The reality of Barcelona’s predicament can be summed up from the sacking of Ernesto Valverde mid-season, to losing the league title to Real Madrid, then suffering their biggest humiliation in the Champions League to Bayern Munich, and now finally sacking coach Quique Setien.
Barcelona’s problems run far deeper than their manager. The club is in complete disarray and this has been a constant under president Josep Maria Bartomeu. The worst part about this is, Bartomeu wouldn’t be leaving the office anytime soon, not until maybe the elections next year.
Furthermore, the misappropriation of funds and wrong signings has really affected the club. Dembele and Coutinho are the two most expensive signings of the club and were both signed to replace Neymar. This has largely failed, with Dembele spending more time on the sidelines, while Coutinho is currently on loan at Bayern (he scored 2 and assisted 1 in the 8-2 thrashing by Bayern).
The selling of Arthur to Juventus and receiving a 30 year old Pjanic is just another misstep by the club. After the defeat to Bayern it emerged that Barca legend Hristo Stoichkov tried to recommend teenage sensation, Alphonso Davies to his old club, only for Bartomeu to dismiss the signing cause he’s Canadian.
When the club was well-run and coached properly, they were arguably the biggest and best team in the world, but right now they are a shadow of that club. Their only success right now is down to Messi, and he’s not going to stick around forever.
The only way forward for Barcelona is to make the internal changes, and Laporta maybe becoming the president. But until then, they’re going round in circles of endless spending and failures in achieving their goals. The reality has set in and for things to get better, it would have to get worse first.
By Muyiwa Aguda