Last August Barcelona were due to start the season full of optimism following a strong second half of the season with Ronald Koeman on the bench and Lionel Messi up front.
This August it will be Xavi Hernandez in charge and the levels of optimism remain to be seen, after a second half of the season that promised much but delivered little.
After a long year full of twists and turns, Xavi was asked to give an assessment of the year.
“I will leave it to you. We have saved a situation that could’ve have been much worse. We have gone from less to more, but it hasn’t been enough, it hasn’t been a good season. We haven’t known how to compete in the key moments.”
“I won’t go out on a limb and give a grade, because I will be criticised whatever I say. We have improved in terms of play, above all in the second half of the season.”
The quotes were carried by Sport, but Xavi was keen to emphasize that next year he would be asking for more from his squad.
“We will have to strengthen for next year, I am the first to demand that of myself. I have already told the players my thoughts, we have to turn everything around.”
Between explaining which players were set to leave Barcelona and that they were indeed weighing up the possibility of signing Robert Lewandowski, Xavi was also asked what Barcelona needed to improve next season.
“In the tactical sense, the physical and the psychological. We have to improve in the three senses. Physically we have improved a lot since November. We also have to strengthen the squad in order to have two players for each position and be able to fight for titles.”
While Xavi has ultimately had a good impact at Barcelona, it’s clear he has been unhappy with the team in recent weeks and the summer break should do both him and the team some good ahead of those high demands.