Expectations and optimism:
This whole scenario is predicated on the Board stepping-down or at least trusting the coach (Setien or another) with guiding insights into transfers this Summer, as Barcelona need a culture change more than they need a new coach. We have some very good pieces overshadowed by some older, “over the hill” players. Barca again need that hunger, energy and a balance with youth to make the best use of Messi’s twilight years. Getting Dembele back, having Coutinho find his swagger again, and ensuring there is a forward who can replicate the Eto’o’s and Suárez’s energy is crucial. They also need to ensure Messi focuses on football and not his “friends”, and that likely means saying goodbye to Suárez, and forcing Piqué and Busquets to see the bench more often (especially against faster opponents). It also means trusting the manager to get the best out of Fati, Puig, Araujo, Firpo, as well as finding a way for a combination of FDJ, Pjanic, Coutinho and Puig to work together in dominating the midfield while still breaking through defensive lines more often. And, lastly, ensuring the defense is a good mix of experience and youth, as well as creativity and more discipline from their wingbacks.
This is a lot to ask for. It’s a lot easier in FIFA’s Career Mode! There are good pieces in place, but as things stand there must be change to improve our future. As we look over the precipice of becoming, as many have called us, “another Milan”, we can also chose to leave our negativity behind and begin to think: what if?
There is a way forward. In spite of the ineptitude of the current board, I believe they would love to prove the doubters wrong. Setien would love to put into motion that plan of rebuilding Barcelona which he dreamed-up while walking among the cows in the countryside. Messi would love to make the most of his last years, to retake La Liga and win all the Champions’ League trophies which barely escaped his grasp. There are those at our club who retain that hunger and drive, that optimism and willingness to work hard. Those must stay, and those who do not must leave or learn to respect the team’s new direction and structure.
I still believe. Do you?
Visca el Barca!