A series of lackluster performances has prompted some fans to demand the coach’s removal, particularly with crucial fixtures on the horizon after the international break.
Following Barcelona’s narrow 2-1 victory over Alaves on Sunday, Xavi found himself once again having to justify his position. In a recurring pattern over recent weeks, the team relied on individual brilliance to compensate for a lackluster showing. In this instance, Robert Lewandowski’s second-half brace salvaged the result for the Blaugrana, yet it did little to conceal the overall poor performance.
This scenario has now become a familiar occurrence for Xavi. Just over a year into his tenure at Barcelona, he is facing reminiscent challenges. Back then, the team was struggling in the Champions League and had suffered a disheartening Clasico defeat, leading to challenging inquiries. Could the club legend, lacking top-tier managerial experience, truly manage the role?
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Despite the doubts, Xavi managed to weather the storm—albeit after publicly acknowledging that he would understand if Barcelona decided to part ways with him. Eight months later, a Liga trophy was secured, restoring a winning touch but also masking evident flaws in the team. While defensively sound enough for a league victory, the team lacked the attacking prowess promised by Xavi. It wasn’t the La Masia-influenced, Cruyffian, Pep Guardiola-style football; instead, it resembled a Jose Mourinho-esque side that ground out results.
A year later, while some aspects remain similar, there have been notable changes. On the field, the once-solid defensive unit that guided Barcelona to the league title has noticeably regressed. Meanwhile, the high-profile signings intended to bolster Barcelona’s attacking prowess have failed to produce the desired impact. Despite holding the third spot in La Liga, a resurgent Atletico Madrid could push them to fourth if they win their pending match.
The media has inevitably seized upon this narrative, and after Sunday’s victory, the typically composed manager succumbed to the discourse, stating that his players are feeling the pressure from an overly eager local media—a comment that only added fuel to the flames of skepticism.
Now, just past his two-year anniversary in the role, Xavi once again finds himself under the scrutiny. With a critical stretch of games looming immediately after the international break, he must swiftly find solutions to ensure that Barcelona’s season—and his own future—aren’t determined before the year’s end.