It was clear tonight against Ajax that FC Barcelona are poor without their star man Lionel Messi on the field. He is currently nursing a hamstring injury that will keep him off the field until at least the middle of January. This has come as a massive blow for his club because they are now without their most prolific striker, and could see themselves miss out on La Liga‘s top spot by the end of the year because of it.
Barcelona is a well-oiled machine with Messi on the field linking up with the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Neymar, but look fragile and slow without the undeniable creativity that Messi brings to the table. They were unable to beat Ajax, who was playing with 10 men, and now look to lose out on top spot in La Liga to Atletico Madrid if they continue this poor stretch.
Their dependence on Messi is well documented even though many pundits don’t believe it. I firmly believe that Barcelona are playing with fire by depending so heavily on their ace because when he is not there, they certainly don’t look like a world-class team and are unable to beat some of Europe’s bottom-feeders (Ajax). Their Champions League final 16 spot should not be at risk, but they have to figure out an alternate plan.
Let’s hope for Barcelona’s sake that their star man will soon return from his injury, and boss Tata Martino won’t have to depend too much on up-and-down diver Neymar in order to keep the Barcelona ship afloat.