The man is the only animal that can trip two times on the same stone. Just one year ago, after the first El Clasico of the season, Real Madrid was already on the ropes. Straight out of the Copa del Rey due to an administrative blunder and destroyed 4-0 by Barcelona at Santiago Bernabéu.
In spite of the high expectations following Zinedine Zidane’s appointment, no one mentioned them when they picked out their favourites to lift a trophy at the end of the season. However, the end of the story is already known. Los Blancos won their 11th Champions League, and they almost overcame Barcelona in La Liga. Not to mention that this season, it seems that nobody has learned their lesson, and there are words and phrases like the end of cycle and crisis that are appearing on front pages when experts evaluate Barcelona’s season. If you want to take advantage of that, but have not chosen a real money casino for your wagers we recommend bet365!
The Nou Camp is definitely not a safe haven for Barcelona in La Liga during this campaign. Now they are on their worst streak since Luis Enrique was appointed as their manager. Moreover, they have won only three games out of seven so far; the rests are a defeat and three draws. However, in spite of the setbacks, the Catalans remain competitive against giants like Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, and Manchester City. Simeone’s side struggled quite a lot at the Camp Nou during the first half, but Leo Messi was injured, and Los Colchoneros came back from the ashes. Moreover, the same happened in El Clásico. Real Madrid was, in fact, the best team, or at least until Andrés Iniesta was back from his injury. The winner of the World Cup brought Barcelona back to their self, which also allowed Messi to return to his natural position. This was a glimmer of hope in a such a gloomy atmosphere. However, not everything is lost for Barcelona.
During Pep Guardiola’s administration, it was quite evident that Messi, Iniesta, and Xavi were the spine of the team that made history. I am not saying that Sergio Busquets, Gerrard Piqué, Yaya Touré, Carles Puyol, Carles Puyol were and still are incredible players, to put it mildly. However, Luis Enrique, Guardiola, and Tito Villanova always managed to find a way to succeed when these players left or got injured, as long as Messi, Iniesta, and Xavi remained healthy.
Now that Xavi left the club, Barcelona depends more heavily on the Spaniard and the Argentine. The more time that they spend off the pitch, because of injuries, the more evident this dependence will become. I bet that not a single person has been caught by surprise by the four consecutive draws, or the fact that the defeat against Alavés came after Messi and Iniesta got injured. However, if Luis Enrique manages to keep this pair fit until the season ends, Barcelona will be able to win any match.
There is not a single another team that can play like Barcelona when they click. Not to mention that if Luis Enrique rotates and manages to take care of Iniesta and Messi, we might see the Catalans win every match in their path again. It would not be surprising after all, with Luis Suárez, Messi, and Neymar in the squad. Do you remember that two seasons ago, the team started the year in a horrible shape, even worse than the one they are in today? If you can recall, Luis Enrique was on the brink of being removed after benching Neymar and Messi at the Anoeta Stadium versus Real Sociedad, where David Moyes’ charges defeated them with 1-0. However, someone somewhere flicked a switch, and then their spring performances were simply incredible.
You cannot win a La Liga or a Champions League in the winter. However, you can lose it there. It is in the spring that clubs have to be at their peak form, and that is why the experts are wrong to talk about a crisis now. Moreover, Luis Enrique just has to realise that Barcelona “dead” without these two athletes. Their transfer policy during the last summer was a horrible failure, to say the least. However, there is no time for drama. If the manager can reach February with Messi and Iniesta fit and fresh, there will be no other team in Europe that has a better chance of winning the Champions League!