FC Barcelona shaky start to the season
FC Barcelona have started the season poorly for their usual standards and that is mainly due to Messi not being fit. There is such a difference in the whole team when Messi plays and when he doesn’t. He missed the first four games of the season, in which they dropped five points in that time. He was brought back in twice as a sub first against Dortmund which ended goalless and then came on in the loss to Granada, but he did not look fully fit in either. He made his first start against Villarreal the following week but after assisting Griezmann he could only last 45 minutes and was taken off.
He did not feature in their last Laliga match against Getafe in which they won 0-2. However, he did start the match against Inter, although he did not look fully fit, he still assisted Suarez in their second goal to avoid another Champions League draw. Barca have another big match on the weekend against 6th placed Sevilla and will want to have Messi fit.
One positive from the injury is the emergence of 16-year-old Ansu Fati who has taken La Liga by a storm. He has become Barca’s youngest every scorer and the youngest player to get a goal and an assist in the same match. He has a very bright future with the club.
Griezmann has not fully adapted to Barca’s style of play yet, notching three goals so far but looking a little lost sometimes. Their other big-money signing, De Jong has also found it a little hard aclimatizing but is slowly finding his feet.
The next few matches are very important for Valverde and the team, because if they have a bad result against Sevilla on the weekend then Valverde will be worrying throughout the international break about how he can get this team back to the heights of last season. There are people already calling for him to be fired as they say he is much too negative and defensive for Barcelona. He will want to silence the doubters by having his team put in an empathic performance on the weekend.