Three major things that are likely to change at Barcelona under Xavi Hernandez

For as long as one can fathom, the phrase ‘team in transition’ has been used as an excuse as opposed to an explanation for poor performances at Barcelona. Indeed, the club is going through difficult times with some of world football’s biggest names either ageing or phasing out.

That, coupled with the reckless use of funds on unnecessary signings, has put Barcelona in an ugly picture.

With every new managerial appointment comes the hope that the roses will finally bloom. The Catalan club have some of the best seeds available, and all that is needed is a person who can nurture them and facilitate their development into a luscious garden.

While Ronald Koeman and Quique Setien promised the same, it did not need an expert to quickly realise that the team had no direction.

As Xavi Hernandez edges ever so close to his dream job at Barcelona, here are three aspects that could change under the former Ballon d’Or finalist.

1. Intensity in training sessions

It is no secret that Barcelona’s training sessions have lacked intensity, character, and zest over the past few seasons.

The difference becomes altho more glaring when compared to some of Europe’s elite clubs who spend significantly longer durations on match preparation and drills.

The training schedule is completely decided by the coach, and Ronald Koeman was not amongst the firm believers of long training periods.

His predecessors too, unfortunately, shared the same slack mentality. Ultimately, that translated into not just sloppy and slow movements on the field but also a lack of chemistry.

Sergio Aguero’s statements say it all.

When asked about Barcelona’s training regime, the striker said, “At City, we arrived an hour and a half before training.

Here, half an hour before I said, ‘Well, I’ll come in at least an hour before and try and go to the gym and do some things’, but nobody was there. It was all shut.”

Under Xavi, one could expect the team to return to regular training sessions in full swing with overtime being a necessity over an option.

2. Passion, perseverance, performance

The mere presence of a club legend is enough to shake up a dressing room in any team, and given Xavi’s more recent association with the club, as compared to his predecessor, a large number of young players will associate more with him.

The young core of the club were not even born when Ronald Koeman played his part as a club icon.

However, every one of them has seen Xavi Hernandez dance through defences and drop Magnificient midfield masterclasses for Barcelona at his prime.

Needless to say, the Spaniard is a direct icon and inspiration for the current crop of teenagers in Barcelona.

If anyone can inject passion and perseverance into the young core, it would have to be the former Al Sadd manager.

3. Unravel the midfield muddle

Barcelona has shown to have holes all over the field. The forward issue is slowly resolving itself by the return of injured players, while problems in defence seem a little better placed now with Araujo’s return and Eric Garcia’s improved confidence.

Barcelona’s richest mine is in midfield with Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Gavi, Nico and Riqui Puig; all fighting for spots.

Though they all have proved to be valueable on their days, the chemistry that a Barcelona midfield should boast of is clearly missing.

Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, and Pedri have looked like a shadow of their national team avatars, while Gavi and Nico often fade out as the game progresses.

With the master of midfield returning, a clear plan could finally be in place to bring the best out of the middle of the park.

Rest assured, a solid midfield will significantly upgrade the Blaugrana’s performances.

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