Here we are, rushing headlong into 2022 after another annus horribilis. A year where anything that could go wrong, generally did.
A 12-month period where it became clear just what an awful mess Josep Maria Bartomeu had left the club in.
And yet, Barca still survive.
Not just survive either because things are actually looking up for the Blaugranes as the New Year comes into view.
The big news of course is the signing of exciting 21-year-old Spanish international, Ferran Torres.
The new digs @FerranTorres20 pic.twitter.com/hpS8rTjaMc— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 29, 2021
Xavi has hung his hat on that particular signing and therefore the pressure is as much on him as it is on Torres, though I expect both to deliver handsomely.
We saw in Barca’s last game against a fantastic Sevilla side just what Xavi can deliver given the right tools and time.
It was, by a distance, the best performance of 2021/22, and might even have been the best of the entire year. The shape of things to come hopefully.
Barca have plenty of youngsters showing their true colours of late, and it’s been great to watch. Players without fear, but with a real desire to impress. To put their imprint on a new Barca.
It’s an old stager that’ll start to get everyone excited again, however.
The start of 2022 will hopefully see plenty of good crazy antics from Dani Alves, not to mention the right-back play that we’ve been missing for far too long.
It’s clear that Sergino Dest and Oscar Mingueza aren’t the right fit, and it shouldn’t matter that Alves is nearing the end of his career rather than being at the beginning of it.
If he’s the best man for the job - which at the present time it would appear he is - then he gets the nod. No explanation needed.
Not forgetting the best news of all, of course. The long overdue returns of both Pedri and Ansu Fati.
It’s important that they’re managed correctly in terms of getting back to full fitness so that there are no more recurrences of the niggling issues that have dogged them over the past few months.
Being just five points behind third place at present, given all of the problems that the club have had to deal with is nothing short of remarkable, and that’s clearly not an insurmountable gap.
This could yet be a season that’s memorable for all of the right reasons.