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Xavi has a number of problems to sort out at Barcelona

Still firefighting...

FC Barcelona v Elche CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

It is far, far too early to judge Xavi, so let’s get that one out of the way straight off the bat,

However, we can critique his early performances in the Barca hot-seat, and the 96 minutes against Elche neatly encompassed his tenure so far.

Once again there were some surprising and interesting decisions.

Starting with Ferran Jutgla could’ve backfired, though fortune often favours the brave as was the case on Saturday night.

Jutgla did his chances no harm and in the absence of Memphis has certainly given Xavi some food for thought.

FC Barcelona v Elche CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Unless the club are thinking in terms of getting rid of the Dutchman, which wouldn’t really make too much sense at this juncture, then the youngster needs to be content with a handful of cameo appearances this season.

Frenkie de Jong didn’t look best pleased at his substitution so at least we an be assured that Xavi isn’t fussed about winning the popular vote. If something isn’t working he’ll do his best to make decisions that fix it.

Was Riqui’s contribution any better when he replaced the Dutchman? Neither better or worse, just different, and at that stage, different was all that was required as Frenkie had tailed off again, as he has done recently.

Xavi backed Marc-Andre ter Stegen pre-game. Again.

I can’t be alone in thinking that his loyalty is misplaced at present. Our keeper had two things to do all evening and wasn’t up to the task on either occasion.

It’s becoming an all too common theme and Ter Stegen benefits only from not really having a top-class understudy to push him in the position.

FC Barcelona v Elche CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Defensively, Barca were abysmal again and no one in the back three gets a free pass after that performance.

Lenglet, Araujo and Garcia were, quite simply, shocking.

It’s in the back line where Xavi has the biggest issue, and it’s also the one that’s likely to cause him the most headaches.

The work that’s being done on the training pitch can at least be seen by the movement and passing from the midfield and forwards, and though Barca are not ‘there’ yet in those attacking positions, the green shoots are beginning to bloom.

If he can’t pick apart where it’s going wrong at the back, however, Xavi’s Barcelona won’t be getting anywhere fast.

Let’s end on a positive note...

Gavi, Nico, Jutgla, Adbe. The future of this great club. No fear in their play, just heart, desire and a willingness to learn.

I’ll take that every single week.

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