What will the Barça manager do about his back-line?
Barça returns to La Liga after an eventful international break. Taking on CD Leganés at the Estadio Municipal de Butarque tomorrow, things are bittersweet for the Blaugrana. What will Ernie do this weekend? We don’t know.
However, here are three things we want him to do this weekend!
1. Find a way to make the defence work
Despite all the turmoil, the only thing to take away from a Barcelona fan’s perspective was that Javier Mascherano got injured. At a time when both Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Piqué are a solitary yellow card away from suspension, the back-line is looking very thin. People are looking towards Thomas Vermaelen to step up but there’s a good chance he gets overlooked.
The centre-back played the full 90 minutes in Belgium’s international friendly against Japan three days ago. Hopefully, the former Gunner is good to go—we retained him this summer for days like this. It is high time that Vermaelen delivered. Ideally, I’d start either one of Umtiti or Piqué alongside Vermaelen. If Pique or Umtiti can get a yellow card, it will give Barcelona another fixture before they can reset the card-accumulation for their starting centre-backs.
Two games, Vermaelen. That’s all I ask.
2. Start Paco Alcácer
We all know that Luis Suárez is in terrible shape and form at the moment. The striker hasn’t looked sharp in months and was rested during the international break to recover. It might not be a good idea to put Suárez on the bench, but Barcelona needs him for the long haul.
As much as we’d all love to get behind Paco, once Luisito starts banging them in, the 23-year-old stands no chance. However, for this one, the Valencian should be enough. Alcácer is in impressive form and his purple patch should be allowed to continue.
3. Use Denis Suárez, at least sparingly
Andrés Iniesta looks to be in smashing form with some excellent performances for club and country. However, at 33 years of age, one would hope that the veteran would get more rest. Alas, that hasn’t been the case.
Still, Iniesta appears to be playing pretty frequently and it might do him some good to get a rest. Maybe even sit this one out. All of Sergi Roberto, Rafinha, and André Gomes are injured which only leaves Denis Suárez as an option. The Galician has been reiterating his desire to prove his worth to the club and maybe the time has come for him to show what he can do. Ernie has been quite shy about using the attacking midfielder. Hopefully, he gives Denis another chance.