Good lord is Barcelona awful.
It was one thing to get domed at home by Bayern Munich, who are still the elite of the elite in Europe, and will probably do terrible things to every team that isn’t based in England or Paris in the Champions League. No loss at home is ever going to be considered OK by “les cules,” but perhaps in their quieter moments they would understand.
It’s a whole other thing for Barça to also get pretty well stepped on by Benfica in their second match in the Champions League, 3-0. Barcelona are the only team out of 32 that don’t have a shot on target in the competition. That seems like an issue, given the rules of the game and how they determine the winner and all.
By the time you read this, manager Ronald Koeman could very well be out of a job, and he probably should be. Koeman has never been an elite manager, and really only got this job because A) He would take it and B) He’s a Barça legend as a player. He washed out at Everton in England after a season-and-a-half, and really his only claims as a manager to success outside of Holland is the odd cup victory or not completely fucking up Mauricio Pochettino’s leavings at Southampton.
It’s impossible to miss how Messi-dependent Barça were, because every time they get into the final third with the ball, it’s clear they don’t have any idea what to do. Barça’s main tactic has been to let Memphis Depay try and do his best Messi impression, and that’s occasionally worked when facing some minnows in Spain. But outside of that, there doesn’t appear to be any plan. There can’t be when you can’t get a shot on target.
Barça are without a point after two games, and if they don’t get at least four points in their next two against Dynamo Kiev, they’ll be staring not-getting-out-of-the-group right in the face. And if they’re not careful, they could easily finish out of the top four in Spain. Not getting Champions League money next year would be yet another disaster.
The reckoning comes for us all.