Barcelona’s struggles in recent years have led to a degree of introspection rarely seen a football club. As Cules search for the answers to their failings, very few have been saved from the blame game.
One group that has come under significant heat however is the veterans at the club, in particular the four captains. A group that is composed of Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto and Gerard Pique.
“What I have to talk about with the club, I will talk about in person. Last year I did a press conference. There’s no reason to doubt the commitment of the captains, we know the situation that the club is dealing with.”
“I can’t control what isn’t within my reach nor what the press say. We are here to help. The four captains will do so. That’s the way to go, we have always been committed to Barcelona.”
Although there is some basis to the criticism the captains have come under, it is worth taking into account the salary deferrals/reductions. It’s a rare gesture in football, but doesn’t seem to have won them too much credit.
Later in the press conference, he was asked about whether the four captains at Barcelona would be taking the same photo they did last season.
“Yes, I imagine the photo [of the Barcelona captains] will be repeated. The people will vote. There are a lot of young players and the veterans also have to be important.”
“We have to be competitive in all positions. When you have competition you perform a lot better on the pitch. It’s a pleasure that Sergi [Roberto] is with us for another year. He isn’t a very eye-catching player but he is very important for the team.”
The question comes in light of the news that Sergi Roberto extended his contract for a further year.
While there is definitely room for improvement with any player, as Alba later admitted, the debate about the continuing central role of the veterans at Barcelona points the finger of blame far more at the club than the players themselves.