Q&A: FC Barcelona’s 2016/2017 league campaign

December 13, 2016

As far as the Spanish League is concerned at least, FC Barcelona’s current season is not going at as as they would have hoped. With some uninspired performances at times, unexpected defeats and a string of draws, Barcelona is six points behind Real Madrid. Now, it’s fairly early in the season still so not the right time to give up hope. But what do Barcelona need to do to close that gap and overtake Madrid?

Clearly a large part of that is down to how well Real Madrid perform. Whenever they drop points they throw Barcelona an opportunity. So what do Barça need to do in the remainder of the season to ensure they make the most of those opportunities?

We decided to find out the thoughts of a number of bloggers who write about football and/or FC Barcelona:

1. What has gone wrong so far this season for FC Barcelona?

Elliot: I think our focus has not been as strong as in previous successful seasons. We need to concentrate more on breaking teams down and winning games.

Soccer Blogger: The midfield isn’t quite purring as it used to in previous seasons. Iniesta’s absence affects the balance of the team and Andre Gomes hasn’t lived up to expectations, although it is hard to blame him and his fellow new signings when they’re so young.

Players like Rakitic and Luis Suarez have also suffered a dip in form. The team appears to depend heavily on the spine of Messi, Iniesta and Pique.

Rob: Barcelona have failed to score more than one goal in exactly half of their 14 La Liga games so far. That has been the main problem. We have become so used to seeing them blow teams away, but that just hasn’t been happening week in, week out and their lack of regular goals has seen them drop 14 points.

Cesar: It seems that more than one thing are holding Barcelona back this season. First of all, the catalan giants have suffered key injuries this season. Moreover, no one really replaced Xavi, and with Iniesta’s fitness troubles this has affected Barcelona’s style. Finally, all six summer signings made by Enrique have failed to impress. Those three factors are severely affecting Barcelona’s form.

2. What changes would you like to see to try and close the gap with Real Madrid?

Elliot: We need to strengthen our midfield and find some more firepower.

Soccer Blogger: Luis Enrique has enjoyed great success with the club, but some of his tactics this season have been a bit puzzling, and they’re coming under more scrutiny because the team is under performing.

He doesn’t appear to use his bench fully- in around half of Barça’s games, Enrique hasn’t made all three subs. In the recent 1-1 draw at the Anoeta, he made just one sub- Denis for Rakitic.

The midfield tactics also seem to leave Busquets isolated.

Rob: Barcelona have failed to score more than one goal in exactly half of their 14 La Liga games so far. That has been the main problem. We have become so used to seeing them blow teams away, but that just hasn’t been happening week in, week out and their lack of regular goals has seen them drop 14 points.

Cesar: Six points are not a very long way to go. But, when it’s between Real and Barcelona, it’s often an insurmountable obstacle. It’s completely plausible that the gap will be closed, but more probably, Real Madrid will maintain the lead. Especially after extending their unbeaten run to 34 games.

3. Do you think Barça can win la liga this season?

Elliot: Yes, we just need a run of games and we are back in the fight.

Soccer Blogger: They definitely can. It’s only winter currently and six points isn’t too big a gap to make up.

Real also have some games left which can’t be said to be three points guaranteed- for example, Valencia, Sevilla and Athletic away and Atleti and Barça at home.

Rob: Yes, and I think they will. Iniesta is fit again and, once Barça click, I expect them to be unstoppable.

Cesar: Barcelona definitely have one of the best squads on earth. The pool of talent they have at their disposal is one of a kind. But, after a slow start to the season, and considering a relatively erratic form, it seems that Barcelona will have to focus more on the Champions league title rather than the La Liga title this season.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this Q&A.

What do you think about FC Barcelona’s performance this season? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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1 Comment

  • Akeem says:

    Barcelona will bounce back. The coach needs to be up and doing matches and he should careful when substituting. Up Barca