Barcelona’s squad believe they need a mental reset after two concerning performances, and the chance to do so is just around the corner.
As per Sport, Barcelona’s squad are keen to go back to zero following two defeats in three games, as well as being outplayed by Real Sociedad and Shakhtar Donetsk over the past week. The squad are not enjoying their day-to-day work, and while there is an admittance that they need to improve, some within the squad also say that they think time apart will be good for them.
After their clash with Alaves this weekend, Barcelona’s players will head off on an international break which the squad believe could be therapeutic for them at this point. Provided they can get past Alaves, of course.
In spite of acknowledging these points, there is also a feeling within the camp that things are not as bad as some are making out. Barcelona remain top of their Champions League group, and just two points back from Real Madrid in La Liga, which is a better situation than last year.
Equally, Xavi Hernandez and his coaching staff are internally taking responsibility for their issues. They are aware that changes will need to be made in order to improve matters both with and without the ball, and will hope to find the recipe for those changes during the break.
The coaching staff are of the opinion that their attacking line of five is often at the same depth, making it easy to defend them, while there is also an internal debate over whether to return to a back four with three central defenders, or continue with Joao Cancelo and Alejandro Balde on the flanks.
Barcelona will travel to Rayo Vallecano after the international break before facing Porto, Girona and Atletico Madrid in quick succession, meaning there will be little respite after the break. While last season things were arguably worse in terms of points, Barcelona are another year down the line with Xavi, and there is less leeway given to him as a result.