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Forget your golden memories of Barcelona | Spanish giants face fresh challenges

After Barcelona ground out a 0-0 draw against Dortmund on the opening night of the Champions League group stages, Graham Hunter assessed where the Catalan club currently stands compared to seasons gone by. 

On a night where Ernesto Valverde's side dominated the possession but registered only a solitary shot on target, glimpses of their trademark style could be seen on a mildly frustrating night.

Despite general assumptions surrounding Barcelona, however, Graham Hunter, speaking on Wednesday's OTB AM, highlighted the manner in which Valverde would be pleased with the result, and how the teams once managed by Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique were now firmly a thing of the past.

"For those who dip in and out of Barcelona, don't be bringing your golden memories," he warned.

"They don't conserve the ball the way that they used to."

With the likes of Xavi and Anders Iniesta departing in recent seasons, such regression was to be expected, perhaps.

Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez are showing the strains of time, while the 16-year-old Ansu Fati has yet to fully embrace the playing style Valverde favours.

Although all is far from lost and Hunter expects the effects of Barcelona's truncated pre-season to even itself out over the coming weeks, a slow start to the La Liga season has at times demonstrated the club's gradual decline.

"Watching Barcelona this season," he explained, "particularly the way they played for half the game [against Athletic Bilbao] at San Memes, for 45-minutes against Osasuna, a newly promoted side, they played the worst football I've seen from them in 17 or 18 years.

"Times are difficult but they are definitely remodelling the side and are not quite clear about their best team.

"They've got a handful of players who are not yet fully match sharp ... so there is better to come."

You can watch Graham Hunter's recap of Tuesday's Champions League action here

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