Skip to main content

What's wrong with Barcelona this season?

It has been a crazy start to the 2015/16 Liga campaign. Barcelona, by many accounts, are enduring a tough ride yet they find themselves just a point behind unlikely league leaders Villarreal. The league table is obviously a false representation and an incorrect pointer to how it will look at the season’s end. But there have been plenty pointers to prove why Barcelona have had an underwhelming campaign thus far.

The obvious departure from last season is the number of goals the Blaugrana have conceded this season. In their treble-winning 2014/15 season, Barcelona started with eight clean sheets before conceding their first goal of the season in a Clasico loss to Real Madrid in October 2014. This season though, they have already shipped nine goals in seven games.

The hamstring injury-induced absence of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo hasn’t helped, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen hasn’t quite been the secure presence between the posts. In his four starts this season, the German has conceded seven goals, five more than what Bravo has let in in his three starts. As it stands, none of the top nine teams have conceded as many goals as Barcelona this season.

Of course, not the entire blame can be apportioned to Ter-Stegen. Injuries to defenders have had a massive say in matters, plus the uncalled-for four-game suspension of Gerard Pique at the start of the season hardly helped. Full-backs Jordi Alba and Dani Alves have suffered from injuries at various stages of the embryonic season, while the injury-prone Thomas Vermaelen has all but undone his good start to the season and is no closer to returning from his now month-long layoff.

The injuries and suspensions have forced manager Luis Enrique to reshuffle defensively. The back four hasn’t remained constant throughout; only once has the Asturian manager named an unchanged back-line this season, while the emergence of Sergi Roberto has been mostly as a defensive reinforcement in the absence of Alves at right-back. So many constant changes at the back is hardly ideal, a reason for the inconsistent performances this season.

Alves has missed games through injury this season for the first time since 2012/13, which is another instance of tough luck befalling Enrique this term. On the flip side, the Brazilian’s absence has offered plenty minutes for Roberto — who has enjoyed the seventh most minutes on the pitch thus far — but Enrique couldn’t have envisaged a midfielder to fill in as a defender before the season got underway.

With their defence in shambles and in constant need of tinkering owing to fixture congestion, injuries and suspensions, things couldn’t have been worse for Barcelona. Last season’s 33 clean sheets in 60 games seem a far cry to be repeated this term, and the lack of sharpness of their front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez has laid bare the deficiencies at the back.

In comparison to last season, Messi has gone from a goal each 87 minutes to one every 135. Likewise, Neymar’s rate has dropped, from one every 105 minutes to 186 minutes and Suarez’s too, from 141 to 176. In only two games this season have the Catalans scored more than two goals, and only once have they won by more than a single goal margin, stats which clearly show how the champions have struggled to score this season.

Their difficulties in goal, coupled with the defensive meltdowns, have painted a rather sorry picture. The absence of the talismanic Messi has been another blow in a season where Barca have had to navigate through the storm. Not all seems lost at this stage, and with more than 4/5th of the season still to play, it looks as if they have weathered the worst storms.

Like they say, at the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky, there are plenty reasons to be optimistic about the current season for the Cules, given the state of the Liga at the moment where no team has broken away from the competition, and Barca’s solid start to their Champions League defence.

The vast majority of Cules expect Messi's return to fix all the problems the Camp Nou giants have been struggling with of late. However, the No.10's return and ensuring defensive unit recovers its former effectiveness is of equal importance.

By Abhijit Bharali, columnist at Barcablog. Follow him on Twitter here  

What are your thoughts? Login with Facebook, Twitter, Google or Disqus below


Popular posts from this blog

Paulo Dybala, Neymar, Luis Enrique, Dani Alves and Andres Iniesta | Top 5 Barcelona News

Paulo Dybala, Neymar, Luis Enrique, Dani Alves and Andres Iniesta all feature in today's Top 5 Barcelona News:

How to watch El Clasico online, on mobile and on TV | HD Real Madrid - Barcelona Streaming

Barcelona travel to the Santiago Bernabeu to face Real Madrid in the biggest game in world football: El Clasico! Currently trailing Los Blancos by three points in the La Liga table, Luis Enrique's men have no option but to take the three points back to Catalunya if they are to conquer the league again this season.

In the absence of the banned Neymar, Barca will trust Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to lead their attack once again. If the team's midfield can take control of the game with their traditional commanding passing and their back-line manages to avoid any unnecessary slip-ups, there is reason to believe in a Blaugrana victory in El Clasico.

There's no two ways about it: You would be crazy miss a second of the action as watching El Clasico is now easier than ever -- even on the go! Whether you live in or outside the USA, you can easily stream every Barca match to your desktop computer, mobile device or even your TV.
FuboTV is a live streaming channe…

Barcelona must improve dramatically to even dream of comeback vs Juventus

Barcelona host Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday (2:30 PM ET, EXCLUSIVE ONLINE STREAMING here). The Catalans, who fully deserved the 3-0 defeat in the first leg, will have to once again fight for a miraculous comeback in front of their home fans.

Luis Enrique's men must try their utmost to pile up the pressure from the initial whistle and score an early goal if they are going to have any chance of qualifying for the semifinals. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and the rest of the Barcelona stars must ensure they use the whole width of the pitch and constant ball movement in order to open up spaces within the Juventus back-line.

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta seemed to be up for the challenge during his pre-match press conference: "We have the potential and the players to turn it around. We have to play a perfect game. We have to create the maximum number of chances and score goals. I have no doubt there will be a great atmosphere tomorrow—the fans will be behind us. A…

Barcelona right to appeal Neymar controversial ban ahead of El Clasico

Neymar's decision to applaud the referee after being sent off during Barcelona's defeat in Malaga on Sunday was not very clever. His childish reaction after being shown a controversial red card gave the Spanish officials a golden opportunity to ban him for the Catalans' next three matches -- including the upcoming Clasico against Real Madrid.

As it was to be expected, the Barcelona board have wasted no time in starting the process to appeal Neymar's disproportionate ban. It is believed the Camp Nou giants will until Friday 21st April, two days before El Clasico, to file their appeal at the TAD Committee. That way, it is more than likely that the officials will run out of time to make a decision and be forced to postpone the case a further week -- meaning that Neymar would be able to suit up against Real Madrid after all.

Sure, Neymar's behaviour was out of order. Having said that, it is hardly surprising that the Spanish officials banned him for just enough matche…

Neymar must stay to secure Barcelona long-term success

Neymar has been excellent for Barcelona since he joined the Catalan giants back in the summer of 2013. Despite the many question marks over whether he would accept to share the spotlight with Lionel Messi, his professionalism off the pitch and even the legality of his transfer, the Brazilian youngster has made a remarkable impact and deservedly become a Camp Nou favourite.

As our partners as Sbobet Mobile know, Barcelona are not currently leading the La Liga table but nobody in their right mind would rule them out of retaining the title. If the Blaugranas are to leapfrog Real Madrid before the end of the season and win the league for the third consecutive season, Neymar has a huge role to play in the nine games remaining.

Fortunately for Cules, Neymar is currently playing the best football of his whole career. Fully established at both club and international level, the No.11's confidence and excellent form makes him a constant danger that rivals constantly struggle to contain -- …

Barcelona rewriting history after 1,500 matches at glorious Camp Nou

Barcelona have now played a staggering 1,500 games of football at the Camp Nou. The stadium, which was built back in 1957 to replace the legendary Les Corts Stadium due to the demand for tickets exceeding the ground’s capacity, has witnessed 1,119 Barca wins, 238 draws and only 143 defeats over the years.

Barca are clearly not invincible at the Camp Nou but their winning records of 75% and being unbeaten in 90% of home games speaks for themselves.

Barcelona have now become a global phenomenon thanks to not only their dominance, but also the many world-class stars that have been part of their squad over the years. Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar take the vast majority of the spotlight these days, but their success can only be understood as a continuation of the work of legends such as Johan Cruyff, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Hristo Stoichkov or Lazlo Kubala over the years.

Camp Nou is a synonym of sporting excellence these days. The recent successes under the leadership of Luis Enrique…

Advertise on

Welcome to our Barcablog advertising page!

If this is your first visit to our blog, I recommend that you take a look at our Charity Mission Statement to know more about our community and all that our website has to offer.

An Introduction to Barcablog

Hi! I am Francesc Tomàs -- the person behind -- and your first point of contact for all media related enquiries. Let me give you an overview of the website and some of the advertisement options available for your business. was started in June 2010 as a hobby and in a few short years, it has become one of the most popular FC Barcelona blogs in the world, reaching a social media audience of 710,000+ followers and receiving positive feedback from many media outlets around the globe.

Thanks to the success of, I have had the chance to contribute to major outlets such as ESPN, Weloba and The Guardian, to name a few. My work has also been highlighted by the official FC Barcelona website several times ove…

Neymar, Messi, Ter Stegen lift Barcelona to greatest comeback in Champions League history

Sergi Roberto’s last gasp winner against Paris Saint Germain became an instantly legendary moment that Barcelona fans will cherish forever. Although the Camp Nou faithful are aware that qualifying for the Champions League quarterfinals is not a huge achievement in itself, the players’ determination to complete the biggest ever comeback in the biggest club competition in world football was impressive.

While it came down to Sergi Roberto to seal the historic win, the La Masia graduate was certainly not the only player to excel in Barcelona’s most important game of the season.

Neymar was, without a shadow of a doubt, the leader who took the Catalan giants to victory. His premonitory ‘1% chance, 99% faith’ tweet before the ball started rolling at the Camp Nou could not have been more fitting for the excellent performance that followed.

The Brazilian star proved a constant nightmare that the astounded Parisian back-line simply had no answer for. His astute positioning, magical dribbling a…

How to watch every Barcelona game online, on mobile and on TV

Barcelona, lead by their legendary attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, are on a mission to bring more trophies to the Camp Nou museum this season -- and you should not miss a second of the action!

Whether you live in or outside the USA, you can easily stream every Barca match to your desktop computer, mobile device or even your TV.
FuboTV is a live streaming channel that offers every Barcelona match as well as the whole of La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A and Premiera Liga for only $6.99 a month.

I have personally been watching Barca on FuboTV for years and the 1080p Ultra-HD quality is certainly the best in the market right now. No more dodgy, pixelated streaming for me!

There is a 7-DAY free trial option available and if you cancel your subscription within 24 hours you will not be charged.

Click here to sign up for a 7-DAY free trial with FuboTV.

Fubo TV is currently only available in US. To watch …

Barcelona vs Paris Saint Germain Preview plus Champions League betting preview

Barcelona will host Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday 8th March in the return leg of the Champions League round of 16. Given the horrendous 4-0 defeat at the Parc Des Princes in the first leg, the Blaugranas are in need of a miracle to overcome the deficit.

Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez and the rest of the Barca stars underperformed so alarmingly against the French champions that even thinking about qualification for the quarterfinals seems more like science fiction than a realistic possibility.

Having said that, if there is a group of players who can achieve such a feat, that is Barcelona. If Luis Enrique's men score early enough in the first half and their attacking trident is inspired from the moment the ball starts rolling, nobody could rule out a thrashing of the Parisians at the Camp Nou -- The ideal comeback to silence their ferocious critics.

There's no two ways about it: Barca have not had a good season in terms of results and quality of football. That being said…