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'The attitude of the Barca players really angered me' | How far has Barcelona desire fallen?

The investigation into what has gone wrong at Barcelona has been ongoing for some time and will c...

'The attitude of the Barca pla...

'The attitude of the Barca players really angered me' | How far has Barcelona desire fallen?

The investigation into what has gone wrong at Barcelona has been ongoing for some time and will continue for a number of months.

Scrutiny of the club has reached a climax following the 8-2 shellacking Barcelona took at the hands of Bayern Munich. The gross mismanagement of the club has been well documented.

Many have pointed the blame at the hands of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu for allowing the situation to fester to this point, however, it can also be down to a simple lack of effort on the pitch, according to Pat Nevin who joined Monday's Off The Ball.

Nevin, a former Scotland international, was upset by the poor attitude displayed by the players of a club who once bewitched all of Europe with their excellence.

"It's a shambles, it's a complete mess. I'm upset, actually borderline angry with it," Nevin said.

"Some of the attitudes of some of the players that really, really angered me.

"Quite clearly the players have too much strength there."

This has been a topic of discussion for a number of months. How much influence do Lionel Messi and a cohort of other senior figures in the team hold over the club?

It's clear that the ageing profile of the squad was a factor in their decimation at the hands of a hungry Bayern side.

While the Bavarians fielded a number of players over thirty years of age, like Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, they were complemented by youthful exuberance across the park.

Players like Serge Gnabry, Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka all played a major role in Bayern's win and intensive pressing on the night.

It would be unwise to think that the oldest squad in Lisbon for the quarter-finals would be able to match the power and stamina of such a hungry young team.

That does not excuse a lack of effort though, according to Nevin who included Messi in this criticism.

"Yes absolutely," the Nevin said when asked if Messi also displayed a poor attitude.

"[He was] walking about."

On the other hand, Nevin did concede that Messi understands more than anyone that he could have sprinted for the entirety of the game and Barcelona still would have been well short of the standard required to knock out Bayern.

Lionel Messi

"He could run around like a lunatic all day today, it won't make any difference. It's not going to win the game because there are so many things wrong."

While some have questioned the body language of the Argentine in the days since the match, it is undeniably true that he has never been one to hassle defenders at a giant clip.

Messi has tended to conserve energy for bursts that will decide the game for Barcelona. That still works to a degree, however, the squad can no longer do the running for their captain and it has lead to the dramatic collapse in La Liga and Friday's annihilation.

Sergi Roberto and Arturo Vidal came in for some harsh criticism from Nevin, who accused the Chilean of feigning passion during the game.

"Vidal, Arturo Vidal, he did that classic thing [where] he goes and chases a ball at 6-2 down or whatever it is, he runs over and tries to dive into a tackle which is the laziest thing in the world to do," Nevin explained.

"No, you're not [trying]. What you're doing is diving in so you don't have to do your hard yards back."

The next move for Barcelona is difficult to predict. They have cast Quique Setien aside but a change of manager will not eradicate the malaise that has swept the club.

After the game, Gerard Pique admitted that an overhaul of the squad will need to occur in order for Barca to progress from this moment. There is little evidence to suggest that the club has the money to carry this out.

Elections are due to take place in March 2021 and a candidate who will think about the long-term future of the club is needed. Short-termism and a selfish next president could see a superclub of the stature of Barcelona continue to decline.

If that occurs this depressing sight could yet get even sadder.

You can listen to the podcast with Pat here.

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Champions League FC Barcelona Josep Maria Bartom Lionel Messi Quique Setién