Sunday started good for Barcelona, especially after that R. Madrid draw at home against Eibar. Barcelona needed a win to get ahead of R. Madrid, but too many mistakes lead to a shocking loss against Celta.
Celta was leading 3-0 at halftime, and Barcelona was far away from their best. Iniesta and Rakitic were on the bench, and Mascherano as well.
All three mistakes were punished by Celta. Busquets made a mistake, Mathieu made a mistake and Ter Stegen made a mistake.
Something is currently really wrong with Barcelona. You don’t expect them to lose two La Liga games in 4 weeks, against teams like Celta and Alaves.
It’s not about missing Messi. Something is not quite right with the defense. Enrique should stop with experimenting and focus on 4 players that he thinks will work best at defending.
Mascherano is not in form, but we all know Mathieu is not a reliable option, especially now when the whole team is not in the right form.
Putting both Iniesta and Rakitic on the bench was a huge mistake as well. Gomes is not yet ready to organize the game on his own. He lacks the quick decision making of Iniesta.
Enrique should be blamed for the defeat
Even though the players made the mistakes, Enrique is the only man to blame for all this. He should stop with experimenting in matches that could bring the La Liga title. Barcelona was about to take the number one spot in La Liga, and put the pressure on R. Madrid.
But they’re now one more point behind, because of benching key players. Ter Stegen’s mistake is something you would expect in third or second division, but not in La Liga and not in Barcelona.
Selling Bravo gave more space to Ter Stegen, but is that really a good thing? Barcelona should bring one more goalkeeper to make sure Ter Stegen is put under pressure again.
Barcelona should improve the transfer policy
The only new player that’s currently useful to Barcelona is Umtiti. Gomes and Paco are far away from justifying their price tag.
Gomes wasn’t a star name, but just a player that has potential. Depending on a player that’s still a work in progress is not the best move for Barcelona.
They need to go after already proven players, if they want to improve the squad quality. Buying young players is great, but depending on them right from the beginning is not.
That’s how you lose points and titles.
Enrique should take his job more seriously. Friendlies are meant for experimenting with tactics, and not La Liga matches.
Benching both Rakitic and Iniesta was the biggest mistake. At least one of them should be a starter, to help Gomes adopt to the system.
And what’s with the long balls?
Barcelona only has 2-3 players that can turn long balls into goals. That’s why Enrique should focus on a strategy that will be help the players to exploit space, and make use of the skill set they possess.