Barcelona boss Xavi admits media pressure is getting to young players as club mounts La Liga title challenge
At half-time of their match against Alaves on Sunday, Barcelona looked like disaster as they trailed by a goal against newly-promoted Alaves. A brace from Robert Lewandowski was able to ensure Barcelona did not drop the back-to-back games but there are still concerns about their overall form in the tight La Liga title race. Xavi’s men are already four points behind league leaders Girona and two points behind Real Madrid while Atletico Madrid are hot on their heels.
Looking to retain the La Liga crown, the start of the season has not been great, but Xavi spoke after the game that his side are struggling to cope with the pressure from the side. they are outside. With Gavi, Pedri, Fermin Lopez and Lamine Yamal all becoming regular members of the starting line-up, Barcelona’s youth has been their strength but with such a young squad, that strength can also be their undoing.
“Without a doubt what the media say affects how the team plays,” Xavi said after the game. [media] create situations and situations that, for me, are not real. And it will, of course, affect the team. It happened to me as a player and it happens to my players. There is a negativity that is neither good nor positive.”
“Above all, it affects the younger players. You see [Iñigo] Martinez, Lewandowski, [João] Cancelo and Gundogan, it doesn’t affect them. But we have a lot of young people and we have to protect them and give them confidence. [The performances] it’s our fault, of course, but the youth feel a tension that wasn’t there a month ago. It’s a difficult situation we have to manage, but it’s difficult, especially after conceding an early goal. “
Although that is very honest to hear from the Barcelona manager, it hit the nail on the head that he has been someone who has gone through this level of external pressure as a player . Despite injury, as a manager, he has to put his team in the best possible position to succeed even if it means they shouldn’t all start together.
Lewandowski’s goals will help as the Polish forward has gone six consecutive games for Barcelona without finding the back of the net. Xavi and the young players need this Lewandowski on a regular basis otherwise Barcelona’s title hopes will be little more than a pipe dream, but it will be vital that we also stop outside noise as we hit it the halfway point.