It’s clear that Barcelona’s problems are manifest and many, and they can’t all be sorted with the waving of a magic wand.
However, Xavi can’t hide behind any more excuses after one of the worst performances from the Catalan giants in recent years.
Credit to Almeria for their efforts. La Liga’s bottom club played their own game and weren’t overawed by the hosts which, frankly, says it all for me.
Montjuic clearly isn’t Camp Now but Barca should still have made it a fortress by now. At present it’s anything but, and the deeper we go into the season, the worse the performances seem to be getting.
If there’s one positive from the game it’s that surely things can’t get any worse than this?
The slightly improved second half does not in any way make up for a first 45 that saw the team rightly booed off the pitch.
No player emerged with credit in a half that will have seen Xavi tearing his hair out. Barca were ragged in possession and were often unable to string two passes together - something that is their stock-in-trade.
Why is Robert Lewandowski even on the pitch these days?
Surely the past few matches have shown everyone that a spell on the sidelines is necessary. The Polish international can’t even put away the most simple of chances at present and yet his inflated transfer fee and status within the team seems to dictate that he has to be kept on the pitch so the club can save face.
He wasn’t the only player guilty of not being able to get the basics right yet again - Joao Felix, I’m looking at you.
The relief when Sergi Roberto bagged what turned out to be the winner told us much, but I don’t recall anything else of note in the game worth commenting on.
When Leo Baptistao silenced the Lluis Companys just before half-time, it was the 20th goal Barca had conceded this season. In the entirety of the 2022/23 campaign they only let in 19.
Struggles against the likes of Cadiz, Celta, Alaves and Sevilla at home were again replicated in all areas of the pitch, and to that end, Xavi again must take his share of the responsibility.
Even he can’t legislate for just how bad some of his players were, however.
Collectively, it was another absolute horror show and with January around the corner, there are cogent arguments for the club to move a few players on.
That won’t happen of course, but there needs to be some sort of deterrent put in place to give those players who are clearly coasting through games at the moment a kick up the backside.
It’s incredibly embarrassing for a club of Barca’s stature to be brought down to such a level by a team that still haven’t won a match this season.