New Year In Spotify Camp Nou: A Time To Reflect And Set Goals Right

A new year, the Barcelona expected time 2023. A time to reset, a time to improve, a time to shine.

For Barcelona, the turn of the year is a time for reflection and goal setting, as 2022 was a year full of contrasting ups and downs for the club whose Xavi era began.

The 2022 year began with a resounding victory over Mallorca as the club unveiled the new signing Ferran Torres amid rumors that the club’s president had tested positive for the covid-19 virus.

MALLORCA, SPAIN – JANUARY 02: Luuk de Jong of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal with his teammate Riqui Puig during the LaLiga Santander match between RCD Mallorca and FC Barcelona at Estadio de Son Moix on January 02, 2022 in Mallorca, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

The follow-up was the theatrics of the Ousmane Dembele contract negotiation and a rough results on the pitch against Atletico Bilbao which highlighted for an early knockout in the Copa del Rey. The pursuit to sign Ajax defender Tagliafico cannot be overlooked as it made the highlights as well.

Despite Real Madrid’s win over Barcelona in the Spanish Supercopa, there were moments of hope for the Catalans as the Barcelona team demonstrated that, even if they lost, they could do better with bigger players in the future.

The signings of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Adama Traore during the winter transfer window, as well as a renewed Ousmane Dembele, saved the season for the club as it infused life into the squad.

Barca began their campaign for a top four slot against all odds following a disastrous start to the 2021/2022 season and went on to a comfortable second place finish in La Liga, which featured a statement smashing win over Real Madrid.

However, club president Joan Laporta viewed this as more of an adrenaline boost than a structural correction after bringing in an extraordinary transfer window that included the signings of Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, Marcos Alonso, Frank Kessie, Andreas Christensen, and Raphinha. The Barcelona team that is anticipated to lead the club back to its former glory.

Many major players from the previous season also left the club, Some of which includes: Pierre Aubamayang, Adama Traore, Philippe Coutinho, Oscar Mongueza, Dani Alves, Neto, Riqui Piug, and Martain Braithwaite. Nico, Dest, Trincao, abde, and collado were all sent away on loan to assist them receive more playing time and get them more prepared for the Barcelona future.

With the start of the 2022/2023 season as a more reinforced club, the La Liga giants faced a harsh injury struggle, which has seen the team suffer an early champions League knockout and also lose their winning tempo just before the Qatar World Cup.

The World Cup, on the other hand, overshadowed the club’s severe problem by enabling them send a record 16 players to represent their countries in the tournament, as the club paid respect to its renowned defender Pique, who has retired from the club and football in general. The club currently sits in an uneasy first place after squandering a two-point advantage to league rivals Real Madrid on the final day of the year.

The pressure is on in 2023, as it is time to make some resolutions to focus their thoughts and have some targets to shoot for in order for the Catalans to make the most of the year and maybe win a lot of trophies.

First and foremost, Barcelona’s desire to win many trophies will begin with a renewed commitment to win every game they play in the next year. La Liga will be one of the important titles to win now that the Champions League is no longer an option. The fight for this title will undoubtedly be a two-horse race between the two old Spanish rivals.

The rivalry adds to the pressure on the situation. As Barcelona will play to win just as much as they will play to want Real Madrid to lose. The goal will be to dethrone the reigning Spanish and European champions as they cannot be allowed to establish a new dynasty.

Barcelona can also share their determination to win the Europa League, the Spanish Super Cup, and the Copa del Rey. They must demonstrate their seriousness by winning rather than simply participating in these tournaments. The club still has a chance to win four major titles this season.

Winning all of the available trophies this year would be a big accomplishment for Xavi, as long as one of them is a domestic league title. However, Real Madrid and Manchester United will be in their way in both competitions, so defeating them and capturing the trophy would be a significant achievement.

In the Europa League, a run to the finals would be a fantastic gift to the fans following a heartbreaking defeat to Frankfurt the year before. The fans want the club to succeed and will continue to show their support to the project with larger turnouts in 2023.

When the season begins in the new year, an important resolution for the club will be to address their financial condition and get the team out of any constraining cash crises, such as the Financial Play Rule, which might stymie the club’s winter transfer window. This appears to be easier said than done, but there will be no excuses and much effort.

Barcelona must also look to the future by renewing player contracts, with the most pressing issue being the replacement of Sergio Busquets, presuming his contract is not renewed.

It’s time to move on, and Xavi will need to demonstrate that he has a plan to move away from Busquets’ reliance and consider the Barcelona future player Frenkie de Jong regardless of where he has played in the midfield.

Xavi will need to turn the Dutchman into a new pivot player and integrate him into his plans in order to demonstrate the player’s value as the club’s midfielder alongside the young and exciting Spanish midfield prodigies.

Speaking of young and skilled, Alejandro Balde will break out this year. We all know how difficult it is to locate full-backs on the market, thus Barcelona is fortunate to have a homegrown baller. Xavi must continue to nurture this skill and rely on him against the most formidable opponents.

Furthermore, 2023 must be the year in which Barcelona gets a return on its most expensive investments. Ferran Torres and Raphinha will be put through rigorous testing to establish their worth.

Ousmane Dembele will also have the opportunity to silence his detractors and establish himself as a leader on the field for a manager who has had his back through thick and thin.

This year could mark the return of a tremendous feel-good narrative for Ansu Fati. With Gerard Pique marching off into the sunset, the Barcelona backline of the future begins with the flourishing pairing of Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo. They have the potential to be Europe’s most dominant and dynamic duo.

This could also be the year we finally overcome the huge difficulty of assembling the perfect squad, with players such as Sergi Roberto, Memphis Depay, and an unconfirmed name set to leave. As difficult as it will be to say goodbye to these individuals, the club must remain strong and motivated to assemble the strongest team possible this season.

The club’s biggest challenge this year will be to hold itself to the highest standards everywhere, from the boardroom to the locker room. For this team to win now, everyone must get it right. Whatever it takes, the stakes too high, Barcelona must return to the top under Xavi, the man in charge.

It’s time to get back to work, Barcelona is back and every game is crucial for the Catalans, who are eager to prove their worth.

Happy New year Barcelona, Força Barça!

About Charles Aniche Jnr 109 Articles
Barcelona Correspondent