It goes without saying that the Catalans have suffered a lot in the market with numerous signings gone wrong. However, if some of the reports are to be believed, Barcelona will give their costly trident one last chance of redemption.
All three of Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembélé have a lot of making up to do. Of course, this will only be Griezou’s second season but the first one was unremarkable, to say the least.
As for the other two, the Brazilian has flopped massively, even spending time on loan at Bayern Munich. And as far as the young Frenchman is concerned, he has spent more time out in the stands than on the pitch, courtesy of constant injuries. Still, Ronald Koeman seems to like him so there’s hope.
But 2020/21 has to be their year to shine. Barcelona are ready to give the trident one last chance but it’s now or never. Should they fail once more, coming back would be incredibly difficult despite their quality and talent.
The situation is even worse when we consider they’ve cost the club around €400m in total – an extraordinary sum of money. And that’s without counting the wage bill, which is at the very heart of the problem.
All of them have been incredible for their former clubs and finding that form will be crucial moving forward. At the very moment, they are hindering Barcelona’s project and unless things change rapidly, they might become outcasts once more.
Let’s wait and see if they can turn their fortunes around.
Real Madrid do not seem ready for El Clasico…
Real Madrid started their first Champions League game of the season awfully with a 3-2 loss at home to Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk. The Ukrainian side, which was amputated from a few of their players, had an excellent first half and annihilated Madrid, who had a torrid night at the back. For example. Raphael Varane had a horrid game, scoring an own goal and looking lost without Sergio Ramos at the back.
Having already lost on the weekend to Cadiz in the league, Real Madrid look like half of the team that won the league in July and Zinedine Zidane has to get the spirits up before the most important game of the campaign, El Clasico. The Merengues’ campaign started with a 0-0 draw at Anoeta, and they struggled to beat Real Betis, and Valladolid afterward. Much like Barcelona after the Getafe defeat, Madrid needed to lift their spirits up in the Champions League against a relatively weaker side at home, but unlike their rivals, Los Blancos lost and go into El Clasico in poor form.
In contrast, Barcelona looked rubbish against Getafe, away from home, but gained confidence against Ferencvaros as their youngsters, in Pedri, Ansu Fati or Sergiño Dest, had excellent games at Camp Nou. Barça also never looked as bad as Madrid did this season as they had shaken off the Balaidos curse but struggled against Sevilla at home. However, they weren’t dominated against Sevilla so Los Culés must win this El Clasico to show their dominance after a trophyless season in 2019/20.
Nonetheless, Madrid did show a lot of fight against Shakhtar and even equalised before Federico Valverde’s strike was disallowed by VAR, so they must be respected. Barcelona have to neutralise the Merengues’ capacity to make something out of nothing, especially after seeing Luka Modric’s strike and Fede Valverde’s disallowed thunderbolt.