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Has Alejandro Balde benched Alba for good at Barcelona?

Critical time in the season

Real Betis Sevilla v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

As we reach the halfway point in La Liga, Barcelona have, incredibly, lost just once in the Spanish top flight and amassed 50 points.

That’s a testament to the work that Xavi Hernandez continues to do behind the scenes.

Despite many culers voicing their concerns over Xavi’s managerial nous, particularly in the bigger matches, his league record stands up to scrutiny.

By hook and by crook, the former Barca midfielder is getting results, and whilst a series of single goal wins won’t please the purists, three points is three points.

The performances will come.

For now it’s only about getting as many points as possible on the board - and as quickly as practicable.

Real Betis Sevilla v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

Against an exciting Real Betis side, the visitors were enterprising throughout, and took the game to their hosts.

Their transitional play was first-class, and each element of the team was in tune with the other.

If you wanted to be really picky, you could suggest that Alejandro Balde. perhaps, could be hooked from the starting XI at someone future point - which may seem outrageous after a man-of-the-match performance.

For all of his excellence in an attacking sense - the assist to Raphinha being a prime example - he’s yet to master some of the basics where defending is concerned.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fabulous left-back, but he’s still making elementary errors.

Forget the continuous early slipping over on Wednesday night. That’s nothing that a different pair of studs/boots can’t sort out.

I’m more concerned with his body shape when defending and, the fact that, in some one on ones, he’s beaten far too easily.

I don’t want to be too hard on him because of his age, but surely there is an argument that Jordi Alba needs to be given the nod in the starting XI as we hurtle towards the business end?

His experience will be invaluable as the Catalans look to tighten their grip at the summit of La Liga.

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

Whatever supporters think of Alba and the other elder statesmen in the team - Busi and Sergi Roberto - you can’t take away from them that all three have been at the coal face during the most pressurised situations, know how to handle it and, when all is said and done, that could be the one single difference that’ll help Barca to get across the line.

Balde will certainly and deservedly have a long and illustrious career in blaugrana, however, some time out of the limelight now may prove to be of benefit not just to the team, but to the player personally.

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