The last league fiascos, as unexpected as painful because they have meant losing the title when it was in hand and because they have come against inferior rivals, have underpinned an idea that the president Joan Laporta and his board already had on their roadmap after winning the elections: it’s time to make a great revolution in the workforce. And that happens by touching hierarchies that until now have not been touched but that it is inevitable not to approach from the critical perspective with which it is necessary to analyze the current season of the Barça team.
It is obvious that Ronald Koeman, who has one more year on his contract, is in the spotlight and has lost a lot of credit after his team has deflated just at the moment when he could depend on himself to win the League, with a schedule ahead more than affordable. Because Barça could take the lead by beating Granada and then they had a lower Valencia, Atlético at home, Levante, Celta and Eibar. In that section, at the expense of what happens in Ipurúa (which no longer counts), he only won one game, tied two and lost two.
With this panorama, especially in the final stage but without forgetting the many fiascos of the season, a conclusion is reached in the Barça meeting and, also, in the sports area: not only do you have to look at Koeman and focus everything on him . In other words, there are also players who cannot continue at Barça or, at least, cannot continue with the status of untouchables. The conclusion is that there is a group of stars, some of them ‘sacred cows’, with whom we must talk and they will talk about their situation in the team.
According to sources close to the presidency, Messi does not enter this equation because the will of Joan Laporta is to renew the captain at all costs. At the sports level and at the marketing and business level, it is considered essential.
But leaving Messi On one side, there are footballers who form the backbone of the team and who have won a lot for the club who have been portrayed for four years in debacles such as Rome, Anfield, Lisbon, 1-4 this year against PSG and the recent ones against Granada, Levante and Celta in the League.
In the board there is the feeling that you have to put your hand hard on the squad and remove it by touching weight players because if Laporta and his managers do not do so they will become as responsible for the degradation of the team as the former president may be. Bartomeu, who last summer already started part of the renovation work taking out Luis Suarez, to Rakitic already Vidal. I was also then Jordi Alba under the microscope, but Koeman said he believed in him. He has performed at a good level, he has a contract until 2024, and now he is reinforced.
There are even voices close to the president who point out that if you do not act with players of weight who no longer measure up on the field and who condition the game in excess, the fans can turn against the box when they return to the stadium. Thus, Laporta plans to sit down with guys like Sergi Roberto (29 years, one to finish contract), Sergio Busquets (32 years old, ends in 2022) and Gerard Piqué (34 years old and with a contract until 2024). With them, their situation in the workforce will be analyzed, what they charge and what they contribute, and they will be asked to lower their salary since their role will no longer be untouchable or seek an agreed and honorable exit, in accordance with their service sheet but also with its current performance.
The next template photo could be very different
It is not a ‘sacred cow’ but it is a media crack Antoine Griezmann (30 years old), with whom he also wants to speak although the Frenchman signed in 2019 until 2024 and only he has the key to his future. Today he is neither untouchable nor essential. In all the aforementioned cases, it is considered that the performance has not been in accordance with their record and what it requires to play for Barça, without forgetting that it is necessary to reduce the salary mass.
There’s more to talk to
Not only do you want to talk with these four footballers but with many others (Net, Umtiti, Junior, Pjanic, Coutinho, Braithwaite, Matheus), but the novelty is that some who until recently were untouchable, by career or by name, are no longer so. Next week the dance can begin.
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