To think that Barcelona and Lionel Messi did not have a normal year is an understatement.
The Spanish giants were completely torn apart in the Champions League Bayern Munich last season and had to endure an ordeal in which their star almost left.
Messi asked for a transfer and wants to leave on a free transfer which he can do if he informs Barcelona at a certain time.
Ultimately, however, he stayed behind at the Camp Nou and in the following months, former club president Josep Bartomeu resigned.
With Ronald Koeman, now manager, they are still struggling. Barca are 12th in the league with just two wins from seven games while Messi is far from the best.
There is no doubt about Argentina’s great quality, but under Coman he struggled.
Messi still scored four goals in the 2020/21 season but compared to some of the accomplishments he has achieved so far in his career that is a number that is somewhat underestimated.
However, if we had told you that all the goals of the 33-year-old this season have come from penalties, only a few would accuse you of accusing him of stripping.
After all, this is a criticism of Bruno Fernandez’s last term after joining Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon.
Of course, there is a huge difference in quality between the two, so it’s pretty unfair to rank it, but you do understand the points we’re trying to get to.
The fact is, Messi is struggling to score goals and rarely when it comes to threats in open matches.
Messi’s last goal came in the Champions League last Wednesday against Dynamo Kyiv, but in the first week of the game he only scored one league goal.
In fact, the £ 90 million veteran found life so tough that he now takes 40 shots from open play without finding the back of the net.
Part of the problem may be where he shot. Everyone knows that Messi loves to cut from the inside, but as his shooting schedule shows, he dominates with attempts at the door or in the middle.
He only shot at the post or at the right of the net on one occasion in La Liga, which is good enough for the goalkeeper and their positioning.
Maybe Messi should change things so easily? For the most part, at this point, the defense knew where to direct their blows.
What is remarkable about this graphic are the many photos Messi has taken that are recognized as “tough odds.”
He is no stranger to scoring goals out of reach or from impossible angles, and in 2020/21 he only made four attempts in the league with ease in trouble. You can see Messi is really trying to impose a problem here when something isn’t necessarily involved.
This may explain the lack of open goals because if you look at the map from last season you can see that most of his goals have been in easier shooting range.
Even though he tried to shoot from distance regularly, the weight of the odds didn’t really come into play.
Interestingly, however, little has changed in the expected goals.
This might explain that the game was a little unlucky. When Messi played Alaves last weekend, a series of good saves prevented him from scoring.
However, as the progressive track shows, it lacks the explosive nature we are used to seeing from it. Is it because of Koman’s tactics? It’s quite possible.
Many reasons can explain Messi’s poor performance. The manager, his age or maybe the fact that his heart is not enough at Barcelona anymore.
With that in mind, it would be surprising if the striker’s dryness lasted longer after open matches. Too good to take this long without realizing it.