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Following a demoralizing 4-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday, Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez could be on the rocks. The club legend is losing support in the locker room, according to ESPN.  Already eight points off the pace of Girona atop La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and Champions League could be Barcelona's only routes to success in this season but with poor results in each big game that they have played this season, it's hard to have faith that Barca will turn things around when it matters as they face the risk of a trophy-less season. 

Injuries have been an issue as goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is sidelined alongside Gavi, Marcos Alonso, Raphinha, Inigo Martinez, and Joao Cancelo, but most of the results point to the defense. Despite only playing 19 games this season, Barcelona have already allowed two more goals than they did all of last season in La Liga. Defensive regression is expected after a historic season, but when that also comes with Barcelona underperforming their team expected goals of 43.89 by only scoring 36 goals this season, that's how the fall can become so drastic almost overnight.

Relying mainly on youth, roller coaster performances may not be surprising, but that's where Xavi has to steer the team in the right direction, especially having gone through this as a Barcelona legend on the pitch himself. Following the Spanish Super Cup final thrashing at the hands of Real Madrid, Xavi said that he gave his harshest ever halftime talk, but it wasn't enough to turn around the match despite Barcelona's improvement in the second half.

Sporting director Deco came out in support of Xavi following the match, stating that it doesn't make sense to question Xavi's future as he's under contract until 2025 and also retains the club's support. But there's a certain kiss of death that comes with a club's director needing to answer those questions. It's similar to the situation of Jose Mourinho's sacking at Roma where while it was a shock, Roma's underlying metrics showed that the team should've been performing better. 

On Morning Footy, Guillem Balague spoke about the crisis at Barcelona and said that he doesn't expect Xavi to still be the coach next season.

"It is a crisis at Barcelona, an institutional crisis, a financial crisis, a sporting crisis. Nothing is going to happen because Xavi Hernandez keeps saying of course that he will sort everything out and that things will improve but Deco's not so sure but doesn't change things at the moment and Laporta is not one to push coaches," Balague said on the state of Barcelona. "He has been very respectful of every one that he has had Rijkaard perhaps stayed one extra year while Laporta was in charge because he doesn't like sacking managers halfway through but I don't think Xavi will be there next season."

Let's look at where it has gone wrong for Barcelona:

Finishing hasn't been there

In years past, if Barcelona scored multiple goals, victory was almost assured. This season, it hasn't been the case. Looking at their top five xG performances this season, three of those matches didn't see Barcelona secure all three points with a loss to Girona and draws to Granada and Valencia. Each match saw a different member of the front three including Robert Lewandowski, Joao Felix, and Raphinha fail to take their chances. When it comes down to different players like that, it's a systemic issue not one in relation to just the underperformance of an individual.

Lewandowski has been someone called out for not hitting the highs that we're used to seeing from him but he also has nine goals and five assists in La Liga and Champions League play. He's underperforming his goal output but he's also overperforming his 1.73 xG so it balances out to be a pretty standard season for the Polish striker. It's s similar story for Felix and Raphinha who wen assists are included are where they need to be but when it comes to the depth players who make Barcelona tick, that's where the struggles can be seen.

Fermin Lopez (two goals from 4.15 xG), Lamine Yamal (one goal from 3.37 xG), and Ilkay Gundogan (three goals from 4.53 xG) are all underperforming their xG without raising the level of the team by providing more assists. When it comes to Gundogan as a deep-lying midfielder, outside of penalties, he shouldn't be shooting as much as he has been and this is also where Barcelona's reliance on youth begins to show. Both are 21 years old or younger and need more experience to develop as finishers. With Barcelona's financial struggles, they've had to rely on a less than ideal squad and when things aren't performing exactly as expected, the holes in the squad begin to show.

Not keeping pace with the title contenders

Losing 4-1 in an El Clasico is bad but allowing a first half hat trick to Vinicius Junior could be enough to get most Barcelona managers fired, especially when Barcelona also lost to Real Madrid in the league in October. Add that to a 4-2 loss to Girona where despite ripping off 31 shots Barcelona only scored two goals, they just haven't been good enough against the top teams which is a concern heading into the last 16 of Champions League. Already losing to Royal Antwerp and Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stage, a tie with Napoli in the round of 16 won't be an easy task. Getting knocked out at the hands of the struggling Italian side may not be enough to move on from Xavi this season but it will add another question to if he can be the manager to truly bring glory back to Barcelona.