It’s going slower than I thought. Until Xavi, “I’m still a very positive guy, but the president is much more so,” he proclaimed yesterday, again, that the reconstruction of Barça is progressing more slowly than he could intuit. He hasn’t been on the Camp Nou bench for six months, more than enough time to sing “this is what it is”, which he would say koeman, but with more diplomatic words. Although without anyone questioning him, he appealed to life “post Messi” as the main factor to justify that it will take longer.
At the moment, the main goal he had in November when he succeeded the Dutchman is about to reach him. “We have a golden opportunity to establish ourselves in the Champions League,” he said. Xavi remembering that a victory over Rayo would open a border of nine points over the fifth classified (Betis), in addition to establishing Barça in second position.
The stress of the slow reconstruction has been seen in the drop in performance of the team, which survived in San Sebastián after chaining two consecutive defeats (Eintracht and Cádiz), which have undermined the morale of the always optimistic and positive Xavi.
“You have to be very calm, very tempered”
Xavi, Barça coach
“We are in the post-Messi era,” he repeated on several occasions in an argument that he had not used until now, no matter how obvious it may be, in addition to recalling that United, for example, did not survive the departure of Álex Ferguson, sunk like He has been in the Premier in recent years, unable to even enter the Champions League. “You have to have a lot of patience, a lot,” he insisted on up to four occasions in the same response in which he explained that with Leo, obviously, everything was much simpler.
Koeman did not have Messi at the beginning; neither now Xavi. It was, precisely, Rayo who certified the defeat of the ‘hero of Wembley’ with that 1-0 in Vallecas that caused Laporta to fire him on the same plane back to Barcelona.
“February and March were excellent in terms of play and results. We have gone down a bit in the game,” admitted the Barça coach, who has detected these weeks symptoms of “mental fatigue” in his players, to whom “the change in the game model” is taking a heavy physical toll.
But both Araujo and Piqué are in the call. Ansu Fati is expected next Sunday against Mallorca. And Xavi, meanwhile, has traveled through all moods. “What is most difficult is understanding the game, interpreting the spaces, the free man…”, argued the coach, assuming that “there have been moments of science fiction, the 0-4 at the Bernabéu, but also situations of terror, you have to have a lot of calm and temper ».
Calm and courage necessary for the immediate future where Xavi’s Barça has competed with Madrid, but has been unable to reduce such a large advantage. The same Barça that has collapsed in the Saudi Arabian Super Cup (Madrid), Copa del Rey (Athletic) and Europa League (Eintracht) showing that this project needs to be strengthened and in strategic areas to be a truly competitive team.
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Not even the four winter signings have allowed him to catch Madrid (“they are up on their own merits, if there is a classification since November we are one or two points away, but it is unreal”, he confessed Xavi) nor win any title, so he will complete the third year with only one trophy: the Copa del Rey won by Koeman’s Barça last year.
So what aubameyang He has been an unbalancing and effective striker. “He works, presses, creates spaces, he is a success for the club, a winter super signing. He helps with his humility and is a super positive person”, admitted the Barça coach. But Auba alone is not enough.
“There are positions that are not doubled, you have to do a good planning. The idea is to have two competitive players per position”
Xavi, Barça coach
“There are positions that aren’t doubled, you have to do good planning,” claimed Xavi himself, accepting the need to “have two competitive players per position.” Something you don’t have now.
There is not, for example, a left-back that is in direct competition with Jordi Alba. Nor does it have a specific midfielder to give rest to Busquets.
“We have to reinforce ourselves, but we have to be realistic and think that it is a difficult situation. We depend on the club’s economy”
Xavi, Barça coach
The problem is whether Barça has money and room in salary fair play to undertake this essential reform of the squad. Not even Xavi he knows. “We have to strengthen ourselves, but we have to be realistic and think that it is a difficult situation. We depend on the club’s economy. Let’s see what we can do. And for people to come in, people have to go out,” confessed the coach, who has given a twist in his speech.
To begin with, he used the “post-Messi era” argument, something he had never done before. And he used the word “patience” with a assiduity that he was not used to either, aware that the sporting refoundation of Barça requires time (there will not be so much calm next season) and money, something that he does not know even the coach himself right now.