It took less than 22 minutes of the game against Valladolid to show up Eric Garcia’s shortcomings in the Sergio Busquets role.
Let’s get it clear straight off the bat that this is not a comparison article.
It’s far too soon for that and, in any event, no one compares to Busi in that position for the club - and certainly not a converted centre-back.
Even before his wild swing which has had become his trademark in defence, and which only succeeded in giving La Pucela the penalty which led to a two-goal lead for the hosts, Garcia was found wanting.
One can immediately see that the role he’s being asked to undertake is alien to him given the sheer amount of times he was caught out of position and how often he gave away possession with a poor ball forward.
Particularly in the first half, he was guilty of getting in the way of his team-mates, meaning that passing moves needed to be rebuilt from scratch.
Eric is a liability and for the most part always has been when playing for Barca, and that’s a real problem for Xavi.
Busi has consistently had his haters, but when he’s not in position, one can clearly see the difference. Whomever comes in next season will have the biggest of points to prove, but that player certainly cannot be Eric Garcia.
Yes, he was brilliant when handed the responsibility on the first occasion by Xavi, however, that has proven to be a one-off.
Barca can’t possibly afford to have a headless chicken running around in the one position which requires absolute focus and calmness throughout games.
It’s not as if he has any redeeming features when in that more central role either.
How often did replay his colleagues into trouble on the night? And this against a team in Valladolid that lost their last five straight games.
It doesn’t matter that this match was effectively an end of the season dead rubber as far as Barca were concerned.
It doesn’t matter that it’s not his natural position (he didn’t do too much better as a right-back either - playing the hosts onside for the third).
He has been put in there to do a job and failed dismally. There can be no excuse.
Nor can there for another dismal overall performance from a team that clearly have their minds on summer holidays.
The end of the 2022/23 campaign can’t come soon enough now, and if the club are looking to bring monies in from player sales, on Tuesday night’s evidence, Eric Garcia should be the first one out of the door.