Barcelona dressing room in a quarrel with management.
Quique Setien’s men had a thriller match on Tuesday where despite Lionel Messi achieving his 700th career goal, the team was unable to secure the three points that would help them close the gap to La Liga’s current leaders, Real Madrid.
The 2-2 against Atleti meant that Barcelona dropped further two points after their recent draw versus Celta Vigo. Real Madrid have a golden opportunity to secure this year’s league title if they manage to win against Getafe in their next match.
What’s particularly interesting is how the Blaugrana players behaved during the 25th and 75th mark cooling breaks, where it was clearly evident that the relationship between the coaching staff and their players is not perfect.
During the match against Celta Vigo, Lionel Messi and co. were seen visibly either ignoring or frustrated with something regarding the coaching staff. The Argentine maestro was seen ignoring Setien’s assistant referee, Eder Sarabia, when he approached him during the cooling break.
Meanwhile, Ivan Rakitic was also frustrated with what the coaching staff told him during that period. Reports had revealed that president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the sporting director had visited Setien after the match to reportedly give him their full support.
While it is unknown what was really said during the meeting, the reality remains that there is a big problem in the Barca dressing room that is being seen on the field, in between the matches.
Even during the fixture against Atletico Madrid, the club captain was seen frustrated throughout the match, especially with regard to the multiple controversial decisions made by the referee. He was often seen speaking to the referee discussing his decisions in a match where 3 penalities were given, with 2 being against Barca.
While there is the thought that Messi and co. are having to play under a coaching staff that they do not really believe in, Setien has made many questionable decisions himself, with him failing to use the allowed 5 substitutes during a match. In the clash against Diego Simeone‘s Atletico, Setien only made three substitutions with two of them coming post the 85th-minute mark.
Whereas there are reports claiming Quique Setien is on the verge of being sacked with Barca B coach being lined up to replace him temporarily, in the end, it all comes down to Bartomeu’s decision.
The club’s president has one more year in his office, at which point a new presidential candidate is likely to be elected which will give the club an opportunity to sign a new manager with Pep Guardiola and Xavi Hernandez being named the favorites.