"We have a clean week to prepare for the matches that are coming and especially the Champions League," he confessed. Luis Suárez in San Mamés. A few minutes later, Ernesto Valverde gave his players a party until Wednesday at 11.00 to prepare Saturday's game against Valladolid. Barça needs air to combat the fatigue that affects the team as much as the coach and even the fans before the worried look of the presiding board Josep Maria Bartomeu. "The sensation is of stress", completed a qualified employee of the Camp Nou. Barça football bored in Bilbao.
Although he did not play well, at least continuously, Barca had responded with peaks of good football when doubts reached the Camp Nou. It happened in the Champions League in their matches against Tottenham in Wembley (2-4) and in the tie against Inter (2-0 and 1-1), also in LaLiga, especially with Madrid (5-1) and even in the Cup with the sound 6-1 to Sevilla. The azulgrana defended without apparent trouble their five points ahead of Atletico. Until the derby came from Madrid and the appointment of San Mamés. Given the possibility of marking seemingly insurmountable distances for their rivals in the league, gave a surprising 0-0.
There was not an equal score in the opposite field for Barça since January 2, 2016 at home Spanish. Accustomed to act on demand, and also to resolve decisive appointments, or if you want the challenges, the Barcelonaians did not respond for once to the demands against Athletic. Barcelona did not resolve the match and also encouraged the feeling that LaLiga has been reopened because the opponent is now not Atlético but Madrid, who reached 10 points and whose dynamic is opposite to that of the Barça team, who awarded three consecutive draws: Valencia, Madrid and Athletic. The calendar has ended by exhausting Valverde's squad.
The meeting of San Mamés certified deficiencies already warned for weeks at the club. There are capital players who do not go through their best form: Rakitic It seems saturated, the qualities of Busquets become defects when the team is extended and Luis Suarez has not rested since January 10 despite the fact that his delicate knee and led him to give up some games in Uruguay. The injuries have affected players who have no substitute such as Dembélé and especially Arthur, a midfielder who sets the style, improves his teammates and allows Messi not to have to delay his position and play at the top.
In the absence of natural substitutes, the absences of Arthur and the sanctioned Jordi Alba they showed the errors in the construction of the template, aggravated by the alignment of a right-handed as left-back: Semedo. There is a relevant fact about the importance of Alba: the team has only won two of the eight games played without the Catalan side and both were against the Cultural Leonesa. Valverde has barely had the quarry and the participation of the winter signings – Murillo and Boateng as well as Todibo – has been testimonial while insisting on aligning players in game crisis, few like Coutinho.
The feeling is that the technician is too respectful with the hierarchy of a team used to throwing trade, little given to the rigor and detail, lately predictable, without finesse or speed of the ball, physically challenged by the want and I can not San Mamés . It no longer marks the differences with the game, a circumstance that facilitates the controversy with the arbitrations and the VAR and endorses the individualities, the players who score or avoid goals: Ter Stegen and Messi. Barca remains in the hands of 10. And Rosario is as contracted as the team, needed rest to face a calendar that includes two classics at the Bernabéu.
"We need oxygen," summarized in the Sports City of Barça. The question is to avoid that fatigue turns into satiety in the Camp Nou.