Tactical Insights

Xavi explains how he has ‘failed’ Barcelona this season


Barcelona manager Xavi feels as though he has “failed” his team this year after his side lost the stubborn defensive record that led them to La Liga success last season.

Last year, Barcelona conceded just 20 goals across 38 games en route to a comfortable title triumph, but they find themselves having shipped 43 goals in their 34 games so far this year.

Speaking to the media before hosting Real Sociedad, Xavi insisted injuries have hampered his side’s ability to defend but admitted he should have been able to find a solution which would have kept things strong at the back.

“As a staff, we have failed,” he said. “In many games that we have played without a defensive pivot, the season has had a big impact on us. We have to regain balance. This lack of dominance in duels and second plays. We have not risen to the occasion nor have we competed as we wanted.

Lamine Yamal

Barca could climb back to second place / LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

“When the staff have met to find out what can be done better, we could have done the restructuring of the team differently in the centre of the field.

“We have another chance to regain second position. It is a great opportunity for us. Sociedad is a rival of an extraordinary level. They are aggressive in defence, they have a lot of things in attack. It is a difficult, they are a rocky opponent. The team is eager and tense. It is an opportunity to recover second place.”

While Barca have missed out on the chance to claim a league victory this season, with Real Madrid clinching the title with four games to spare, a second-placed would put them in a strong position ahead of next season.

The club have just four games remaining before the season end, facing Sociedad on Monday before bouncing back into action to play Almeria on Thursday.

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