Boring Barcelona win La Liga - Xavi has ended title drought playing the Jose Mourinho way
When Xavi accepted the Barcelona job in November 2021, he spoke of his deep connection to the club. He asserted he was a "Cule" through and through. He understood what the fans wanted. He knew all about the mandate of winning and impressing in the process. He referenced Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola. Most importantly, though, he emphasised his embodiment of "Barca DNA".
In his words, that meant a return to the glorious football of old. His side would not only win, he asserted, but they would look good doing so. That claim was a relief for a fanbase that had been subject to some poor and unsuccessful football under the stewardship of Ronald Koeman. Fans knew that this wouldn't be total football or Tiki-Taka, but it was supposed to be pretty.
Except, it hasn't been. Despite the 4-2 derby win over Espanyol that sealed the title, the Blaugrana are mostly drab and methodical. They are, as their results suggest, a very good team. They have wrapped up their first La Liga title in three years, and will likely be clear by double-digit points once all is said and done.
But they are more akin to a Jose Mourinho side than a Guardiola one. And although Xavi has delivered on the first principle of the job, his inability to do this all in the so-called Barca way suggests that the future might not be so exciting for the very fans Xavi set out to impress.