Barcelona's current situation mirrors that of a club that is slowing losing everything that it stands for. The financial crisis facing the club forced them into making some critical decisions like letting Lionel Messi go. The club's hierarchy did everything they could to assure the fans that they were in control and that everything is still normal. If there was anyone having troubles believing that, they might have been proven right with just a few games into the new season.
Four games into the new La Liga season, and they find themselves sitting in 7th position with just 8 points. The 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad on the opening day of the season seemed to get the fans excited, but that has died down now. A draw in their next game was followed by an underwhelming 2-1 win over Getafe. Then they suffered a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in their opening game of the UEFA Champions League. Yesterday, it all came to a head as they could only narrowly escape with a draw in the game against Granada at Camp Nou.
Besides the results, the most worrying factor about Barcelona is their performance, and it was all summed up in yesterday's match. Below is an analysis of their performance this season, with emphasis on yesterday's game.
From Their Traditional Tiki-Taka Style Of Play To Attempting 54 Crosses In One Match.
From the days of Johan Cruyff, the Spanish giants have been known for their entertaining, possession-based game. Subsequent managers like Pep Guardola made it even more enjoyable to watch. Even if Luis Enrique choose to tweak it a little, the blueprints were still very much the same. The Tiki-Taka style of play has become one of the most important factors that defined the club's identity in the last few decades.
We are seeing an entirely different team this season, and the performance against Granada summed it all up. According to statistics from Squawka football, the Spanish giants crossed the ball 54 times in the game against Granada.
The fact that these crosses resulted to one goal is a reflection of how aimless they were. This performance from a Barcelona team is a shadow of what we have seen in the last few years.
Gerrard Pique And Araujo As Forwards?
If the fans had any doubt as to how much this team has degraded, Pique's introduction must have been the final confirmation. He was pushed alongside Araujo to play in attack with Luke De Jong. This is a reflection of how bare this team has become and how few their options are right now. They were headed for a loss until Araujo scored a header in the 90th minute.
This Barcelona team is a shadow of what we have become so accustomed to watching, and I can't help but ask: ARE THEY COMPLETELY LOSING THEIR IDENTITY?
Image credits: Marca, Inside Sports, Highlights Football, Squawka football, Barca Blaugranes, Khelnow, FC Barcelona Noticias, Sky Sports.
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