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Barcelona beat themselves and fall deeper into disarray

Xavi’s team is a mistake making machine

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Villareal are not a good team, but they managed to look functional for one day against none other than Barcelona.

Yes, they scored five goals, but they were assisted greatly by the ineptitude of their opponent, whose confidence couldn’t be lower.

Barcelona is leaking goals at the moment.

In this game, it was an array of misplaced touches, clearances, and markings. Panic sets in at the first sight of pressure in front of goal.

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The Barcelona players don’t trust one another, and it’s a feeling that has been compounding for months.

Of course, the club wants to continue with Xavi. He’s a club legend who stabilized the team when he arrived as manager, and won La Liga just last season in his first full campaign in charge.

He was dealt a tough hand from the beginning, and this season started full of shocks and unexpected challenges.

Changing managers is not something to take lightly. You never know what awaits you around the corner, and yes, things could get worse.

Fc Barcelona V Villarreal Cf - La Liga Ea Sports Photo By Javier Borrego/Europa Press via Getty Images

But right now, Barcelona is heading for a cliff, and picking up steam.

Just last week, the club gave him confidence with the goal of placing second in the domestic standings, in order to qualify for next year’s Spanish Supercopa, and to get past Napoli in the Champions League.

Barcelona will not defeat Napoli in the run of form they are in, and you can forget about second place.

The question now will be whether they finish in the top four.

After losing to Athletic Club, who currently sits in fifth place, just three behind Barcelona, there’s good reason to believe that this team could continue sinking lower.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-VILLARREAL Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

The question now is whether to stick with Xavi, or to switch to Rafa Marquez, who is currently doing a commendable job with Barcelona’s second team.

Xavi may very well have potential as a coach. It’s possible he was given the job too soon, the same way that sometimes it’s too early to give young players a shot at the top league before they have a chance to develop.

I feel bad for everything he’s endured, and hope his career as a coach takes off in a different environment in the future.

The downside of hiring Marquez now is that you risk the same thing.

Barcelona Atletic v Ponferradina - Primera Federacion Photo by NoeliaDeniz/Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Just because Barcelona had success with bringing Pep Guardiola up from the B team, doesn’t mean it can be replicated. That man is clearly an anomaly.

By bringing in Marquez you risk overexposing him with a mission that is too big for someone so inexperienced. And with it, tarnishing his potential, when what he really needs is the space to continue learning and growing.

There are no easy decisions going forward.

But Barcelona is heading nowhere very quickly.

And the consequences of not qualifying for the Champions League would be huge.

And it’s a shame, because when they pick up momentum, they’re capable of playing really good football. It was a joy to see them come back from 2-0 down.

Lamine Yamal is worth the price of admission. An incredible prodigy to protect for the future.

FC Barcelona v Villarreal CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Pedro Salado/Getty Images

But they really are a mental mess right now. And with the situation getting dire, the only way to put an end to the bleeding is with a new face and a fresh voice from the sideline.

Who that person is is a tough question to answer.

But don’t be surprised if we see the Mexican icon sometime soon.

What Barca really needs is to learn how to play defense again. There are few people who understand that better than Rafa Marquez.

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