Barcelona are a side with a point to prove, and their numerous records and a well-endowed trophy cabinet shows just that. As of such, it is understandable that the entire club would still be reeling in shock after their Champions League exit to Roma.
Barca would have reckoned their 4-1 lead was more than enough to see them through to the semi-finals. But Roma were having none of that, and a scintillating 3-0 comeback ensured that the La Liga giants were left disappointed.
And it appears that the brunt of the blame is being hurled towards one man in particular.
As per Spanish newspaper Sport, manager Ernesto Valverde has seen better days than the recent ones. It appears that the players are chiefly blaming him and the tactics he employed to be the reason behind the unexpected exodus.
Much of the dressing room seems antagonistic towards the manager, and the source adds that the dressing room ‘heavyweights’ were particularly headstrong in their declaration that flawed tactics were the root of Barca’s misery in Rome.
First in this is the selection choice for the night, with the general consensus being that the match demanded outright physical players, and hence, leaving out the likes of Paulinho and Gomes was an erring decision.
To add fuel to the fire was the fact that Valverde chose to be largely inert during the game, and didn’t make a change till the 81st minute, by which the home side had already done the lion’s share of damage, and the goal that arrived precisely a minute later didn’t help matters either.
Poor in choosing personnel and passive in using substitutions, the manager was criticized heavily, and the rapport is yet to have been recovered. How will this fare for his future at the club?