Luis Enrique out? Some Barcelona fans have ridiculous expectations

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The Blaugrana battered Alaves - their rival in the final of the Copa del Rey in May - on Saturday and proved that criticism of their coach is unfair


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Some supporters have short memories. Before Barcelona's golden era under Pep Guardiola, the Catalan club had not always won trophies like now or played consistently attractive football either. So fans calling for Luis Enrique's exit should cut their coach some slack.

When Barca overcame Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night to make their third successive Copa del Rey final, the club's followers should have been happy and many no doubt were. For others, however, it was not good enough.

Nine-man Barca make third straight Copa final

The 1-1 draw against Atleti was not Barca's best performance, but the tie was nevertheless a triumph through adversity against a team that has featured in two of the last three Champions League finals. Barca had two players sent off and two of their most important performers - Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets - were unfit to start the match.

And there was more of the same on Saturday against Alaves, who will also meet the Blaugrana in the final of the Copa del Rey in May. Even though the Basque side won at Camp Nou earlier this term, and had lost only twice at home in La Liga this term, many Barca fans were impatient again.

Alaves Barca graphic

Luis Enrique was criticised once more for his rotations, even though this was the club's 12th fixture in the space of 38 days - and one that precedes a tough Champions League clash away to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. 

Alaves edge out Celta to seal dream date against Barca

Then there were complaints about Barca's so-called predictable play, their lack of creativity and claims that Luis Enrique is only interested in results. But even Guardiola admits that, without winning matches, nothing else really matters. Style is great, but it is secondary and, in any case, the Blaugrana still possess plenty of it.

The concerns were unfounded because the champions scored twice before half-time and went on to thrash Alaves 6-0, the biggest-ever victory for an away team at Mendizorrotza in La Liga.

Luis Enrique deserves praise for recruiting Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez, for making the midfield more aggressive and the attack slicker and faster. And, while the football is not always exciting, it is almost always effective. And that is just what Barca needed after other teams began to cotton on to the club's "tiki taka" game in Guardiola's final season in charge and subsequently with Tito Vilanova and Gerard Martino at the helm.

Luis Suarez Messi Neymar Alaves Barcelona LaLiga 11020217

Lionel Messi Alaves Barcelona LaLiga 11020217

Against one of the best defensive teams in La Liga, Barca came through with flying colours and it could have been more as the Catalans took their feet off the pedals after scoring the sixth with a quarter of the match still to be played on Saturday.

Barca hit Alaves for six in La Liga

It was a win that took Barca provisionally top of the table and, even though Real Madrid have games in hand which will mean they could be seven points clear by winning those, the Catalans remain very much in the title race and have seen key decisions go against them in recent matches as well.

Meanwhile, Luis Enrique has yet to commit his future to Barca. The former Spain midfielder has won eight trophies already as Bluagrana boss, with a treble in his debut season and a domestic double last term. And, in the current campaign, his side are still in contention for all three trophies.

Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, he may decide to walk away. And, if he does, those fans calling for his head might start to see just how good they had it over these past three years.

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