Perhaps the most challenging aspect of managing a top-tier European club is the rotation of players. After all, working with players of varying profiles and egos is far from an easy feat.
It is thus a perennial problem at Barcelona considering the quality that nests in the squad. The Blaugranas are currently spoilt for choices across the field, and Xavi Hernandez is tasked with working on a solution.
According to reports from Toni Juanmarti, the manager is convinced that he can provide all players with the minutes they deserve. He will continuously rotate the team through the season so that everyone in the dressing room feels important.
At the same time, the coaching staff is also aware that every player needs to get minutes regularly so that anyone can step into the team in case of injuries and/or suspensions.
Ronald Araujo’s injury, in a way, brought peace to Xavi Hernandez. The Uruguayan international is the manager’s first-choice centre-back, but Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen struck up a fabulous partnership in his absence.
With all three players playing at the peak of their powers, Xavi will look to regularly alternate combinations in the coming weeks. Moreover. Inigo Martinez is not far behind on the pecking order.
The situation in midfield is not far simpler. The manager has Frenkie de Jong, Oriol Romeu, Ilkay Gundogan, Gavi, and Pedri all fighting for just three places in midfield. After all, it is clear that Barcelona are playing better with a natural forward playing on the left wing.
With the Canary Islander currently out through injury, Xavi has fewer options to work with. Pedri’s return, however, will place the manager in a dilemma with all players performing at optimal levels.
The forward department
Xavi considers Robert Lewandowski to be an undisputed starter down the centre- at least until Vitor Roque arrives in January. The remaining two places are being contested for by four players.
Lamine Yamal has created ripples across Europe with his fine form and is an undisputed X factor for the manager on the right flank. Joao Felix has had a similar impact on the left flank and seems undroppable on current form.
With Ferran Torres and Raphinha not placing a foot wrong either, all players deserve a regular role. Managing the playing times will be key for not just form but their fitness.