It’s been a tough run of results for Barcelona in La Liga in recent weeks, and Gerard Pique has found himself facing the brunt of the criticism.
As noted by The Daily Mail, the 31-year-old hit back at his critics after the latest disappointment over the weekend as he himself has evidently noticed the attitude towards him from pundits and the media alike.
It comes after Barcelona have gone winless in La Liga in their last four games, suffering a defeat to Leganes while being held to draws by Girona, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia.
While they’ve enjoyed happier times in the Champions League thus far, their domestic form is a concern and according to AS, the dropped points have correlated with mistakes made by Pique, as they’ve attributed nine lost points to five mistakes that he has made.
In fairness, the points put forward are arguably quite subjective, as other errors around Pique should also be considered in the lead up to the goals and they shouldn’t just be scrutinising his role in those situations.
Nevertheless, it is also fair to suggest that the Spaniard should have done better, and he has certainly fallen short of the high standards that he has set for so long.
With the international break now upon us, coach Ernesto Valverde and his squad have time to regroup, refocus and prepare for the test against Sevilla.
That won’t be easy given their rivals are now sitting top of the table, while they also have a showdown with Real Madrid to consider soon after as well as back-to-back meetings with Inter in the Champions League.
Especially with Samuel Umtiti sidelined through injury, Pique must step up in those games as his leadership and defensive solidity will be needed. Based on the statistics put forward above though, it may be a case of focusing on cutting out the mistakes in his game to avoid being considered a vulnerable part of the Barcelona backline.