The green shoots of recovery can just about be seen at Camp Nou as Xavi Hernandez gets to work with Barcelona.
Two clean sheets in his first two games is a good enough start, even if the level of performance could’ve been higher.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so the hope would surely be that, once the game concepts have been fully understood and worked on by the players for a few weeks, the team will start climbing the league table.
Initially, they’ll have to do that without their wonderfully talented young midfielder, Pedri.
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After almost a year of non-stop playing for club and country, Pedri has succumbed to injuries which were entirely predictable.
Ronald Koeman has to take responsibility for playing the midfielder in so many games that it’s believed he set the record of matches played in a debut season.
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Coupled with European Championship and Olympic duties with Spain, and less than a week’s rest before the start of the 2021/22 season, problems were always going to occur further down the line.
It’s imperative that Barca learn their lessons and, once he’s back, Pedri is managed much more efficiently in order that this precise situation doesn’t occur again.