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Barcelona got what they deserved against Valencia... nothing

A shambles of a performance

Barcelona v Valencia - Spanish Copa del Rey Final Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Where to start with this one?!

From the moment that Sergi Roberto was named in the starting XI instead of Malcom, this Copa del Rey final had an air of inevitability about it.

A ripped tifo before kick-off was another comical sign that all was not going to be well for Barca against Los Che.

And so it proved.

Despite hardly letting Valencia breathe for the first few minutes of the final, the Blaugranes did nothing with their possession, and were it not for Gerard Pique’s effort in getting back to deny Rodrigo, Barca would’ve been behind far earlier than they were.

Let’s not sugar coat the 90 minutes either. Valverde’s side were awful for the most part.

Against a side that had beaten Barcelona on only three occasions out of the last 30 matches in all competitions in the last 11 years.

Against a coach that had never beaten them before, in god knows how many years of trying.

That’s not acceptable.

Moreover, Valencia fully deserved their win, there’s no blaming this one on an ‘off night.’

The warning signs were there long before the actual game too.

Pique’s candour in an interview in the lead up to the final was admirable, but it also hinted at a collective mindset that wasn’t in good shape.

Injuries played a part in team selection but that can’t be used as an excuse either.

The way Dani Parejo was allowed to stroke the ball around in particular was criminal.

What’s happened to the Barca that suffocated teams in games, didn’t allow their opponents to string passes together, and certainly would never give them the freedom of the pitch to execute counter after counter?

The wider issue is that the pressure on Josep Maria Bartomeu to sack Valverde will reach fever pitch now. And yet, in the immediate aftermath of the defeat, the president wasn’t for turning.

It’s unlikely that he’ll change his stance either, particularly given that the coach has the unequivocal backing of the dressing room.

Assuming the status quo remains the same, and there’s no reason to think otherwise, it’s imperative that the right players are secured quickly in this summer’s transfer window.

Not just big names who might add a few thousand to the attendance or help gain another high profile sponsor or two. Players who fit the Barca style and who put ‘team before I.’

A few new faces here and there won’t necessarily change things overnight either, but it will lay the foundations from which the club and team can build for the future.

As important will be the outgoing transfer business because it’s clear to anyone with half a brain that there are passengers in that side now, and that’s unforgivable at Barca.

In the meantime, the president, players and coaching staff need to front up and tell it as it is. That means taking full responsibility - from the top echelons of the club to the bottom.

Let’s see who’s man enough to do so...

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