What must change

Irish Examiner - Sport - - SOCCER -

1. Messi needs to ac­cept help

Hav­ing the world’s best player at your club can be a hin­drance as well as a bless­ing. Messi needs to ac­cept new high-pro­file stars around him — not just Coutinho — ahead of next sea­son.

2. Get La Ma­sia working again

Util­ity man Sergi Roberto, 26, is the last Barca youth grad­u­ate to gain a reg­u­lar first-team place. The pipe­line which pro­vided Messi, Xavi, Ini­esta, and many more must be un­blocked.

3. Ac­count­abil­ity at the top

Barca pres­i­dent Josep Maria Bar­tomeu is quick to take credit for any suc­cesses, but never the blame when things go wrong. ‘Barto’ has long lost the re­spect the dress­ing-room and Camp Nou reg­u­lars. More than Messi or Valverde, he is re­ally re­spon­si­ble for Tues­day’s de­ba­cle.

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