Mon. Aug 26th, 2019

Barça's timeout

Tiempo muerto del Barça

The season has just crossed the equator and the Barcelona He goes inside with some doubts in the decisive phase, in which a bad night can ruin a competition. The San Mamés match languished without the Blaugrana team expressed ability to overcome and uncovered some of the keys of his bad time. The physical and mental fatigue product of an atrocious calendar, injuries, the state of form of certain individuals or tactical doubts ... A combination of factors interacts and the Barça has completed the last three functions with ties. The template needs a treatment of revival.

The flat section that precedes a marathon of five games in 15 days - which will end with two performances in the Bernabeu, Cup and League, in four days - comes at the precise moment to take oxygen, reconsider and review concepts. Valverde has granted two and a half days of rest to their players, who will not train until tomorrow afternoon and will follow a program of recovery and physical recharge.

No reaction in San Mamés

The gray moment of the team is reflected in three draws followed and with doubts in the game

In case of Gerard Piqué It is significant. The center is the only field player who has played every minute (2,070) in the 23 days of competition, unprecedented circumstance in the last 30 years in Barcelona. Overexposure has not affected the performance of the defender, who decided to leave the Spanish team after the World Cup in Russia, but in other cases it has had an impact.

"Now we have a quiet week and we will be on top in the next matches," he said. Rakitic after the game of San Mamés, in implicit allusion to the physical charge. Since the World Cup final, the Croatian has played 2,926 minutes with Barça and his team, the equivalent of more than 32 games. The crisis that has shown in his last appearances has its translation in the markers and the nebulous game of the team.

Pique and Rakitic are two of the players with more loads of minutes this season

Pique and Rakitic are two of the players with more loads of minutes this season
(Alejandro García / EFE)

If Piqué has played everything - including 5 Champions League matches and 3 entire Cups - this is due in large part to the Umtiti and Vermaelen injuries and to the symptoms of muscular fatigue that have forced Lenglet to be dosed in the last four days. The provisional incorporation of Murillo in the winter market has barely served to oxygenate the axis of the defense.

Three quarters of the same thing happens with Boateng, replacement for the case of Luis Suarez, but not to figure assiduously in the rotations. The Uruguayan, with problems in a knee, adds three appearances without goal and with symptoms of grief. As well Messi, hurt by the muscle contraction that occurred against Valencia, requires a dosage to recover the optimal level.

Injuries and fatigue

Suárez and Messi are in pain; Lenglet, overloaded; Arthur, low, and Coutinho, absent

If Lenglet has made the absence of Umtiti anecdotal, Coutinho has not been able to successfully replace the decline of Dembélé, who was injured when he had managed to stabilize at a high level. The situation of Coutinho, which gets worse in each game, is the main individual concern in the dressing room of Ernesto Valverde. Equally inopportune that Dembélé's has resulted in the injury of Arthur, a decisive element in the positional game that defines the character of the team in the same way as its usual substitute, Vidal, but in another sense.

The team noticed too much in San Mamés the loss by sanction of Jordi Alba, a player without natural replacement, like Busquets. The midfielder is in the fourth question, although the coach has tried to subtract as many minutes as possible. These two cases call into question the planning of a team that has a clean week to recover the lights. The success or failure of the course depends on the physical and mental rearmament and the recovery of the injured.

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