“At Barça it is not worth doing the right thing. There is a goal, I see it in training. More than a lack of a goal, it is a lack of daring.” Xavi is clear about the diagnosis that conditions Barça’s growth. A team that plays, as he himself recalled, “without a point cushion”, located 10 behind Madrid and far, for the moment, even from the first four positions that give access to the next edition of the Champions League. “We are in an urgent situation,” confessed the coach, who does not feel worried about the poor aim exhibited in his fledgling project (a goal in 180 minutes, and a penalty, that of Memphis against Espanyol).
With “the right thing” is not enough. And Xavi has also perceived it, needing as he goes for a victory tonight at the La Cerámica stadium over Villarreal (“he is a direct rival, he can fight with us for the Champions League”) to obtain calm. Calm essential to straighten the team that has been stumbling in the League (it arrives at the end of November and has not yet won a game outside the Camp Nou) and calm essential so that “the Xavi effect” is not attenuated in its first week of life. “It is not an easy situation because we do not have any point cushion. We are starting a project in November, it is not easy,” warned the new Barça coach.
“It is not an easy situation because we do not have any cushion of points. We are starting a project in November, it is not easy”
Xavi, Barça coach
Not easy, no matter how much you have discovered that your idea “is being caught” by footballers, no matter how much later they do not make it into goals. “At Barça you have to look for excellence. If you aim at 10 you can stay at seven, then okay. If you aim at seven and get five, it doesn’t work here. We have to return all this illusion with results because if not, there is no effect. Xavi “, stressed the coach insisting on” the need to improve in the last third where we need to dare more. “
An “offensive” rival
Audacity that does not come because that imbalance lies, in the absence of Dembélé, who returned with Benfica, “in young players who, as happened to me,” says Xavi, “when I was 18 I did the right thing.” And with the correct thing, it is not possible to tear defensive structures as worked as those of Espanyol or Benfica. Villarreal, on the other hand, will be a different rival. “It is the most offensive team that we have encountered so far,” acknowledged the coach.
Barça continues to track the forward market, with Sterling on the front line, to give Xavi new resources
In addition, the team of Emery the championship has also started badly. He lives in the anonymous zone of the League (he is twelfth, with 16 points), installed behind Barça (seventh, with 20). Both are far from the noble positions of the classification since the Catalans are six points below Atlético, which marks the border of the Champions League.
Xavi asks for impudence and courage, especially from his forwards, forced to break that bad streak before the goal. And not for the technician to pamper Dembele (“He made a titanic effort to play, which shows his commitment and involvement”), although he still does not know if he will continue next season at the Camp Nou. “I spoke with him and explained that I count on him for now and the project for more years. He tells me that he is happy here, I hope he can renew,” he said before advancing that “he does not want to take risks” with Ansu Fati. “We don’t want to lose it again.”
Alemany, in Manchester
Xavi works to find the lost efficiency in the team, without any margin for error. And the club, meanwhile, continues to search the market for a striker to score goals. This summer he signed three nines (Memphis, Kun Agüero, sick due to arrhythmia, Luke de Jong) and all three at zero cost. The last investment in a scorer dates from February 2020 when Barça executed the termination clause of Braithwaite, operated last September, paying 18 million euros to Leganés. Hence, the trip of Mateu Alemany, the Barcelona football director, to Manchester, revealed by SER Catalunya, to find that striker he is looking for.
“Talking now about signings is a hypothesis. We cannot talk about a name every day”
Xavi, Barça coach
Sterling It is and was the first route, but his departure from City is very complex. Cavani (Manchester United), too. And there are other alternatives in which Barça works, such as Ferran Torres, also a forward for City, uncovered by the daily As. All these operations are conditioned by the fair play wage set by the Professional Football League (LFP).
“Now talking about signings is a hypothesis. We cannot talk about a name every day. Winter market? We’ll see if we can strengthen ourselves,” he said Xavi, recalling that “Mateu was very clear in the last press conference saying that we could not sign”. Now it would be enough for the technician to recruit, again, the doctor Ricard pruna (“It is fundamental for me, he is the best”) and that his forwards hit today.