Coach Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona believes that the bad press the team has been receiving lately has had an impact on his players.
In Sunday’s La Liga match, the Catalans defeated Alaves 2-1, although they had to fight back from a very weak first half.
Barca’s performance comes after the team’s disappointing 90 minutes against Real Sociedad and their losses to Shakhtar and Real Madrid.
Following the game, Xavi declared that he was positive the players had been impacted by the press coverage of them.
“I am positive that the team is being impacted by the press’s criticism. I can see that now because it happened to me as a player,” he said to reporters.
“The team is being negatively impacted by a tremendous surge of criticism. I am not affected by the criticism; the players are. It’s evident in their faces.
Above all, the younger ones are impacted. When you see Lewandowski, Gündogan, Cancelo, and Inigo, it has no effect on them. However, there are a lot of youth, and we must look out for them.
The international break should provide some rest for the Barcelona players. A plethora of players will depart to reunite with their national teams prior to Barca’s November 25 match against Rayo.