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‘Barcelona are dull because they reflect their coach’ – Valverde savaged by ex-Blaugrana midfielder

2:02 PM GMT 05/11/2019
Lionel Messi Levante v Barcelona 11022019
The reigning Liga champions have struggled to find a spark in 2019-20, with Marc Crosas suggesting that is because they lack inspirational leadership

Barcelona have become “dull” because they “reflect their coach”, says former La Masia academy graduate Marc Crosas, with Ernesto Valverde facing further questions of his methods.

The reigning Liga champions have found the going tougher than expected in 2019-20 and, while a standing back at the top of the Spanish top-flight has been secured, three defeats have been suffered through just 11 games.

Barca have also failed to convince in Europe, with improvement required in order to stage a serious claim for Champions League glory.

Such struggles are surprising given the wealth of talent available to Valverde, with the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez having been joined at Camp Nou by World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.

Crosas says those on the playing side are not an issue for the Blaugrana, with a lack of inspirational leadership considered to be of greater concern.

A Catalan native who left Barca for Celtic in 2008, told RAC1: “Barcelona have become a dull team because they reflect their coach.

“Valverde is a good coach and he has done important things, as he has won two league titles, but he is dull.”

Once famed for their flamboyant football under the likes of Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique, Barca have rather lost their way of late.

“The question isn't whether Barcelona are losing their identity, it has already been lost,” Crosas added. “Barcelona no longer have their own philosophy.

“It's not just about winning matches, the problem is how to recover that lost DNA.”

Barcelona surprisingly came unstuck in their most recent outing, as they suffered a shock 3-1 defeat away at Levante, and Crosas believes travel sickness has become a serious problem under Valverde.

He said: “It's a constant theme of this Barcelona playing away from home.

“It's not only this season.

“We can look back at Rome and Liverpool, where these ghosts appear.

“I don't know what happens for there to be such a vast change from playing at the Camp Nou to playing away from home.”

Barca will be at home to Slavia Prague in the Champions League on Tuesday, before then playing host to Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday.