Are Barcelona the ‘Spanish Man United’?

21:24 EAT 19/04/2022
Xavi Hernandez
African supporters have had their say after another setback for Xavi Hernandez’s side

by Joel Omotto

Barcelona have come under fire from the club’s African fans online following their 1-0 loss to Cadiz in La Liga on Monday.

Lucas Perez scored the lone goal in the 48th minute following confusion in the Barcelona box with defenders Eric Garcia and Clement Lenglet unable to deal with a cross.

Despite their disappointment, fans saw the fun in Barca losing a second consecutive match at home, following last Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League.

“The Spanish #Manutd hit again. Former big clubs,” @DoxaofChelsea said after the defeat. “Twins,” @KhayFCB wrote on twitter, accompanying the comment with a photo of Lenglet and Manchester United captain Harry Maguire.

@DiKe1KeDi blamed winger Ferran Torres for the loss.

“Ferran is not good. Are all the #FerranFC finally coming to terms with the truth or they're still in denial? [Ousmane] Dembele was average today [Monday] and still miles ahead of Ferran,” he said. “Ferran holds up the ball, falls over, gives the ball away and absolutely no fear instilled in the opposition.”

@Chibuike agreed with him, saying: “I am his [Torres] fan but you are right, he only passes the ball backwards, can't cross and can’t shoot.

“Not a good winger nor a good centre forward. Barca need to invest in word class forwards. They should start with a word class number nine. Only Dembele is trying upfront.”

For Idowu Sunday, the finger of blame needed to be pointed a little more widely.

“This embarrassment is getting too much. Lesser teams come to our own turf and take away victory. Mr Xavi, please try and bench or sub Ferran. Let’s try Dembele, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, Adama [Traore], [Memphis] Depay. Please remove Torres from the picture for some games.,” said Sunday, who also does not want Torres selected.

@FMandiwana does not think Xavi is up to the task, despite the upturn in Barca’s fortunes he’s overseen.

“We need a [Jurgen] Klopp or [Thomas] Tuchel kind of coach,” they began. “We need a change and a big one. We have become a joke and media circus; possession football is dead.”

Others argued that the Catalan giants’ tactical approach needs to be varied if they’re going to avoid similar slip-ups.

“The problem with Xavi is that he coaches one type of football against top teams, mid-table teams and struggling defensive teams,” said @Bwoginius. “You can't use the same tactics, formation and speed against these three types. His tactics can only beat top teams which attack, but not defensive ones.”

@ArtisPSD saw the fun in Barca losing.

“Real Madrid will lose the next 10 games. Mark my words, Barcelona are back,” he began, jokingly maintaining faith in the Catalan giants’ faint title aspirations.

“Xavi what’s the excuse now? That Xavi ball doesn’t work on Mondays!” replied @AdizUmar.

“Maybe Cadiz came with over 30,000 fans too, or has Xavi given the excuse for today's defeat,” said @kabandu_nyamson, in response to the Barca coach’s complaints that Frankfurt had many fans in the stands on Thursday.

Defeat leaves Barcelona second on the table with 60 points, same as third and fourth placed Sevilla and Atletico Madrid although the Blaugrana have played a game less.

How do you evaluate the Barcelona legend’s time at the helm of the Liga giants so far? Comment below and let us know.