Xavi Hernandez, who lived a thousand similar battles as a player, decided to take the bull by the horns in the face of the obvious drop in play in recent games. The coach summoned his players before Tuesday’s morning session to analyze what happened in the match against Cádiz. On this occasion the videos and the blackboard were parked: Xavi wanted to talk and look his players in the eyes, who in just five days have thrown away their chances of winning two titles this season. For the players it was not a surprise, since the coach himself had advanced his monumental anger at a press conference, warning that he was going to speak with the squad.
As AS has learned, the meeting was marked by tension and forceful messages. And it is that Xavi was fully aware that he had to stop this bloodletting of poor results, if he did not want to see his chances of qualifying for the Champions League in danger. Hence, he decided to take out the whip and put his players at attention, leaving aside his image of an empathetic and ‘good-natured’ coach. He began his speech by criticizing the mistakes and lack of attention in many phases of the game, with flagrant failures in the marks and when looking for spaces, He also recalled that with only talent you don’t win games, and that if you don’t put on the same intensity as your rival, you always end up losing.
He made it clear that he does not intend to allow more errors, which are attributable to intensity or lack of concentration, between now and the end of the season. In fact, he invited his men to lead an imminent reaction this Thursday, seeking to shake consciences and sting his pride. “I want to see a 100% change, a reaction at all levels; we are Barça, we can’t go on like this for another minute”, the coach stressed vehemently during his harangue.
He did not want to individualize or point out a specific player either -more than one already knew perfectly well the mistakes he made and that they will possibly leave him on the bench the next game-, but he did make very clear the mistakes that the team is making and that they must be radically corrected for the next encounters.
And it is that Xavi is angry about the way the team has played the last four games -the tie against Eintracht and the matches against Levante and Cádiz- and he is not willing to let his men lower their guard for a moment. Who is not willing to give everything on the field, you already know that you have a very dark future on the horizon.
There is no doubt that the return of Ronald Araújo and Gerard Piqué to the eleven will mark the way in terms of the leadership and personality that the team needs to get through the season, at least in the minimum balance of qualifying second in LaLiga, a place that gives access to the Champions League and the Spanish Super Cup.