Barca is now trailing 2 points adrift Real Madrid after a draw at Celta Vigo courtesy of an Iago Aspas late equalizer in the 88′ with a brilliant free-kick.
The match was addressed as the final by Barcelona as they pressed to keep the La Liga title, with Real Madrid on their tail it was not going to be an away match as usual. Celta Vigo on their part was fighting relegation as they have one leg in there, so there was a lot to fight for.
The match was evenly contested as both teams pressed for the first goal, the deadlock was broken in the 20′ thanks to a Lionel Messi assist freekick with a touch of genius to give Barca the lead. Luis Suarez carefully headed the ball into the net crowded with Celta players in a bid to stop a Messi freekick from entering.
The draw in Celta did not only cause Barcelona to be behind Real Madrid by 2 points but also laid bare what was actually happening in the dressing room and at the club’s Joan Gamper training ground. During the cooling break against Celta Vigo, Lionel Messi was caught on Camera ignoring Eder Sarabia’s instructions and also walking away from the assistant manager while muttering words in the process.
A whole lot is wrong with the team ranging from an incompetent board selling a player at the last month of the season just because they want to balance the books, a coach that has no authority over the players, and an assistant that does not have the respect of the players, senior players of the team are sick with the whole nonsense, the league title slipping away, the possibility of sacking another coach before the end of the season making it two sacked coaches in one season, this is the situation at Nou Camp at the moment with 6 matches to go.
Barcelona players are used to playing under legendary former players. Quique Sentien was totally lost as to the behavior of Lionel Messi as he looked on with no clue on what to do or way. His fragile hold on the team could be seen slipping away just as the league title.
This is not the first time this is happening, against Athletic Bilbao Ivan Rakitic was also waving his hands and walking away from the assistant coach as he gave instructions.
Pique was seen sitting on the chiller with a tired face which also showed that the team was not in harmony, the rift among the coaching staff and the players actually started when Eder Sarabia yelled from the touchline earlier before the coronavirus break, he went on to apologize to the players and the public, but from the look of things, it does not show the bad blood has been dealt with.
The players are used to playing for legendary former players, the likes of Guardiola, Luis Enrique, Frank Rijkaard, etc.
Quique Sentien has managed Las Palmas and Real Betis and he was able to produce fine playing philosophy and that was why he was hired in the first despite him admitting he was surprised at the appointment knowing fully well his resume did not match the type of coaches Barcelona would sign.
Sentien’s assistant Eder Sarabia makes up for the coach that does not know how to talk to his players or some would say he has gentle composition. Sarabia having apologized earlier about his outburst in giving out instruction has not stopped doing his job. He takes every moment of break to issue out tactical instruction to the players.
Quique Sentien earlier debunked the transfer of Arthur to Turin calling it a rumor, saying Arthur would comport himself as a professional to the end of the season, yet Arthur was left out of the starting line up against Celta Vigo in place of Riqui Puig and Griezmann for Ansu Fati.
The duo of Riqui Puig and Ansu played very well, though Riqui Puig was bullied severally in the midfield due to his small stature, a tactical switch was to bring in Arthur Melo on the bench, but he coach decided to hold on till the 86′ before he introduced Arthur, Junior Firpo, Antoine Griezmann, and Braithwaite.
He will be held accountable for the drop in points because this is not the first time he is making a late substitution. The changes did not go well with some of the team’s senior players and to add to it, Griezmann was on the end of the poorly constructed wall that gifted Celta Vigo the equalizer.
Luis Suarez filled with rage said after the match at a post-match interview, ‘ Under Valverde, we did not win most away games but it wasn’t as bad it is now’, it is the work of the coaches to analyze this. Taking a dig at the coaching staff
Barcelona has a depleted squad with the likes of Franky Dejong and Sergi Roberto injured, they are left to battle a Madrid that has a plethora of players to pick from. Arthur Melo is back in the team after signing for Juventus on Sunday, the question now is, how committed will he be to helping Barcelona win the League after treating him with no respect by the bizarre transfer just to balance the books?
Arthur was sold definitely not for his football as the public knows, he was sold for financial reasons make no mistake about that.
The sale of Arthur did nothing to help Sentien, the proceed from his sale will not be received in this year’s financial record, again this is another financial trick from the board in other to balance the books as earlier stated.
The professionalism of Vidal and Rakitic has really helped them to go on as they were also rumored of moving elsewhere as well just for financial reasons, with players having divided attention like this is quite bad for a club, all the players except for a few don’t know where their fate lies.
There are 3 weeks from now till the end of the season and Barcelona still has crunching matches as they face LaLiga’s most in-form sides Athletico Madrid and Villareal. They will be playing Athletico Madrid Tuesday night, while Villareal on Sunday if they are able to win those matches maybe they will still be in contention of the league title, but if they further drop points in those matches, then the board will have a big decision to make.
Three weeks is a big time for them to make coaching decisions, even if it takes Barca B team coach Javier Garcia Pimienta to take over as interim coach till the end of the season.
Gerard Pique has rallied the rest of the team members by taking to twitter to state it is not over yet. ‘Remember one thing, we are Barca and it is not yet over. Fighting to the end is part of our DNA. Head high and on Tuesday, we will all go!’.
Club legend Xavi Hernandez has expressed his interest in taking over at the dugout but has expressed his desire not to take over in this chaotic situation the club have found themselves presently.
The mini-season consisting of 11 matches has seen two coaches fired and that of Barcelona could follow next, when it was first suggested the subject was made light and here we are it is beginning to happen.
The mediocrity of Barcelona has been exposed, the last two league titles won was as a result of individual performance of Ter stegen, Messi, Suarez, and Pique. It was, in fact, Messi’s brilliance and a good partnership with Suarez that gave them those two titles, football is a team sport and individual ability can only take you to a certain distance but with time the team aspect that is missing will start to show.
Since 2014, the player transfer business at the Camp Nou has been nothing but a mess, it has seen young players leave the club, La Masia is now a thing of history. The crack can be seen and it’s trickling down gradually by the time they go this season without a silverware, questions would be asked and those at the hem of affairs would have questions to answer, only time will reveal the next chapter at the Camp Nou.