With FC Barcelona due to play in the UEFA Europa League playoffs and close to first but still second in La Liga, it’s safe to say that it’s been a disappointing start this season.
Xavi was backed strongly by the board in terms of spending, with several high-profile signings and many other additions that the manager seemingly requested.
Despite this, it would be a mistake to declare the season lost. There are still plenty of trophies to play for, and the Catalans have a pretty good chance at winning them all.
Of course, the Spanish Supercup is a minor trophy and while the Copa del Rey is nice, it’s not the type of silverware that Barcelona is desperate to win.
No, the main prize on offer is La Liga. And Barcelona have a pretty good shot at it, despite not being outright favorites. They are a point behind Real Madrid and have shown a knack for grinding out results. The upcoming FIFA World Cup will also be a disruption, and it’s unclear what the fallout will be, especially as Real Madrid will still be competing for the UEFA Champions League.
Xavi has said he wants to compete for the Europa League, but it’s clearly not a priority for the team. Still, it’s a good trophy to win with a fair amount of prestige.
La Liga is surely the fans’ #1 desire at this stage, but what would be the consequences if Barcelona fail to win it? This is still a growing team, despite the influx of signings. They are due to finish a much stronger league campaign than last year, which could be seen as encouraging. However, with the amount of money invested, a bit of growth was not the aim. The aim was to win things.
The question is, what constitutes a successful season? We can probably say that winning the Supercup and even the Copa del Rey won’t be enough. Would winning the Europa League be enough? Or is it La Liga or nothing for Xavi’s men? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.