For a while, Barcelona‘s style was Lionel Messi. Until he stopped being Messi. Everything else is nothing. It’s cheap literature and little pragmatic sense of what a modern football team whose main task is to win should be. Barcelona have not only stopped winning, but now anybody can beat them.
Clinging onto their style, to their non-negotiable positional system, a lethargic movement of the ball, they faced a lot of European battles that have caused this situation.
Ronald Koeman is undoubtedly part of the problem. He is overseeing a team without any mentality nor competitive spirit. He has made no imprint on a good squad and we’re told that Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and even Riqui Puig can’t play, although the easy thing for the fans to do is to whistle Sergi Roberto.
The club are prisoners of a dream, of a fable. The kind of classism where Thomas Tuchel, Casemiro, Stefan Savic or Romelu Lukaku would have no place. Because of the style. Neither guarantees success, but they can all fill your heart with happiness.
Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid, after averaging 50 goals a season. So, Zinedine Zidane made Thibaut Courtois his star to win a title and Real Madrid were happy. Luis Suarez arrived at Atletico Madrid and Diego Simeone constructed a solid defence to win a title too, and Atletico Madrid were happy.
That’s what Joan Laporta has to ask himself and answer honestly. What do Barcelona fans want? Do they want to win by going against their style or simply play an extreme take on possession-based football?