Well it wasn’t quite the season we had planned, but its maybe the season we needed.
After two titles in two seasons, it felt like a good time to start making that transition out of the older players and bring in the new. In fact as I type, we still have 8 more players to join the team come the start of the season that will help go towards an excellent academy I feel I am building.
Before I move onto the new Barca, lets take the time to congratulate Chelsea, a fantastic season for James and his lads and deserved winners, I thought at one point when we clawed back an 8 point gap to move 3 points ahead we had given ourselves a chance, but it was not to be.
Now, New Barca.
New faces in some key positions here, Maignan in goal will be crucial for us and means we don’t have try and get another keeper in for some time. De Vrij and Zielinksi came in for Varane and are excellent acquisitions for us giving us some fantastic depth and adaptability with Zielinkski being able to play many positions.
Alaba, Son, Mane and Benzema continue to be the beating heart of the side, we went on our bad run when we lost Alaba so keeping him in the side is crucial really.
I hope there is a chance of a few rises still in that team, so fingers crossed it’s a better line up come the start of the season.
I would be concerned though with LB, Lodi hasn’t been a constant at A.Madrid IRL and talk seems strong of a move to Newcastle, at least this should get him plenty of game time, but with no Champo League football and not currently making the Brazil squad, it could well be area we look to improve.
But where have improved for me, is in our back up players, or ones for the future I like to call it.
Up top we have Ansu Fati, Darwin Nunez and Giacomo Raspadori, in the middle of the park, Eduardo Camavinga, Houssem Aouar, Samuele Ricci and Unai Vencedor, then bringing up the rear, Loic Bade, Lisandro Martinez, Tariq Lamptey and Alejandro Frances.
Ive never been much of a squad builder, I tend to get the best 11 I can and go from there, and that has served me well, but being manager of Barcelona comes with responsibility and one that im taking seriously. I hope the decisions ive made work out, I guess we all do when doing deals really.
Ive let a very good squad go off the back of those 2 titles, but, and it’s a big but, I make these changes because I want to challenge for longer in the future, not just for 2 seasons at a time.
Lets take a quick look at how the youth team sets up. Its not a competition ive really looked at winning before, we made the Semi Finals in season one, dumped out early season two and quarter finals in last time out losing to eventual winners Levante.
Im really happy with this squad, its bar far the best rated youth team ive had in top100 so I really hope to again at least make the Semi Finals next season. I know its not the highest rated youth team out there, but it should give most big teams a run for their money!
All in all, we have made big transfers and given up big ratings, we will still be talked about in the title race but are someway behind the starting 11 of Chelsea. But as seen this season, get on a good run and anything is possible.
It will be an exciting season for sure, but we must win something.