any worse, can it?!
As long as no one expects miracles in the immediate aftermath of a new appointment, and he can be allowed to settle into the role, there’s every chance that this phoenix rises from the ashes in triumph.
There is much to admire with Barca’s youngsters and their attitude towards earning their stripes in the first team, and they just need the right man to guide and mentor them.
Xavi would be ideal for any number of reasons, but as Pep Guardiola found when taking over, things don’t always go well just because you’re an old player from the club.
Ronald Koeman can surely attest to that too.
Alaves should be another lesson, and now it’s all about finding the right solutions. If that means putting a few noses out of joint, so be it. We are not a charity.
PS - Someone tell me the point of Philippe Coutinho...