Reasons for Barcelona to be Cheerful Again!
Board members quitting, players unhappy with the top brass, captain publicly calling out the sporting director, manager getting sacked despite being top of the table, former skipper and club icon rejecting the chance to be the replacement. Yes, a lot of things have happened at FC Barcelona in recent months and it has not been pretty! The relationship between the board and the players, already worse, hit an all-time low during the current Covid-19 crisis over wage cuts. The players believe that some at the top, especially club President Josep Maria Bartomeu, are looking out for their own interests and are willing to throw the players under the bus as long as it means their image is clean.
With all these happenings, there has been a general consensus that Barcelona are not the force they were. Ask anyone with a decent football knowledge and they will tell you the following on what's wrong at the club:
- La Masia talents have dried up
- Too dependent on Lionel Messi
- Expensive transfer flops
- Discord within the club
You get the idea!
But, and this is a huge but, the club can find themselves out of the doldrums soon. Here, we take a look at a few reasons why the Catalan giants can soon begin to dominate world football as they once did.
For all their faults in transfer dealings, Barcelona did make two important signings in recent years - the Brazilian Arthur and the Dutchman Frenkie de Jong. If managed properly, the duo can go on to dominate Barcelona's midfield for the next decade at the very least. As yet, Barcelona's midfield have not been able to function at the level of their predecessors but with the right tactics, they can once again start to become the heartbeat of the team.
The club also have a number of exciting youngsters on their books: Jean-Clair Todibo has been tipped for great things and could make himself at home in central defence as a long-term replacement for the ageing Gerard Pique. 17 year old Ansu Fati has shattered a couple of records this season and again, good management can see him become the next home grown superstar.
This is probably the biggest ifs of them all. IF Neymar does indeed find himself back at Barcelona, the possibilities could be endless. His connection and link-up play with Messi and Luis Suarez was what led Barcelona to their 2014-15 treble and despite his acrimonious departure, he will be welcomed back happily. Put simple, the club needs Neymar back and his presence might even ease off the heavy burden and reliance on Messi.
With the evergreen Messi showing no signs of fading, this is the time for Barcelona to try to build one final 'Dream Team' with their greatest player. Messi has at least another 4-5 years of high level football and to see it with him trying to single-handedly drag the Catalans through matches would be a sorry sight indeed. The arrival of Neymar will reduce the burden on the Argentine's shoulder, if the highly touted return does happen.
Yes, the club has to make a few signings. Full-back is a position that has to be strengthened while a cover/replacement for Luis Suarez has been on the agenda for some time now. A revival is contingent on all these but if they get it right, the glory days won't be far away.
Barcelona's return back to their European glories seems some way off. Watching their rivals Real Madrid pick up 3 consecutive Champions League titles would have hurt bad, especially for the players. Messi has made it his personal mission to win the Champions League again and his dream can come to fruition if the club can once again build a team that can dominate Europe. They have the tools, it seems simple enough. But in football, seeming simple and being simple are two different things.
But, if the club manages to act properly, the days of winning Champions League titles for fun will not be in the past anymore.