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Xavi's first task at Barcelona: Therapy for his players

Although Sergi Barjuan did his utmost to leave Barcelona in the best state possible for his successor, the Catalans' collapse in Vigo on Saturday leaves them in a troubled situation.

Despite managing to get a good Champions League result in midweek to keep their European season alive, Barcelona are still struggling and are now four consecutive games without a win in LaLiga Santander. Drawing from being 3-0 up at Celta Vigo is a particularly harsh blow.

At the end of the game at Balaidos, the players' problems looked to go beyond football. They were nervous in the final stretch of the game, and there was even the suggestion that Philippe Coutinho refused to come off the bench to replace the injured Ansu Fati. When pressed for an explanation, Sergi's refusal to offer one just raised more questions.

Frenkie de Jong spoke of Barcelona's "lack of character" within the dressing room, and it remains to be seen how his words will be received by his teammates, but it's clear that he was feeling the frustration of blowing a three-goal lead.

Now Xavi will come in knowing that he needs his big players to step forward.

Sergi has always spoken of how his players are better than their results this season might suggest, making it clear that the morale in the dressing room has been low.

Problems at the back

Xavi will have to resolve their defensive issues. They've had problems in defence all season, and Eric Garcia has been one of those struggling since joining from Manchester City over the summer.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen's case deserves special recognition. He's gone from being one of LaLiga Santander's best goalkeepers to being a weak point of this team and a player in a terrible run of form.


Once again, Barcelona are having no luck with injuries. They currently have as many as 11 players on the treatment tables, making Xavi's job all the more complicated from the very beginning.


Of course, Xavi will have to solve on-field problems as well, which is the one area that nobody has any doubts about. Everyone believes he can get them playing good football again, given the players he has to work with.

What's certain above anything else though is that Barcelona are in another crisis.

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