A beaten Barça

Koeman could not remove the face of a loser in Seville. The team doesn't yet know if it's under construction or scrapped. Messi, the worst average in goals and assists since 2008.


Sevilla had been presented as a fantastic opportunity for Barça, despite it being a minor title, to start with the Super Cup to get the head that it put in the well of Lisbon. But the final against Athletic ended up being a nightmare and it was not the expected inflection point for a team touched emotionally, that does not know if it is under construction or in decomposition and that pays for the galloping institutional crisis and the power vacuum.

Psychosis. Barça added another cursed night in Seville in which, inevitably, close memories such as Rome, Liverpool, Lisbon or the Cup final against Valencia came. The penalty shoot-out against Real seemed to announce a change of mind, but the final against Athletic, with another decisive set-piece error, was a crude reality bath for the Catalans. On a mental level, the Barça dressing room is very touched.

Carements. Barça was not able to defend a 1-0 or a 2-1 in the final minutes of each half. Dest and Mingueza made waters on the right; Lenglet is in a very deep valley and Alba takes away in defense with his lack of physicality and forcefulness, which gives in attack with his talent to assist. There is also no template depth. The team also trembles at fault. This is how Villalibre's goal came.

Koeman's charisma. Beyond tactics, one of Koeman's great hopes was that he would return that winning bonus to a team that has been getting used to losing for almost two seasons. However, the Dutchman failed in Seville to inject that poison into his players. Worse still, he raised a game with more fear of losing than hope of winning. And the worst ended up happening. Koeman lamented the lack of height of his defense, and of experience in the team. But his footballing message was not ambitious either.

Messi. He has earned the right to decide whether to play by consensus with Koeman for fifteen years, but his finish was mediocre. He is still decisive at times and, in fact, is the top scorer in LaLiga, but it is difficult for him to make a difference with such assiduity. His average of goals (0.64) and goals plus assists (0.88) is the worst since the 2007-08 season. He was not one hundred percent physically and, out of pure football frustration, he reacted badly against Villalibre. While he is at Barça, he is the main thermometer of the team. The first expulsion in 753 games with Barça was the best photo that the night in Seville had not gone well. His renewal, meanwhile, is still in the air. And it is late, because there will be no president with whom to negotiate until next March. PSG is already knocking at your door.

Without bench. With Sergi Roberto, Coutinho, Piqué and Ansu injured, there are no guarantees on the bench. Against Real, Koeman only introduced Trincao in regulation time. Against Athletic, and except for the change of Mingueza for Dest, the relays of Pjanic and Riqui were to lose time. Koeman does not trust the bottom of the wardrobe and the performance of the aforementioned parts has not been happy in the Super Cup.

Without reinforcements. Koeman and the team end up being victims of the club's mismanagement. The president of the Manager, Carles Tusquets, has not given the green light to the signings in the winter market despite the fact that none of Koeman's requests since his arrival has been heard. Depay and Wijnaldum are relatively understandable cases, but Eric Garcia considers himself a project signing. Laporta, Font and Freixa have preferred to stop him and score the goal when someone is chosen. Something may start off crooked in Koeman's relationship with the new president.

Future. The scenario is tricky for the remainder of the season at Barça. As far away as it is in LaLiga, PSG and much more powerful squads are on the horizon of the Champions League. The one-game Cup is a shot in the air and the threat of a second blank year is a serious option these days.

Illusion. Araújo, Pedri, the best version of De Jong and Griezmann's recovery have been the best news of the Super Cup. Koeman trusts that this does have continuity.

Photos from as.com
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