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No way back for Xavi at Barcelona after Super Cup disasterclass

Coach is lacking in all areas

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - Super Copa de España Final Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

The gulf in class in this edition of the Spanish Super Cup - both on the pitch and in the dugout - was evident after just 10 minutes as Real Madrid eased into a two-goal lead.

In a match which would’ve seen Barça draw level with Real on 100 trophy wins apiece with a victory, any thoughts of silverware were annulled before some fans had even taken their seats.

Whatever game plan Xavi had decided upon before the match was quickly undone, and before the quarter hour it was abundantly clear that he didn’t have a plan B once again.

There can’t have been too many worse performances from any Barca side against Los Blancos too. Once Vinicius had bagged his second it became an exercise in how many the all whites would score.

With the immobile Robert Lewandowski and inaccurate Ferran Torres up front for the Catalans, there was never a chance that they would get back in the game, even when Lewy fired home the goal of the match.

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - Super Copa de España Final Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

Questions could certainly be asked of Xavi as to why he didn’t start with the likes of Fermin and Joao Felix. Whether they’d end up finishing the match would’ve been a moot point, because the pair have at least shown some spark in the games they’ve played to this point.

It was a match crying out for invention from a Barca perspective. The type that came so easily to Xavi but which he’s unable to extract from his underperforming staff.

Indeed, the majority of their play across the 90 minutes was football by numbers. Boring and formulaic.

In truth, this Real Madrid side aren’t up to much either, but they were expansive and clinical on the night. Everything that Barca weren’t.

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona - Super Copa de España Final Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images

Of course, one can always accept that some teams are better, but that doesn’t negate the need to give of one’s best, and that comes from the top down. The coach sets the tone but Xavi just doesn’t have any idea.

At the most basic level, Barca’s players should have left everything out there on the pitch. Every last drop of sweat and effort because nothing less is acceptable in a Clasico.

A first-half hat-trick from Vinicius Junior will have really stuck in the craw too, and all three goals were regrettable from a Barca point of view.

The defence were nowhere to be seen for the first two and Ronald Araujo can have no complaints for the third. He should be thanking his lucky stars the referee didn’t brandish the red card at that point, even if he did for what looked like a much lesser offence later on.

There will always be those die hard culers that won’t accept the obvious though surely even they won’t defend this performance.

If you take the view that Xavi can only work with what he has - as I have before in this column - that still does not, in any way, excuse the sloppiness in possession and the inability to function as a collective.

For any number of reasons, there is absolutely nothing that Xavi can say to put a positive spin on a hugely embarrassing showing that brought shame on the shirt.

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