Is it possible for a team to go through a midlife crisis?
If so, Barcelona are in the midst of one right now. On the surface all looks rosey. They’re top of the league and already qualified for the knock-out phase of the Champions League. Everything’s going swimmingly, right? Wrong.
Losing two games in a row for most sides is no big deal but for a club of Barca’s size and stature it can induce panic mode very quickly. It’s not so much the defeats themselves that are alarming; more so the nature of the defeats.
There looks to be a general lackadaisical, meandering sort of attitude about the squad. Messi’s injured and Xavi and Iniesta - the staple of this Barca side - have been relatively off form all season.
Their defeat to both Ajax mid-week and Athletic Bilbao Sunday night spoke of a team that look thoroughly depressed. Could this be the beginning of the end for one of football’s most prolific and best sides?