Barcelona B lost the promotional final against Sabadell, which could have earned them a spot in the Segunda Division. Despite losing 2-1 to Sabadell, the B team’s captain Monchu and his team showed a strong character displaying an incredible performance even without their crucial players.
There’s no doubt had the players like Ansu Fati, Riqui Puig, Alex Collado played, the final result could have been different.
The main culprit behind the failure to gain promotion could be given to the management of the club. They made some poor decisions at crucial times, which cost the García Pimienta’s side their deserved promotion. It’s no surprise that the FC Barcelona B team prepares the young players from the academy to play for FC Barcelona in the future, but in recent years they haven’t produced any great footballers who are part of the first team now. The last player who came from the B team to the main team and is right now part of is Sergi Roberto, who made his debut in 2010. Since then, no other player has cemented his place in the First team from the Barcelona B team. But this year things were looking bright for Barcelona B as they had the likes of Riqui Puig, Carles Perez, Alex Collado, Abel Ruiz, Ronald Araujo, Jorge Cuenca, Kike Saveiro, Monchu, Chumi and the new summer signing Hiroki Abe. Looking at the team, one could say that they had the potential to earn their team the promotion to the Segunda division. However, only 3 of the above mentioned (Ronald Araujo, Monchu, Jorge Cuenca) players were able to play in the promotional final due to poor management.
Selling of Players
The season started on a good note for the team and the players as they won against Badanola 2-0. Also, players like Carles Perez and Ansu Fati from Barca B and Juvenile A team respectively were called in the first team to support Antoine Griezman in attack as the duo of Leo Messi and Luis Suarez were injured. Both Ansu Fati and Carles Perez impressed the fans with their performance. Carles Perez was living his dream at Camp Nou playing with his idols, but suddenly management decided to sell him off to Roma without any buyback clause. Within four days, the youngster was sold out to Roma against his will for 12.3 million euros.
Similarly, the main strikers of the Barcelona B team Abel Ruiz and Alejandro Marqués were sold off to SC Braga and Juventus respectively to balance the books.
“I didn’t understand my exit, but I respect the decision and thank the club for their treatment of me over the years. People talk about the academy, but sometimes they prefer to spend millions and don’t have patience with young players. That’s how it is. People have to forget my past there”
– Carles Perez
Selling of talents nurtured by the academy to European rivals for a cut-free with no option to regain them, just to balance the accounts, clearly shows the bad management planning of the Current Barcelona Board.
As the season progressed, the first team of Barcelona dealt with injuries and suspension; thus, Riqui Puig, Alex Collado, and Ronald Araujo were called in the first team time to time, making them unavailable for few matches.
Making matters worse, the club management decided not to renew the contracts of Chumi, Kike Saviero, Guillem Jaime, And Sergi Puig after the break, thus letting the players leave for free. With many team players either injured or not available, had the management extended the players’ contracts till the playoffs, they could have played an essential role in the team.
The team received the final blow when the management decided not to allow Ansu Fati and Riqui Puig to participate in the playoffs in order to prepare them for the UEFA Champions League.
Although the thought behind this decision was understandable, the B team was still denied their two best performers for the playoffs.
Match Day 1 vs Promotional Final Team
If we look at the matchday one team of Barca B and compare it with the team played at the finals, we can see only four players (Ronald Araújo, Jorge Cuenca, Dani Morer, and Captain Monchu) common in both the lineups. The attackers of the team were entirely changed with Konrad and Rey Manaj coming in for Abel Ruiz and Alejandro Marqués. In midfield, the Barca B team was also without the services of Riqui Puig. So, Juvenile player Ilaix Moriba started in the game. We can see many changes as maximum players were sold, unavailable or injured thus, leaving the coach García Pimienta with minimal options.
Not just bad management, but the injuries were also the reason for the team’s fall in the final. Just like the main Barcelona team, their B team’s season was also affected by many injuries. The teams dealt a major setback when their star winger Alex Collado suffered from a metatarsal fracture before the playoffs, which left him out for about three months. Along with him, many talented players like Hiroki Abe, Sergi Rosanes, and Ferrán Sarsanedas were also ruled out from the playoffs due to long term injuries. With the unavailability of all these players, the Barcelona B team had to use their bench and bring the players like Ilaix Moriba and Konrad de la Fuente from the Juvenile team of Barcelona to participate in the playoffs.
Despite many essential players being unavailable for the playoffs, Barcelona B team’s and coach García Pimienta’s efforts must be applauded. They did a great job and asserted their claim to trust in them for the future. However, it is fair to say that the management could have done better in managing and planning the squad. Letting the players leave for free in the middle of the season and selling future players to balance the books is clearly against the club’s philosophy of “Més que un club.” Barcelona used to be the club, which gives chances to the Homegrown players, but recently the club is selling off players to other teams to generate profits without any buyback clause.
The management would have gained approximately 10 million, had Barcelona B got promoted. Selling off players like Carles Perez and Abel Ruiz for 12.8 million and 8.8 million, respectively, shows the management’s disbelief in its own players.
There is no doubt that had players like Riqui Puig, Ansu Fati, Kike Saverio, Chumi, Carles Perez, Alejandro Marqués and Abel Ruiz played the final, Pimienta’s side would have definitely gained the promotion to Segunda division. But fate had other plans!