The Xavi Effect

Xavi Hernandez’s arrival to Barcelona has give the club new life in what seems to be a very difficult season for the team. The club really needed the new energy he is currently bringing to the team and things look better so far than with Koeman as manager.

Ronald Koeman’s biggest mistake as Barcelona’s manager were his comments regarding the squad and show bad it was, those comments were the beginning of the end for him. it didn’t help when he tried to play other football styles there were not ‘Tiki Taka’ and obviously the bad results in both LaLiga and Champions League. Koeman lost the players and fans very quickly this seasons, it also didn’t help when rumors of Xavi’s arrival were taking place for many months, even before this season began.

As mentioned before, Xavi has brought a sense of fresh aire for the team that desperately needed it and Barcelona fans are excited about Xavi replacing Koeman, but has the team improved so far on the pitch?

Xavi’s Barcelona currently plays closer to what Barcelona fans want, the infamous Tiki Taka for better and worse. The team so far in the three games Xavi has been in charge, the team moves the all quicker with their passes and the transitions are faster with Xavi than with Koeman, this is something the team was struggling so far this season. Another positive, is Barcelona betting on young players like Gavi, Mingueza or Dest, but this is something Koeman was doing too and should not be forgotten.

Despite all this positive energy with Xavi, the team still struggles in the pitch. In his first game against Espanyol, Barcelona really struggled the last 25-30 minutes and Espanyol could’ve easily won that game, but still, Barcelona was able to win that game. The following game was a very important one for Barcelona’s aspirations for the Champions League, this was tie between Barcelona and Benfica (0-0), Barcelona was again struggled and was very close on losing this game. The game under Xavi, was a (1-3) win against Villareal, this may seem like a great result but the team struggled a lot during the game and there were some bad ref calls during the game against Villareal.

Xavi’s Barcelona still has some of the same problems the team had under Koeman, the team still does a lot of unnecessary passes and dominante the ball possession and yet they don’t do much with it, another big problem is the team’s lack of scoring (another problem under the Koeman era as well). The team really misses Ansi Fati as their goal reference, but until he recovers from his injuries, he’ll be out.

Three games are not enough time to judge what the team will do this season, but Xavi’s effect on the team has shown positive things and the move time he spends with this team, the more it will improve, especially when players like Dembele and Fati return to the team. Barcelona’s next two games are very difficult ones, first they’ll face Betis (5th) for LaLiga and a chance to get closer to Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid. After that, they face Bayern Munich for the Champions League, the team needs to win game and depend on other results to advance to the next stage of the Champions League, if they fail to do so, they’ll be playing on the Europa League for the rest of the season.

Only time will tell how Xavi’s arrival has affected this team in the long term.

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