News, Culture & Society

Barcelona are ‘not good enough’ says Steve McManaman after scoreless draw

Barcelona are ‘not good enough’ says Steve McManaman after scoreless draw vs. Rayo Vallecano and claims he ‘isn’t bothered’ by Raphinha and Kessie signings… while Luis Garcia thinks Robert Lewandowski suffered from first-match ‘anxiety’

  • Barcelona drew their opening match of the La Liga campaign at home 
  • Steve McManaman was underwhelmed by performance despite stacked team
  • Luis Garcia struck a more sympathetic tone but was still underwhelmed 

Steve McManaman tore into Barcelona Saturday after their 0-0 draw with Rayo Vallecano, calling the Catalan club ‘not good enough’ and casting doubt on their summer transfer business.

Barca opened their La Liga campaign with the disappointing home result, and McManaman was not impressed as the club dropped points with a host of big names in their squad.

‘They were packed on the bench, absolutely stacked with internationals, they brought five on, and they still couldn’t do anything,’ he said after the game on ESPN FC Live.

Steve McManaman said Saturday he ‘wasn’t bothered about’ three of Barca’s new signings

‘The game management was poor, they were slow, there was no urgency.

While the former Liverpool and Real Madrid man would hope to see a better performance the next time he’s at Camp Nou, he seems more resigned to be underwhelmed by their new signings – bar their new striker.

‘Yes they’ve got a host of new signings, listen I love Lewandowski, I think he’s world class, but a lot of the other signings… Raphinha I’m not that bothered about, [Franck] Kessie I wasn’t that bothered about. 

‘People like that, [Andreas] Christensen, I wasn’t that bothered about.’

Luis Garcia was only slightly more positive.

The ex-Barca and Liverpool midfielder acknowledged the underwhelming debuts of Lewandowski and Raphinha, who were off the mark with nine shots between them.

Lewandowski hit the target with just one of his five shots, and Raphinha didn’t find the target once.  

‘His first game, the anxiety – people get nerves,’ Garcia said of Lewandowski. ‘Even though he’s very experienced it doesn’t matter. 

‘At the end you come here, [thousands of] people in the stadium, expecting [you to score]. 

Robert Lewandowski hit the target just once with five shots

Raphinha also was off the mark, failing to score with four attempts

Both Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha were off the mark with nine shots between them

‘It’s not easy when you’re in front of the goal, and I think I saw that in Raphinha in the first half. 

‘He wants to score so much that he’s tried to put the ball in the best position, tried to score the first goal, because that’s something very important.’

Expectations are high for Barcelona after a summer of big spending – evidently with money that they don’t really have.

Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde all joined for at least $45 million, while Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen joined on free transfers as well.

Luis Garcia struck a more sympathetic tone, but he was also underwhelmed by Barca

Luis Garcia struck a more sympathetic tone, but he was also underwhelmed by Barca

Kounde is not yet registered to play, and Vallecano finished just four points above the relegation zone last season.

But Garcia managed to find some positives with the performance. 

‘At the end, it’s about the ball going into the net, that’s the only thing that matters,’ he said.

‘I think that Barcelona – It’s not the best performance, of course… but you could see that there is an idea.   

‘At the end, the chances arrive, but you didn’t finish them. And that’s something that you should be concerned [about], but it’s not something that is gonna worry Xavi or the players.’ 

Barca will travel to San Sebastian next weekend to face Real Sociedad.

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk