It was exam night for the substitutes. And the debut for the kids. Without the cracks and regular starters, FC Barcelona started the defence of their Copa del Rey title with a B team. With a central midfield of Samper, Kaptoum and Gumbau. And a new version of the trident – Munir, Sandro and Adriano. It was a no-win for Bartra, Vermaelen and Mathieu, who knew that any mistake against minnows like Villanovense would be magnified. And for Douglas, the last opportunity he had to show his Barcelona transfer was not a fiasco.
Nobody lived up to what was expected. Or, perhaps, unfortunately they did. Because the reality is that the Barcelona squad is sad. Luis Enrique has 11 starters, two or three reliable subs, and nothing else. The rest serve to fill the bench and the luxurious locker room at the Camp Nou. It’s what happens when you put your bet in the hands of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
Barcelona B played awfully against a Segunda B side. More than the typical excuses (the bad state of the grass, the hypermotivation of the opponents=, the Blaugrana side offered a bad image, unworthy of a treble-winning side. The truth is that almost none of these players had much to do with winning the treble. But we are talking about players that earn, at least, €2million a season.
Luis Enrique has to take note. And if he has any doubts, I doubt they have been resolved. He has to do what he has to do until January. Then, with Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal (and the recovery of Leo Messi), Barcelona can return to being Barcelona. Although it’s necessary to sign a striker either way. There’s nobody who can do what Pedro did. And this too, is noticed, a lot.