In Sport the defeat accentuates & distorts reality & also the emotional states of those who follow. Football is an emotionally charged Sport that runs smoothly with victory & goes off the "reality rails" with defeats. Spanish Football Club FC Barcelona has entered this week a "parallel Universe" of blackness, pessimism & doom. If three
weeks ago the Club was steaming ahead for titles & record breaking events, & their Coach Luis Enrique was the correct man to Captain the ship, today there is doubt, unease & Coach Luis Enrique is questioned. So what happened? What is going on?

FC Barcelona

There is no doubt that winning is the glue that keeps everything together & in order; it is the essence of tolerance, confidence & faith. The two straight loses, the first in Liga at the hands of arch rival Real Madrid, has disrupted things, set the Barça ship of course & worst, let loose a chain reaction of criticism from media, & apparently from the dressing room. This last is the most concerning, the most worrying as it exhibits a possible malfunction in the main engine. Spanish Sports media has today published some disturbing news about internal dressing room problems between Coach Luis Enrique & his players. To add credibility, it is not just Madrid based press, like "AS", but also the Barcelona based press like "Sport" & "Mundo Deportivo" which collaborates published events. 

To summarize, it is reported that:
  • there is a "riff" between Football Director Zubizarreta & Coach Luis Enrique. The former does not understand the line-ups & team on-field attitude, while the latter reminds the former that he has not the players he asked for pre-season,
  • there is a "situation" between Coach Luis Enrique & defender Gerard Pique. This is a political power play situation that could have serious consequences if not managed right. The defender had issues with Guardiola, & his off field profile does not help while his current form is below expected. All this has both “trains” on a collision course,
  • dressing room conversations have been filtered to the press. The "informer" comments that the players do not understand their Coach on-field set up, that they went into the Real Madrid Liga match unprepared & that Luis Enrique does not speak to his squad. The news published in "AS" says that the players believe that their Coach may have a personal grudge with some players,
  • Luis Suarez starting in the line-ups has upset some, his spot leaves out players like Pedro & young sensation Munir loved by fans. Some believe Suarez has not the form or physical rhythm to be a starter. Added to this the Ratikic today, Xavi tomorrow line-ups has some bewildered,  
  • some see - Club Directives - the hard hand attitude from Luis Enrique as counter-productive, while others think that his authority was discredited after he asked Messi to be substituted & Messi told him no, he continued to play forcing Luis Enrique to change plans,
The list could go on with more points, but I have only highlighted the most significant. The string of defeats has opened up a can of worms, & there has only been two losses (not counting the PSG loss in Champions) & still its relatively early on in the season. Just highlights & reinforces how things quickly change in Football & how everyone see things that were not there or important before.

However, said this, it is important that Luis Enrique manage things correctly this week, & most importantly win in next Wednesdays Champions League game against Ajax. The above "conflicts" if true are to worrying about, especially if there is an "insider" filtering to the press (worst if a player), something to root out as soon as possible. Lastly, the apparent power struggles & conflicts in the dressing room could "destroy" the Barça season if not solved. The last similar example happened with rival Real Madrid in the last season with Jose Mourinho, the players-Coach riff, nearly ripped the Club. 

FC Barcelona

The remedy is simple & crystal clear, win games. Football operates in cycles & it is Barça´s turn now as it was the turn of Real Madrid 3 weeks back.  Winning will fix everything, it always does. Lets hope for FC Barcelona & supporters that there is not more behind the scenes that meets the eyes, no players plot in the Shakespearean sense to rid their Coach. It may sound theatre but it has happen before, it’s another power struggle solution for the good of the Club.   

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