Xavi's dilemma | Canary Islands7

Xavi Hernández, before a Europa League match. / EFE


The Barça coach carried out rotations against Eintracht and the Barça team accused him for many minutes

Xavi innovated on Thursday at the Eintracht stadium in Frankfurt and the bet did not go well. The Barcelona coach chose to rest Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembélé, two fundamental players for Barça's improvement in 2022, and the team accused him to the point of seeing the Europa League quarter-final tie in danger and having to resort to them as an emergency plan in the second half. Barça already has an eleven that is recited by heart for big events and, luckily or unfortunately for the Catalans, all that remains until the end of the season are key games. Do more rotations or keep your spine despite the risk of overloading your players? That is the dilemma that Xavi faces.

«We have not been like in other games, although in the second half we have been better. I am satisfied with the result (1-1), but not with the game. Frenkie and Ousmane have entered very well, but without detracting from Gavi and Adama, who have also been good”, said Xavi after the draw achieved against Eintracht in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the second European competition. The Catalan coach knows that his team did not have one of their best days and that the idea of ​​rotating two of his usual players on the same day did not go as expected and that it could have been even worse if he had not reacted in time through the changes.

Barça was a flat team against Eintracht that had a hard time breaking lines starting from behind, that did not find Pedri with spaces and that crashed again and again against a group as organized as the one that Oliver Glasner rehearsed. The azulgranas were also unable to get past the outside to avoid the plug that the Germans raised in the center of the field and without one or another alternative they ended up showing some deficiencies that led them to have 66% possession, yes, but hardly shoot four times against the goal defended by Kevin Trapp, a background far removed from what they have shown in recent months.

One of the reasons why Barça did not show its best face was the absence of two capital footballers in the Blaugrana improvement. Barcelona is already a team that has a defined eleven and in which only the right side dances due to the repeated absences of Dani Alves or Sergiño Dest. Ter Stegen, Araujo, Piqué, Eric García, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Dembélé, Aubameyang and Ferran Torres is the team with which the Blaugrana would jump to play the Europa League final, a classic or a match to life or death. With these protagonists dominating the line-up, Barça has managed to climb up to second place in the League, storming the Santiago Bernabéu and gaining access to the last rounds of the Europa League.

The main drawback that Xavi has in this regard is the agglomeration of parties. Barça will play a minimum of seven games in April, eight if they manage to reach the semifinals of the Europa League. All this battery of matches forces the coach from Tarrasa to make rotations so that his team maintains its freshness, but he must do so without the azulgranas accusing him as in the case of the duel against Eintracht. That is the main challenge facing a coach who has already found an eleven type to go to war with, but who is obliged to keep everyone plugged in in case of unforeseen events in the form of injury or sanctions. Rotations yes, but fair.

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