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Relentless Gavi shows the way for under par Barcelona

Man of the match showing against Celta

FC Barcelona v RC Celta - LaLiga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It was the game where every Barca player should’ve taken a leaf out of Gavi’s book.

The Catalans were flying into tackles like whirling dervishes for large parts of the first half against Celta Vigo, taking no prisoners as they did so, but that seemed to disappear completely after the break.

It’s not a style that’s normally associated with the Blaugranes, however, the cheers from the Camp Nou faithful told you that there’s certainly a place for a more industrial game when it’s required by Barca.

Indeed, it could be said that such physicality is where Barca have fallen down in the past.

Beautiful football isn’t going to beat every team, so the darker arts have to be accepted as another way to win - even if it does seem a little sacrilegious as a culer to be considering it.

Frankly, if every player had Gavi’s energy, intensity, determination, doggedness, will to win, desire and level of fitness, Barca would walk this league.

FC Barcelona v Celta de Vigo - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Running 13 km in a game and ensuring that’s not wasted resource is astonishing, let alone when it’s from a teenager still making his mark in the game.

Despite his youth, he continues to lead by example. He’ll never have Pedri’s skill, but he dovetails perfectly with his club and international colleague.

There is a ‘telepathy’ to their game which is impressive at this stage of their respective careers

It truly is a frightening prospect to understand that Gavi won’t be at his peak, theoretically, for another decade.

Plenty of time to smooth out the rough edges that still exist in his game but which can easily be forgiven because of his importance to Xavi’s project.

I’ve seen it written in some comments on this forum in the past that Gavi is nothing but a ‘headless chicken.’ I’d suggest that anyone who can come up with such a description has nothing meaningful to contribute to any discussion other than to rile fellow Blaugranes.

Certainly, Gavi isn’t beyond scrutiny, and in some games he has been found wanting in certain aspects. However, his commitment to the cause is beyond question.

More often than not supporters of any club want their players to ‘put sweat on the shirt.’ Can anyone truly say Gavi doesn’t do precisely that in every game?

The first goal came as a direct result of his movement and intelligence, and Celta’s more experienced midfield just couldn’t cope with his work rate.

How can one be too critical of a player that’s still learning his trade but rarely dips his level against any opponent?

It’s no wonder he was so sought after during the summer, and him putting pen to paper on a long-term deal has been one of the biggest wins of the Laporta era so far.

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