Barcelona boss Xavi did not hide anything from the press when it came to the current state of Barcelona.
The former midfielder reiterated that one of the main objectives for the team this season is to finish in the top four. Having said that, the 41-year-old also affirmed that the team has been working hard, despite their last four results not going their way. In the four games that Xavi managed this month, his side have managed to lose two while drawing as many games. In short, Barcelona haven’t registered a single win this month and even blew away a 2-1 lead against Osasuna.
The former La Liga champions are currently 18 points from the league leaders and rivals, Real Madrid. The Blaugrana are more or less out of the title race and now their priority for the season seems to have shifted to finishing in the top four. It is going to be an uphill battle nonetheless as they will have to close down the 5-point gap separating the Blaugrana from fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.
The former Al-Sadd boss also mentioned that it was a pity that he had to take over the affairs in the middle of the season, at a time when all the planning had already been done by the former boss, Ronald Koeman.
“The pity is that I had to come in the middle of the season with the team and planning done,”
On Erling Haaland links
Barcelona have been linked with Ferran Torres and Erling Haaland in recent times and despite their woeful financial situation, they are said to be extremely close to landing the former. While they are in the race to sign Haaland next term, it looks difficult, given the financial powerhouses in Manchester City, Manchester United, and Paris Saint-Germain set to go against their way.
Speaking about the 21-year-old striker, however, Xavi said that it would be great for La Liga to house Haaland, with Kylian Mbappe looking set to join Real Madrid, next summer. But he did mention that it was going to be difficult for Barca to sign Haaland, given their economic state.
Haaland and Mbappe are regarded as two of the brightest talents of this generation and for them to go up against each other in the same league would be fascinating.
“Having Haaland in La Liga is of interest to all of us, Tebas the first, whether at Barça or at other teams.”
While the Barca boss did not point out any specific names, he was keen to highlight some players struggling to ‘understand the positional play’, something that has left his surprised to a great extent.
On Eric Garcia
Eric Garcia has been one of the talking points for the Blaugrana this season. He did start off on a terrible note and looked out of sorts but the former Manchester City man has come back strong. It is likely that Xavi is going to trust him to partner with Ronald Araujo at the center of the backline.
“Eric? Éric will start in many games. It depends on the game we have, I count on all the players, I think everyone has had opportunities and we need them all. Eric is going to play and he is going to be important.”
It is clear that Barcelona need to win, win and win. They have no other choice but to treat every game in the La Liga as a potential final, especially if they are to qualify for the Champions League next season. Moreover, the club dynamics has taken a massive hit as well, with the 2015 UCL Champions being relegated to Europa League.
It is certainly not easy being a player or a coach at a club where the expectations are always high. Having said that, it would be interesting to see how the current crop of players performs under a determined coach in Xavi, for the remainder of the season.
A medical student with an avid interest for the game.