It's time to analyse and update the concept of "sacred" ball possession in the Barcelona idea's book. The first thing to look at is the disaster against Valencia on Saturday: Barça had all the possession in the first half but Valencia created all the dangerous chances.
For me, possession makes no sense in isolation. It must come with other qualities: movement, variety, switching the ball, using the space... that's when the model can best express itself. What was seen at Mestalla was keeping the ball for the sake of it. The possession was absolutely sterile. It's worth nothing. Or, better said, you will end up losing.
Two other things from Barça's performance at Mestalla: The back three once again left the flanks orphaned and, in the first half, two Messi free-kicks were the only chances.
Desire & little success
It's true there were changes in the second half. Quique Setien's team tried but the problems were too big to dream of another comeback. Frenkie de Jong was unrecognisable in the middle of the pitch, Ansu Fati, for the first time, showed signs of being timid on the ball and, in general lines, the attack lacked movement and versatility.
Conceding the two goals made things impossible, though. Samuel Umtiti didn't come out of either situation looking good. And I wonder: has Umtiti done enough to replace Clement Lenglet? It's time to reflect and define the nuances of the model.
The team offered another exhibition of ball control without depth nor sense.