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This Week in Barça B: Crisis

Another bad defeat, and a relegation fight begins

RC Celta de Vigo v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

There is no sugarcoating it: things are really, really bad at Barça B. For almost two months now there have been several reasons given for a truly awful run of results. Some are very good, like the constant change in available personnel due to the injuries and absences in the first team that left the squad without its best players.

For the longest time coach Sergi Barjuan has been left alone without his job being in serious jeopardy, but another bad result has changed all of that. Last Saturday’s loss to Algeciras was the latest defeat in a run of just one win in the last 10 games, and even though the score was 2-1 this was far from close. Barça were second-best all game, and deservedly lost once again.

With just 28 points from 22 matches and one of the worst defenses in the Third Division, Barça B went from promotion dreams to a relegation fight in just 10 short weeks. The bottom five teams are relegated to Segunda RFEF and Barça are just two points ahead of Sabadell, the first team in the relegation zone.

Because of how competitive the division is, Barça are still just seven points away from the Playoff places with 16 matches to go so they can still dream of finishing in the Top 5 if they go on a run. But maybe it is time to accept the reality that this isn’t a very good team, not because of a lack of talent, but because they are poorly coached.

Sergi Barjuan has been in charge for eight months now, and it’s no longer a coincidence that Barça B’s best stretch all season came when he left the squad for two weeks to serve as interim coach of the main squad when Ronald Koeman was fired. Albert Capellas took over and Barça B won three in a row, playing some excellent football and looking like the team we saw under former manager García Pimienta.

They are not a well-organized, fast-paced, exciting attacking team under Barjuan, and they cannot stop conceding goals at the back. Joan Laporta seems to still be behind the man he personally chose to take over last summer, and he paid Barjuan a visit during training this week.

It is rare for the president to come watch Barça B in training, so those picture obviously raised some eyebrows. That was perceived by most as a public show of support, but it’s also a clear sign from Laporta that he knows how bad the situation is and he’ll be watching it closely.

There is still time to turn things around, and with the main squad no longer needing the services of the likes of Ferran Jutglà and Ez Abde, the team will be stronger and perhaps get some much needed continuity. But the good results must come now, starting with a home game against Linares this weekend.

The crisis is real, and relegation is no longer a distant possibility. Time to respond.

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