Heading into the 2022/23 season, Barcelona were among the favourites for the Champions League. After spending upwards of €150 million in the summer, they had bolstered several positions in their team, and looked ready to compete with the very best.
However, they crashed out of the competition, in the group stages no less, following a third-place finish. All this was topped off by a humiliating 0-3 loss against Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou.
Despite that, the Barcelona administration are ready to keep more patience with Xavi. According to Victor Navarro (h/t Reshad Rahman), the board say:
“We trust Xavi. There is nothing to do, but get up and move forward little by little. It is a team under construction and we must have patience.”
It does raise a few eyebrows, though, especially considering that Xavi is a Barcelona legend and arguably the greatest midfielder of all time. His former teammate, Thierry Henry, could not help but suggest that most other coaches would have been under fire.
“If Barça had another coach, the volcano would erupt,” Henry said.
We must keep in mind, though, that this is Xavi’s first full season as a coach in Europe. The Spaniard has already instilled the basics of great football in the team, and with minor tweaks, especially in the full-back areas, can compete with the very best.
Not to forget that the board appointed him in charge of leading a long-term project at the club. Sacking him this early into the season, and his tenure, no less, would be a reckless operation.
As it stands, Barcelona are possibly the favourites to lift the Europa League, going head-to-head with Real Madrid in the league, and could easily lift two trophies by the end of the season.