5 things Barcelona got wrong in 2017
2017 has come to an end with its share of surprises, disappointments, joys and sorrows for FC Barcelona.
This year brought another managerial change with Ernesto Valverde replacing Luis Enrique as the manager of Barcelona. The Spaniard stepped down with the Super Cup and Copa Del Rey trophies, ending a three-year tenure with nine trophies in total.
Ernesto Valverde has proven worthy enough, as Barcelona lead the league table and have qualified as winners of their Champions League group under his tutelage.
However, their exit from the Champions League last season, failure in winning the league and certain transfer decisions have raised eyebrows. The club has made a fair share of mistakes and failed to address some important issues this year. Let's have a look at them.
#5 The La Masia situation
In recent years, La Masia, Barcelona's famed youth academy, has come under scrutiny for its decreasing contribution to the first team at Nou Camp. Barcelona seem far from the club they used to be before - a team that boasted 8 to 9 homegrown players in their starting XI.
Much like Luis Enrique, Ernesto Valverde hasn't improved the condition of youngsters at Nou Camp. He sent Munir El Haddadi and Sergi Samper on their second loan spells this year. Wouldn't it have been good to grant the youngsters their deserved first team opportunities?
With the likes of Sergio Busquets, Iniesta and Suarez underperforming at present, wouldn't it have been a good choice to play Oriol Busquets, Carles Alena and Abel Ruiz and allow them to prove themselves?
Barcelona, however, have been reluctant about giving them a shot at it and using the likes of Paco Alcacer, Andre Gomes and Arda Turan, who have failed to live up to the expectations at Nou Camp.
Lack of opportunities compels players to switch clubs, which will certainly harm their youth academy. And should that continue, it won't be long before the Cules see their talented starlets departing the club in search of playing time, much like Thiago did in 2013.
Also read: 5 ideal replacements for Neymar at Barcelona