Houston, we have a problem! And Barca do too

Nine points off Atletico, if the league ended today Barca would not be in Europe

Así ha sido la salida de los jugadores del Barça tras la derrota | Iván San Antonio

If only it was a problem. No, it's a lot more. And structural ones, hard to solve short term. Koeman has a hard job ahead of him, walking through the desert of this season.. He has to construct an immediate Barca and at the same time the pieces of the old glorious team are falling around him.

Toni Frieros

@tfrieros

It hurts to see that if the league ended today, Barca would not be in Europe. Barcelona have to be in the Champions Leauge next season, this isn't just about winning the league, which right now seems an unreachable utopia.

Eight games in, they have lost more points than won 13-11. To find a similar situation you have to go back to 2003-04. Statistically, this is Barca's most deplorable start since 1987-88, when Nunez sacked Terry Venables and gave Luis Aragones the team. That Barca had only managed five points (wins counted as two pts not three) and were in the relegation zone.

The one consolation is that there is time. The situation is changeable. Atletico Madrid are nine points ahead. Real Madrid slipped up too, a draw at Villarreal.

Barca are a team that is not finding Messi and he is not finding the team. We're seeing the least effective Messi of the last 15 years. Almost nothing he tries works. Not free-kicks, not dribbles, not shots, not passes. Barca are used to living through his magic and when the magic's over there's nobody left to make the difference. 

It's true they could have drawn with Atletico, wasting chances and gifting the goal to Simeone's side, but they were superior. Finally he has beaten Barca in the league. 18 games it took. As Tom Hanks says in that film, 'Houston, we have a problem.' Barca have one too.

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