Tactical Insights

Six things Xavi must do to save his Barcelona job: From unleashing Lamine Yamal to finding a role for Joao Felix

The beleaguered Blaugrana boss will need to make major changes if he is to turn his tenure around

Xavi is lucky to be here. Many managers, at clubs of equal or greater stature, would have lost their job by now. Barcelona are third in La Liga, out of the Copa del Rey, and face a tricky round of 16 Champions League tie with Napoli next month. With no clear pathway to silverware, and poor performances on the pitch to boot, it would make sense if Barca were to sack their manager.

But the Blaugrana are reportedly determined to stick with him, eager to let the manager who won them La Liga last season play out the rest of the campaign. It’s something of a risk – even if you subscribe to the holy footballing doctrine that ‘all managers deserve time and patience’.

There doesn’t seem like much to fight for here. Barca are riddled with injuries. Their tactics have gone stale. They are too easy to play against, and don’t look particularly fun to play for, either. They would probably be better off with a more skilled tactician at the helm.

Still, despite all of those concerns – and they are all legitimate – there are ways in which this thing can be turned around. But it is time for overhaul and significant change, not for minor tweaks. Xavi must reconsider how this Barca team functions, call upon some key personnel and keep faith in one key ageing player to make sure that the Blaugrana don’t waste away for the remainder of the campaign.

Silverware may be all but out of the question, but if Xavi can generate enough momentum, he could at least see out the season. GOAL takes a look at how Xavi could save Barca’s season – and his job…

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