Let’s be clear right from the very start.
Absolutely no-one wants to see their team lose by a cricket score, least of all one of the most historic clubs in the world and one with a rich and proud history.
The 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich is devastating for anyone with a vested interest in FC Barcelona and for a variety of reasons.
However, it’s also probably the best thing that could’ve happened to the club, and the only real shame is it didn’t come a year or two sooner.
Barca have long ceased to be a real force in Europe for a start point. Yes, we’ve come close, but the manner of defeats against Juventus, Roma and Liverpool since we last had our hands on the Champions League trophy suggested, even back then, that a rigorous overhaul was required in terms of personnel.
Domestic bliss pulled the wool over many eyes, but winning La Liga or the Copa del Rey should be the bare minimum that’s expected of a side with the stature of the Blaugranes.
The barometer of where we are as a club should be measured in the premier European competition. A competition our fiercest domestic rivals have won eight more times than we have.
Let’s park the notion of players picking teams for now, because I don’t believe that’s ever the case. Trying to keep senior staff onside may have an element of truth to it though.
Why else would the club persist with Luis Suarez on a weekly basis? The Uruguayan has been excellent in some games, pants in others.
When a strong hand has been called for from the bench, it generally hasn’t been forthcoming, and it’s not just Suarez, the same could be applied to any number of players.
Allied to that, the board have the power to determine when certain players are past their sell by dates but, in the main, have kept faith.
The issue absolutely comes from the top and emanates down, and I do wonder why the blinkers have been kept on these last 18-24 months, when anyone with half a brain could see what would occur if the status quo remained the same.
Burying one’s head in the sand is never the best course of action, and neither is throwing good money after bad in an attempt to mask previous failings.
The 8-2 defeat exposes the flaws for the world to see and means that there is no longer anywhere to hide, or anyone to hide behind.
I don’t expect Josep Maria Bartomeu to resign, but with the focus squarely upon him and his board now, the next few moves that he makes could make or break the current team as we know it.
At least something will finally be done, and we can only hope that it is for the betterment of the club we all hold dear.