Xavi talks Roberto, Romeu, Roque, Ferran after Barcelona 3-2 Almeria: “It is unacceptable”

Xavi talks Roberto, Romeu, Roque, Ferran after Barcelona 3-2 Almeria: “It is unacceptable”

Barcelona emerged victorious after a rollercoaster of a game that saw them seal victory in the dying embers through Sergi Roberto’s emphatic winner.

The Catalan giants had their work cut out with Almeria scoring twice and Barça narrowly escaping with the three points, but having dropped points consecutively, tonight’s win is sure to serve as a massive morale booster.

Xavi had been facing a great deal of pressure from the media and was necessitated to lead his cavalry to victory today, with many speculating that his job was on the line.

With the result going in Barcelona’s favor, the legendary Barcelona midfielder can take a sigh of relief and live to fight another day.

After the 3-2 victory, Xavi addressed the media, giving his two cents on the match-up.

For Barcelona, the Christmas break comes at a good time as they will be able to recharge their batteries and start afresh for the second half of the season.

“These two weeks will be good for us to rest, to disconnect now for the year 2024 with titles, Xavi remarked.

Shining light on the unlikely hero from tonight, Xavi did not waste the opportunity to give Roberto his roses, who captained his side to victory with a blistering brace.

“Sergi is an example for everyone. The way he motivated players at half-time… he’s a leader,” the coach commented.

Waxing lyrical about his man-of-the-match display, Xavi additionally said: “I’m very happy for Sergi Roberto. As a midfielder, he scored two goals and he was close to scoring another one. He’s an example for other players.”

Despite not having received the nod in the starting XI, Xavi argued that Oriol Romeu put up a fine performance in the few minutes he had on the pitch, aiming to uplift the defensive midfielder, who has been going through a rough patch lately.

“Oriol Romeu played well in the minutes that he played,” he said.

Although Inaki Pena’s slip-up led to Almeria’s second equalizer, he made a terrific save toward the end of the game. Xavi praised the action, stating: “Iñaki Peña gave us the win with the last save he made.”

Summing up the season thus far, Xavi mentioned: “We gifted them two goals. That pretty much sums up our season.”

“Christensen was subbed out because he had a yellow card. We subbed in Ferran because we needed him to press more effectively,” he further noted.

Despite the win, Xavi did not resort to flattery, claiming the win could have been achieved far more easily, while lack of focus continues to plague the squad.

“This is a match that should have ended 2-0 or 3-0, but the team does not have the spirit that it showed last season. We lack aggressiveness and focus. It’s unacceptable.

“As a manager, I told the players that I can’t accept the first half. We’re not the 2010 Barça. What we lack in effectiveness, we have to make up in aggressiveness. We can’t play like this.” he communicated.

Justifying the fans’ whistles, the 43-year-old voiced: “It’s normal that the fans whistle. Our first half is unacceptable. Either we give our best effort or we won’t win anything.

“I understand the crowd if they whistled. I don’t like it, I would never do it, but I understand it.”

The coach argued that the players must leave their hearts out on the pitch if they yearn to achieve anything significant, mentioning: “We have to run like animals to win anything.”

“I don’t care for today’s result. Most importantly we have to show a good attitude. That’s how we won two titles last season,” he expressed.

Xavi then jumped to Almeria’s defense, not taking anything away from them, but simply highlighting that the attitude that set the Blaugranes apart last season is missing.

“Almería had 12 or 13 chances against Atletico. They’re not a bad team, they don’t have a bad coach. In fact, they play very well. But even then, the problem is us. All I want is a team to have a soul, with attitude. That’s how we won titles last year,” he chimed in.

Still, he took some accountability as a coach to say: “I can see that the players lack hunger and attitude. It’s my responsibility, and it won’t happen again, for sure.”

Fans have often unjustly drawn comparisons of today’s team with the glorious era of the past. But Xavi acknowledged that the quality from that era is not present, so the team must make up for that by showing more desire on the pitch.

“We don’t have the quality of the 2010 Barça, forget about it. The reality is that, if we don’t give our best efforts, we can’t beat absolutely anyone,

“You can play well, win, or lose, but for the respect for the badge, we have to give our best efforts on the pitch always,” he remarked.

Barcelona, once again, fell victim to individual lapses today, which Xavi touched upon. Emphasizing the two errors today, Xavi said:

“I think that generally, we’re playing well in defense, but the individual errors are costing us a lot. There was a mistake with the ball in the first goal, and in the second one, we were just unlucky. Iñaki bumps with Araujo, unfortunately.”

Claiming meritocracy continues to be followed at the club, the Spaniard expressed:

“The players in the best form will play. That’s always been the case with me as a manager.”

Even though the team could not cruise to a comfortable victory after proceedings, Barcelona’s upturn in the second half was visible, and Xavi took credit for his stern speech in the dressing room tunnel.

“Today was my harshest ever half-time talk as a manager. It worked very well. Did you see the second half?” he retorted.

Speaking on the foreseeable future, Vitor Roque was brought up as the Brazilian prodigy will officially be a Barcelona player the next time Barça take to the field.

“Vitor Roque has the intensity and the hunger I have been talking about. He has a winning mentality. We’ll see how he adapts, but he can be crucial to us,” Xavi stated.

While there is still ample time before any conclusions in La Liga can be drawn, Xavi diverted the focus toward the upcoming knockout games of the Copa del Rey and Spanish SuperCup, mentioning:

“Now we have the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa coming up. We want to compete for them.”

Before that, Barcelona have a friendly in Texas coming up tomorrow, which will help the club generate some much-needed funds.

Talking about the venue, Xavi expressed his delight with the American atmosphere, pointing out:

“It’s always a pleasure to go to Dallas. Americans treat us very well. There we also have people we know like Jonathan Dos Santos.

“Regarding the friendly tomorrow, we know the club’s situation, and we want to row in the same direction to recover financially.”

Finally, Xavi stated lifting silverware is the ultimate motive for this campaign, he remarked:

“Our goal in 2024 is to win more points in La Liga. Our general goal this season is to win titles.”

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