Quique Setien stated at his official unveiling he’s enjoyed watching Barcelona within the past couple of years, but when he has watched his new team this year he might be wondering how on earth Barcelona continue to be high in the La Liga table.
When you look across the other top European leagues, it is clearly clear why the likes of Liverpool, Inter and PSG are sat beneath the tree.
Only eight shut outs in 27 matches in all competitions this year.
In recent campaigns, keeping out the opposition was a source of pride for the defence and goalkeeper. And in 2019/20 in the Spanish top flight, Barca have surrendered 23 goals. We are still top. That is as maybe, as it is a sound defence that is the basis of championship winning teams.
Real Madrid have surrendered only 12 at the exact same time period, the same as Atletico Madrid, whilst Sevilla have allowed in 18. It is really not that hard to pinpoint where the problem areas are.
When Gerard Pique is good, he’s a complete colossus, but when he is having an off day he’s atrocious. With Nelson Semedo apparently on the move list, chopping and changing of the Portuguese and Sergi Roberto at the right-back slot assists neither and, moreover, both have not really impressed in that function.
In terms of Jordi Alba, his lack of defensive abilities is paid by his value to the team in their attacking transitional phases. Junior Firpo clearly needs additional time in the club if he would like to be considered a capable deputy to the first-choice left-back.
Considering the roll call of names, there is more than enough quality there but the problem is they’re not revealing it often enough.
Two seasons ago, Samuel Umtiti could officially be classed among the best defenders in the world, but he is a busted flush today and wants to leave.
That would at least give Jean-Clair Todibo a shot at harnessing the obvious quality he has and, because of this, allow him to place real pressure on Pique to his game up. Yet he seems set to spend the remainder of the season away from the Camp Nou on loan.
Setien held a double training session on Tuesday and has predicted the gamers back on Wednesday too, that’s just as well because Barca’s defence are quickly becoming a laughing stock.