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5 reasons why you should be ‘Xavi in’ despite Champions League exit

Barcelona’s early exit from the Champions League has led to calls by some Cules for Xavi to be sacked

There are five reasons why that may be the wrong decision.

1. He’s barely a year old at the job

Xavi was appointed Barcelona’s head coach on November 6, 2021. That shows he’s yet to complete a calendar year at the helm.

Barcelona must give Xavi some time on the job before concluding if he’s the right man for the job or not.

When Manchester City appointed Pep Guardiola, he didn’t win any trophy in his first year but they stuck with him regardless but Pep did better. Jurgen Klopp didn’t win a title in his first three years at Liverpool.

2. Injuries impacted Xavi’s squad

It can’t be denied that Barcelona suffered from injuries to key players after the September international break. Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen were probably the biggest absence.

That was felt the most against Inter Milan in both legs, Barca conceded four goals and dropped out of the competition by matchday 5.

3. Barca are a growing squad

The Barcelona squad was one of the youngest in the Champions League this season with an average age of 23.

Many key players in the current squad are teenagers who lack the experience and mentality to play and win big games. The likes of Pedri, Ansu Fati, Gavi, Alex Balde and even Eric Garcia are still greenhorns.

In a few years, the Blaugrana could have a terrifying team at their hands if they hold on to the aforementioned players.

4. Barca squad still needs strengthening

Joan Laporta activated five levers to allow the club to spend nearly €200m on new players. But it’s clear that Barca are still deficient in some key areas of the pitch.

At right-back, they’ve had to rely on an injury-prone midfielder like Hector Bellerin who showed in Barca’s 3-0 loss to Bayern why Arsenal were happy to terminate his contract.

In central midfield, Barcelona doesn’t have a destroyer and the reliance on Sergio Busquets is proving costly by the day.

Perhaps Barca are one or two signings away from a club that can sweep Europe off its feet with the big ears Champions League chalice nicely tucked away. That’s up to the board, not Xavi.

5. Barca are fantastic in La Liga

Despite losing to Real Madrid, Xavi’s men showed a good mentality in the games that followed. Barca beat Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao, teams that compete for top spots, with the aggregate score of 7-0 right after the unfortunate Clasico.

Barca have only conceded four goals in 11 games, hands down the best record in La Liga. Barca have no problem scoring goals, too, having scored 28 which is joint-best with Real Madrid.

Even when things don’t go well, Xavi’s men find a way to grind out a 1-0 victory. Arguably, such wins against Mallorca and Celta are where Barca would’ve dropped points last year.

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