So the European football season has come and gone again and it was interesting to say the least. With a number of ups and downs for multiple clubs around Europe, Real Madrid made their presence felt again as the supreme leader of the continent, as they won their second consecutive Champions League crown and finally knocked off Lionel Messi and Co. for the La Liga title. Speaking of Barcelona this season will ultimately go down as a failure, as Luis Enrique’s side got off to a slow start and as they found their footing only fell back down the rabbit hole. Several players disappointed for the Blaugrana this season, but for me the worst was new signing Andre Gomes who they purchased from Valencia. His first campaign at the Nou Camp was filled with disastrous touches and unforgivable miscues that left people wondering if he is fit for the top level. Toward the end of the season Gomes had small flashes of his potential as he collected a couple of goals, but I still found him far too inconsistent in possession. Now, Gomes wasn’t the only person to blame for the woes this season because there was a certain Brazilian winger (Neymar), whose slow start put a dent in the team’s plans. Of course Neymar is an exceptional talent, but when you make as much as he does and finish third in Ballon d’or voting the season before, expectations can be lofty. Again, as the season dwindled to a close there were times that Neymar was Barcelona’s best player, making it even more unfortunate how bad he started.
Messi on the other hand, claimed another Pichichi trophy as the league’s top scorer, squashing a certain Cristiano Ronaldo’s efforts and reclaiming the top spot for the first time since 2012/2013. Messi had another fantastic campaign that we have come to expect from the talisman, but as far as trophies go he fell a bit short. The weaknesses that Football Club Barcelona showed this season were things that should have been fixed in the previous offseason, such as more creativity in the midfield to aid an aging Andres Iniesta and a man Sergio Busquets who more teams were looking to stop. In the end it put a whole new level of pressure on Luis Enrique, who resorted to constantly putting Andre Gomes in the side, regardless of his performances. That is in part why Lucho saw the writing on the wall, and why Ernesto Valverde from Athletic Club is the new manager. With great power comes great responsibility for Barcelona, for the fans demand a lot. Just need a couple of signings, like maybe a natural right full-back, and it could be treble 2018 that we’re talking about.