When a team is struggling performance-wise, there are various guilty culprits. In the end, the one that has to take the brunt of the blame and could be eventually be the fall guy come the end of the first semester of La Liga.
Barcelona’s lack of consistency in the domestic tournament led to president Joan Laporta to come out and say that his team’ s problems are of an the ¨technical¨ ilk. According to some sources, individuals wthin the Catalan club are already looking for a replacement for Rijkaard. Names like Marco Van Basten, Fabio Capello, Javier Clemente, and of course their beloved ¨translator¨ José Mourinho.
…Our stars are the ones that need to lead by example on the pitch. I am not talking about physically, I am talking about mentally. When we lose balls, not everyone works the same. On the road, there are players performing below their at a subpar rate.
Rijkaard held meetings with three individuals- Laporta, Beguiristain, and captain Carles Puyol and it is obvious that there is an ever-growing rift in the club. His comments and the meetings directed pointed at none other than Ronaldinho, whose performance this season and commitment has been spotty at best for the blaugrana, especially on the road.
Ronaldinho, who was at the epicenter of various transfer rumors for the past few months, left right after Saturday’s loss to Getafe to join the Brazilian national team for World Cup qualifiers. In Rijkaard’s meeting with Puyol, according to sources, the captain pointed the finger directly at the forward for not putting his two cents in like evry one else has during this ¨crisis¨.
So is there a solution? For Rijkaard, yes? One of the solutions is to take Ronaldinho out of the starting lineup and make room for players like Andrés Iniesta and Deco as well as youngster Giovani Dos Santos and Boran Krkic and attitude to the pitch play.
Will he be given the time to implement these changes? Yes. They better work, especially by the time December 23rd rolls around. Real Madrid won’t be as forgiving.