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Barcelona B, Alen Halilovic, Munir let down by careless board | Barca Opinion

Unable to delay the inevitable, Barcelona B took a huge hit over the weekend being relegated to the third tier of Spanish football. What was bound to come for months became reality for the local side after being hammered 5-2 by Leganes.

Now the Catalan youngsters are set to feature in a league that no team in Spanish football wishes to enter, Segunda Division B. Known for its physical type of play, where technicality is second to many in this case, is not the position developing players want to be thrown into. 

Segunda Division B features 80 teams that are spread apart into four groups, the top four teams from each respective group meet in a playoff to determine which four teams will replace the relegated casualties from Segunda Division. 

Many people can attest to the fact that this division is quite frankly the hardest to come up from, due to the abnormal amount of teams, style of play and terrible field conditions. This harsh piece of news now leaves many Barca supporters questioning how did this academy, which spews out such quality players take such a meteoric fall to mediocrity. 

Most lay the blame on the poor management of the youth teams by the board. Eusebio Sacristan the former manager of the Barcelona B team was constantly on the back end of most of these complaints. Many believed Eusebio valued results rather than developing players and teaching them the Barcelona way. 

More times than not, Eusebio would stick to the players that would give him the best chance for the three points rather than select the players with the best potential to reach a higher standing in the club. His inability to have players thrive under his regime has been evident, as the only true main stays in the first team that have made strides are Marc Bartra and Rafinha, pair them alongside two players that are still searching for a consistent spot in the starting eleven in Sergi Roberto and Martin Montoya.

In response to the poor results, Eusebio was sacked in February and Juvenil A coach Jordi Vinyals took over the reigns for the youth team. Results stayed the same, however, as the identity and chemistry on the team was so non-existent that it would take more than just the tightening of a few loose screws and bolts to repair; teenage egos were getting in the way. 

With the likes of Alen Halilovic, Munir el Haddadi, Sergi Samper, Adama Traore and Jean Marie Dongou it is inexplicable how this team only managed to win nine games in 41 matches, a rare total for a team that has been a mainstay in the Segunda Division for five years. 

If you do care to find the Achilles heel of this team, the clear problem lays on the defense. The back line conceded 81 goals this past season and that’s where Jordi Vinyals decided to place the blame for the collapse, explaining: “It was clear we needed reinforcements at the back but the board thought the squad was sufficient to stay up and continue forming players when it wasn't”. 

The lack of talent to come up from the ranks has been disappointing to say the least; Barcelona prides itself in its academy system, La Masia and at the moment it is not producing like it is expected to.

Lately Barcelona has had to revert to paying star players pricey transfer fees. Although the club has no problem with improving the team now, the first team would like to find some cheap labor from the youth teams. 

Face it, when the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Pique and Pedro have come up through the ranks you get selfish and you expect that influx of talent to don the blaugrana consistently. 

This relegation could not have come at a worse time for the B team, with the transfer ban being active until January expect two of the best players on Barca B, Halilovic and Munir to move onto the first team. 

Whatever president wins the upcoming club election will be forced to pick up the scrapes the current board let fall to the ground.

Published by Alexander Del Valle. Follow him on Twitter @AlexanderDelV

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