The Xavi Hernandez era at Barcelona has well and truly begun, and on Tuesday it was time to get down to business on the training pitch.
Before the players did so, however, they were reminded of the standards that are expected by the new regime, and it’s safe to say that one or two might be in for a shock.
Xavi has decided to implement some new rules, effective immediately, in order to sharpen up the professionalism of the team.
The rules, as initially understood, are as follows:
- Players must arrive for training at least an hour and a half early.
- Staff must arrive at least two hours early.
- Players must eat at the Ciutat Esportiva.
- Fines will be in place for lateness and will multiply per offence.
- No arriving home after 12am within 48 hours of a game.
- Starting spots awarded completely based on performances in training. There are no guarantees for any players.
- Risky activities (such as surfing) are prohibited during the season.
- Players must represent Barcelona properly whether they are around the club or away on holiday.
In all fairness, the points above should be as standard for any elite football club, and the fact that it would appear such rules haven’t been in place for some while would explain why Barcelona have fallen down the pecking order in Spanish and European football.
The issue for Xavi now is to follow through with such discipline in order for the players to understand that he isn’t going to be a soft touch.