Many will agree that the departure of Lionel Messi from Camp Nou last summer was impromptu, one that afforded the club little or no time to find a suitable replacement. As someone who has been the cornerstone player at Barcelona for so many years, his exit was surely going to be felt as it came at a time when the club were facing financial crisis and unable to buy top players nor keep the ones they already had.
Since Messi left, Barcelona have been facing all sorts of problems domestically and in Europe. It is not only the poor result that concerns everyone, but the performance, the calibre of players and the absent of the superiority status they became renown for. Put simply, the Catalans have lost their fear factor and that's why teams like Benfica could comfortably dismantle them.
While many are pointing fingers at Koeman, it is needful to know that the problem could be beyond the manager as no matter how skilled a driver is, he can't move a car with a dead engine. It goes without saying that Barcelona do not really have the players capable of making the club thrive at the moment, both Gerrard Pique and Sergio Busquet are aging, Memphis Depay is not really a player of high quality, Dembele and Aguero are still out while the rest are a combination of youth and other average players.
Perhaps if Messi had stayed back, could he have saved the team and rid them of all these debacles?. With Barcelona in desperate need of a game changer, a player who can step up to do extraordinary things, one cannot help but feel the big vacuum created by the departure of the Argentine.
Do you think Messi could have spared Barcelona of their present blushes if he was still at the club?
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