BARCA IS NO LONGER AMONG ELITE TEAMS IN EUROPE

BARCA IS NO LONGER AMONG ELITE TEAMS IN EUROPE

By Chima Azu

“Technically, they have it all and they are great players tactically. But they cannot cope with the intensity in top football” Thomas Muller said. This is just the naked truth, this current Barca team can not compete with the top teams in Europe, especially not this season.

As embarrassing as it may sound that the Catalans will now play in the Europa League, realistically this current squad does not deserve to be in the knockout phase of the Champions League. In the last ten years the least they have scored in group stages is 9 goals and the highest being 20. However this term, they could only manage to score 2 in six games and that was against the whipping boys of the group Dynamo Kiev.

Barça are currently placed 7th on the table, 16 points off Madrid at the apex and 6 points off Champions League places. The season is looking like it’s going to be a trophiless one because they obviously can’t win the league, the Copa Del Rey looks like the only chance but one can’t bet on them at this point; as for the Europa League it’s an uphill task looking at the calibre of teams that went down from the Champions League and those that have qualified to the knockout stages.

Although Xavi has brought back hope and fighting spirit but it is obvious that the team can not rival the “big boys” in terms of quality and tactics. The ‘triple D’ attack (Dembele, Deepay and Dest) against Bayern looked toothless and so has it been virtually all season. Deepay is struggling in front of goal, Dembele can only take on players with no end product, while Dest looks confused being played out of position. The defence is still leaky, conceding 26 in 22 matches this season. But it is worthy of note that Ronald Araujo still stands out in defense even when the entire team lacks an outstanding player. To be fair injury has not also helped the team with Deepay and Dembele being the only recognized strikers that are fit. Many of the first team players have been out for a huge chunk of the team’s matches this campaign.

Culers needs to accept the recent reality of how bad the team’s situation is right now and expect many more games like that of last night. The Catalans can’t rival a well organized team with better quality currently. The rebuilding process might take longer than expected especially with the lack of quality and financial capability that they once had.

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