It would be fair to say that Ronald Koeman has experienced a bumpy ride in the early days of his coaching career at Catalan giants Barcelona. This season is expected to be something of a transitional one for the Blaugrana. However, they will still be expected to win the majority of games.
On Wednesday night, they did just that by recording a victory at Juventus in the Champions League. True the home team were missing several players, but Barcelona’s performance in Turin was still an impressive one.
Pirlo still trying to figure things out at Juventus
Koeman is not the only new head coach still in a learning period at a new club. Rookie Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo is also still trying to figure things out with his new team. On Wednesday night there seemed to be very little cohesion in the team. Spanish striker Alvaro Morata worked hard and had little luck, having three goals chalked off for offside. However, beyond the former Chelsea player, few produced anything of note for the Bianconeri.
It seems that Pirlo knows the same he wants his team to play, but maybe has not instilled that into his players or maybe he does not have the right players for the style. It is important to note that Wednesday loss was Juventus’ first under Pirlo.
Barcelona players starting to click
At times this season, Barcelona have shown flashes of good intricate play. However, it has not yielded enough results. By his high standards, Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi has endured an underwhelming campaign.
The veteran star produced a lively display and scored a goal in Turin, even if he was not quite at his best during the game he linked up well with French international Antione Griezmann and the highly-talented youngster Pedri.
During his time at Barcelona, Griezmann has looked a shadow of the player who tore up defences at Atletico Madrid. The team’s style of play has not always suited the former Real Sociedad star. He has even been in and out of the team. However, in Turin, he showed some nice touches and some understanding with Messi. He is obviously low on confidence, but if he keeps working hard then may just turn his career around in Catalonia.
At just 17 years of age, Pedri looks like an incredible footballer. He has already developed an understanding with Messi, which as we know is vital for any player at Barcelona. The Tenerife-born attacking midfielder is among a small group of highly-talented younger players at the Catalan club that represents the future. The likes of Ansu Fati, Sergino Dest and Frenkie de Jong are all in their teens or early twenties. If they can fulfil their potential then Barcelona will have a very promising team in the near future.
Neither team ready to challenge for Champions League glory
On the evidence of the season so, neither Juventus nor Barcelona are ready to challenge for the Champions League crown. Both teams may even fail to win their domestic leagues this season.
However, the Wednesday night’s performance at least gives Barcelona fans hope that their team can achieve better results in the near future. Despite the absentees, the defeat gives Andrea Pirlo more questions to answer. The former Italy midfielder could be in for steep managerial learning curve this season.
Can the win in Turin be a catalyst for Barcelona to now enjoy a successful season?
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