The current squad management at the Camp Nou has been short of the high standards many have come to expect.

Even so, the Barcelona faithful can be given hope by the fact that several other big clubs around the continent have not been handling their business in an idle manner either.

What has to be pointed out though, is the fact that Luis Enrique deserves a share of the criticism for his decision to divert the team well away from its previous system which had been about prioritizing the control of the midfield in games.

The state of the current squad is not exactly an antithesis of what the vision was two or three years ago but it is certainly far from the plans Enrique’s arrival promised.

Heading into the 2015/16 season, Barcelona were firing on all cylinders even though there were a few unanswered questions about Enrique’s rotation policy.

The players eventually hit a notable wall of physical and mental breakdown, beginning with a rueful away fixture at Villareal which saw the Blaugrana go from cruising at 2-0 to having to settle for a 2-2 draw after surrendering their lead in dramatic fashion.

That was followed by a period of sloppy displays as major defeats came in the league before Barcelona’s run in the Champions League was brought to an end.

It was certainly no coincidence that when some breathing room around the pile of fixtures finally came during the closing months of the season, Barcelona redeemed their form to win the league and the Copa del Rey.

However, instead of kicking on from that recovery with the right signings in the summer of 2016, Enrique rather mishandled his tasks in the transfer market and ended up without the relevant recruits to improve his squad’s flaws.

Arda Turan, despite arriving with an abundance of experience, was never truly an appropriate fit for a Barcelona system more about patience and ingenuity rather than the grit and feistiness which defined the Turkish midfielder at Atletico Madrid.

Andre Gomes, largely due to his age, appeared to be a sensible acquisition on face value and a potential heir to Sergio Busquets.

But, like Paco Alcacer who moved to the Camp Nou in the same transfer window, being fairly young turned out to be the main reason why Barcelona had to pay a premium for what was in truth untried and untested talent.

These were signings which reemphasized the fact that despite his ability to ramp up the silverware count, Enrique was by no means the visionary Pep Guardiola was.

And now in his absence, Barcelona have been left with some clearing out of deadwood to do before the agenda of replacing Neymar can even be tackled.

Nonetheless, this club is hardly in a state of crisis and there is enough talent remaining to sustain its competitiveness amongst the best.

Jeremy OsbornePost
The current squad management at the Camp Nou has been short of the high standards many have come to expect. Even so, the Barcelona faithful can be given hope by the fact that several other big clubs around the continent have not been handling their business in an idle manner...