How Manchester United's suffering can become Barclelona's learning
It is fair to say that the most successful club in England, has suffered from the exit of its old guard. It seems like a while since, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, the last left from the elite Class of 92' hung their boots.
Michael Carrick too recently left the first team and has taken the role of an assistant coach at the club. These names were the last of the generation who won anything and everything that there is to win, playing football the 'United way'. Managed by Sir Alex, these were players, loyal to the club and knew what it meant to play for the badge. So, to cut it short, United has lost its heart and core in the last few years and post this period, there has been a major change in the club's philosophy.
In order to compete with the other top clubs and achieve instant success, the club has spent a fortune on new players and managers. The result? You have players in the club with below-par performances on the field, major egos off the field and big fat weekly pay cheques. You also have a manager, who likes to play football in a way which is completely opposite to the famous United football style of the old.
But do these players really play for the badge and can it be said that these guys are 'United' through and through? Or are they just footballing mercenaries? Yes, the reference here is with regards to the signing of Alexis Sanchez and the recent comments by Paul Pogba on his Manchester United Future.
Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay, players from the academy system at Manchester United have not been able to replicate what the previous generation did, due to multiple reasons, which is beyond the scope of this article. The owners and members at the top level of the club hierarchy have certainly made decisions, which when looked back do not seem to be very wise.
Football Club Barcelona, finds itself in a similar situation. Carles Puyol, Xavier Hernández , Andres Iniesta, all graduates from the famous "La Masia" [Barcelona's youth academy] have already left the club. The team's starting 11 is still blessed with the likes of Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi, all a products of the same academy.
Similar to United's class of 92', these are top notch players, who are loyal to the club and know what it means to play for the badge. However, they find themselves in the twilight of their careers and it won't be long before they are gone
The club, in order to strengthen the squad, has already heavily invested in the players such as Ousmane Dembélé, Philippe Coutinho and Malcom and there have not been any major incomings in the first team from the youth academy.
Though these players might prove to be brilliant investments in the future, but it can be noticed that the current situation at Barcelona is somewhat strangely similar to that of Manchester United and the best the former can do is learn from the latter's recent mistakes and do everything to preserve the Barcelona philosophy.
Football Club Barcelona will find itself in a major transition phase in the coming years and it is the responsibility of the club owners and board members to make the right decisions which may result in sacrificing short-term gains in order to achieve long-term goals.