Time seems to be running out for Quique Setien with another lackluster performance from Barcelona FC where they were unable to overcome Atletico Madrid as the match ended at 2-2.
With that result coupled with Real Madrid having a game in hand, Real Madrid has a lead of 1 point in the La Liga table with a game in hand. The title race seems to edge towards Real Madrid following the last few results.
Real Madrid has been churning out victories and the level of their performances has been improving with every match they have played following the enforced stoppage due to the coronavirus. Eden Hazard seems to have finally found his feet in La Liga with injuries disrupting his start in La Liga. Karim Benzema looks like a man on a mission after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema has undoubtedly been the standout player for Real Madrid this season. Thibaut Courtois found it difficult to adapt to life in La Liga where he famously made his name with Atletico Madrid while on loan from Chelsea. He has started to keep clean sheets and making important saves. He now has the most number of clean sheets in La Liga this season. Looks like the enforced rest was good for Zidane and his men.
The same cannot be said for Barcelona at all. The team looks lethargic and with no identity at all. If Messi seems to underperform the team is more or less invisible. Antoine Griezmann looks very ineffective in Barcelona’s shirt and looks like a shadow of a player that he was at Atletico Madrid and with the France national team. Griezmann was not even given the chance to shine against his former team even though Barcelona were struggling to get hold of the game. Luis Suarez is injured too often and the team looks over-reliant on Lionel Messi more than ever. Suarez was almost invisible in the game against Atletico Madrid. They have surely missed someone like Frenkie de jong in the middle of the park because of his long term injury. He would certainly have made a difference in this team lacking the killer instinct.
So if Quique Setien is not able to turn around the performances in the coming weeks and in the champions league. It looks inevitable that he will be sacked. Club legend Xavi looks the candidate in pole position to replace the outgoing Quique Setien. Xavi has already confessed of his interest in returning to the club where he spent almost his entire career in a coaching role. And Messi would love to have a coach who knows every aspect of his game and could make Barcelona tick. So the final few games of this season and the remainder of the champions league games could make or break for the current manager for whom the time seems to be running out. He really is walking on thin ice. And it does not help that your blockbuster summer signing cannot get in the team without dis-balancing the team. Barcelona looks like a team in dire need of change.