Valverde Out?

Judging by my past articles, I hope it’s obvious that I’m a Real Madrid fan. Hand-in-hand with this goes the fact that I DESPISE FC Barcelona. I could write many pieces about my feelings for the Catalan giants, but I won’t do that here. That’s because, right now, I’m happy. I’m happy about where the Blaugrana are at this point in time. To be fair, they aren’t, but as a Real Madrid fan, that’s none of my concern.

The fact is that Ernesto Valverde, the team’s manager, has been abysmal through the first five matches of the La Liga season. To give you a sense of how bad it’s gotten, they’ve lost two of their first five (the opening match versus Athletic Bilbao and their last match against purported league minnows Granada). In total, they have taken just seven points from their first five matches. In other words, they’ve won less than 50% of the available points in those matches (15 points would be the maximum).

Understandably, this has enraged Barça fans. Part of the reason why I dislike FC Barcelona so much is that they are very good at winning, which makes their stumble out of the gate so uncharacteristic. To be honest, it’s actually a bit disappointing. The Real Madrid-Barcelona rivalry is best enjoyed when both teams are performing on all cylinders. For the American readers, think about what happens when the Yankees and the Red Sox are both good versus when one team is bad. The environment of the game just hits different when both teams are good.

More worrisome for Valverde is the fact that his players, who despite his failings in the past years, particularly in the Champions League, have started to turn on him. News out of Catalonia is that Blaugrana players are losing confidence in Valverde’s abilities. However, the board has not done anything to assuage these concerns, which is leading to more and more outrage.

For me, this becomes a conundrum: On one hand, I want to see FC Barcelona suffer and fall further into destitution. On the other hand, not having a rival performing at peak efficiency makes one of the sporting world’s best rivalries dull, and I wouldn’t want to watch a Clásico with a poorly performing FC Barcelona.

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