Things are going from bad to worse for Barcelona, with another two points dropped against Atletico Madrid meaning that if Real Madrid are able to beat Getafe, they will surge four points ahead of the Catalans with only a handful of La Liga games to play.
Heading out of lockdown, the blaugranes were sitting pretty at the top of the table with a two-point lead, but in the space of a few matches that lead has been evaporated, and Barca only have themselves to blame.
Although the players on the pitch can do so much better, the lack of direction and leadership from Quique Setien is now more in evidence than ever.
At the drinks breaks midway through each half it’s his assistant, Eder Sarabia, that does the talking – but seemingly no players want to listen.
Furthermore, Setien’s in-game management is baffling.
Against Atletico, the match was crying out for Antoine Griezmann to come on, but the coach decided not to bring the Frenchman on against his old club until the 90th minute.
When questioned about that after the game, Setien told reporters that “It’s difficult to put him on without destabilising the team,” per Goal.com.
A player that cost the club a whopping €120m has become, within the space of a few short months, a destabilising influence apparently. It’s astonishing.
Or is that a decision based on the players rounding on him in the dressing room after the Celta game for bringing the Frenchman on, only for him to be at fault for Celta’s late equaliser, per MARCA and cited by The Sun?
Whatever the truth of the matter, it seems that Griezmann’s immediate future is away from the Camp Nou, and with Neymar still apparently wanted his old club, this is the perfect opportunity for Barca to dispense with the former’s services and bring back the Brazilian for one last MSN hurrah.
Luis Suarez will probably depart the club at the end of next season, and with the 2020/21 campaign also being Josep Maria Bartomeu’s final one in charge as president, there’s a big probability that he’ll want to go out with a bang.
Therefore, one can infer that a big name signing is on the cards despite the financial chaos surrounding clubs because of the coronavirus impact.
Neymar at least knows the club and can play Barca’s system perfectly, something that Griezmann has struggled with ever since his arrival.
Under normal circumstances, it’s difficult to believe that any club would ship out a world class signing so soon after bringing him in, but there’s a perfect storm brewing for Barcelona, and all they’ll need is Paris Saint-Germain’s acquiescence for a deal to go through.