Having lost four of their last five games to finish 2021, the holiday break was very important for Barça B. It was a chance to recharge their batteries and work on their issues to kick off the new year with a strong statement that they were ready to put the bad results behind them.
And they had a perfect opportunity to do so with the visit of Third Division’s worst team in Real Betis B, who had won just two games coming into their trip to Johan Cruyff Stadium. Sergi Barjuan picked a strong team with several players who had played for Xavi and the main squad just a couple of days before. A big win was on their way.
Instead, Barça played an awful first half, couldn’t pick up the pace in the second period and ended up losing 2-1, at home, to the worst team in the division.
The only good news coming out of this one was a debut goal for 17-year-old Aleix Garrido, who is shining at Juvenil A and made the best of his first opportunity with Barça B. But the rest was bad, and you can’t even say that Barça played well but missed a lot of chances and didn’t deserve to lose this time. It was well below par from start to finish, and Barjuan’s side continues to disappoint.
Somehow, someway, because of how competitive the division is, Barça remain just three points away from the last Playoff spot and remain alive in the race for the promotion matches. A couple of wins and they’ll be back at the top of the table, but the performances are more concerning right now.
The recent evidence suggests that something is wrong with Barjuan, and there is no doubt Barça B played a lot better in the couple of games under Albert Capellas during the 10 days Barjuan served as interim first team coach after the sacking of Ronald Koeman. Joan Laporta made a huge call letting go of the beloved García Pimienta to bring in Barjuan, and things just aren’t working right now.
Perhaps the transfer market can help: Barça signed 17-year-old winger Fabio Blanco from Eintracht Frankfurt B this week, and the hope is that the young Spaniard can add goals to an attack that creates a lot of chances but can’t finish them. Blanco is already training with his new teammates, and will be ready for his debut next weekend.
Because of the Copa del Rey schedule, there will be no Third Division games this weekend and Barça return to action on January 22 against UCAM Murcia at the Johan Cruyff Stadium. Murcia are 16th in the table and struggling, so it’s another chance to make a good impression at home. Another bad result and Barjuan’s performance should be seriously questioned.