The Blaugrana’s performances are concerning the French tactician, who believes their superstar is too often asked to shoulder the burden
Barcelona rely too heavily on Lionel Messi and are playing ‘like a team in crisis’, according to former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
The Liga title holders struggled to a 0-0 Champions League draw against Czech side Slavia Prague at Camp Nou on Tuesday night, having lost 3-1 to Levante in the league at the weekend.
Wenger believes that, despite leading La Liga and sitting top of their Champions League group, Barca aren’t gelling together as a team and were just waiting for their superstar Messi to create a moment of brilliance.
“They’re top of the league, they’re top of their group, and they play like a team in crisis,” said Wenger on beIN SPORTS in his role as a pundit.
“Their game is too slow. There is no dynamic in the last 30 metres, it’s too individual.
“Every time they lose the ball, it looks like they will concede a goal on the counterattack because they cannot deal with pace against the opponent… the team lacks dynamic, lacks energy, lacks confidence.
“Today it looks like they play and they wait for Messi to do something, but the basic strengths of the team play is a bit gone.
“And you think, when will Messi get the ball to do something? And before, the music, the basic music, was the fantastic team play, making it difficult to catch the ball, and then on top of that came Messi.”
Blaugrana coach Ernesto Valverde is currently under pressure to retain his job because of the inconsistencies in the team’s performances this season.
Wenger stopped short of completely blaming Valverde for Barca’s current struggles, instead suggesting that the issues may come from higher up in the club’s hierarchy.
“At the end it’s always the coach who is guilty, he’s not always responsible,” Wenger said. “There’s a difference between being guilty and responsible, you know?
“We said Valverde does not make the decision on who comes in. He has to do the best with what he has.
“So what we speak about raises many questions: who has the final word when you buy a player? Secondly, is this really the player that the team needs?”
The Catalans lead La Liga on goal difference from Real Madrid and Real Sociedad, and will be hoping to extend their advantage when they host Celta Vigo on Saturday.
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