FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has come out and rubbished allegations of indiscipline leveled against his FC Barcelona players by some pundits and sections of the media.
The allegations come after Barcelona’s Argentine midfielder Javier Mascherano was sent off against Eibar at the weekend for allegedly insulting the assistant referee’s mother. Mascherano faces a potential four match ban in case FC Barcelona’s appeal is shot down. As a result, Mascherano may end up missing the Clasico against Real Madrid which is scheduled to take place on November 21.
Earlier in the season, FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique was handed a 4 match ban after he verbally abused the assistant referee in the Supercopa defeat to Athletic Bilbao in August.
Barcelona players do not have a discipline problem: Enrique
Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s Copa del Rey first leg clash at Villanovense (a Segunda Division B club), Enrique quashed all allegations of indiscipline leveled against his Barcelona players.
“I was able to speak with Masche, the whole team spoke, and I believe there is an improvement in my players’ behaviour,” Enrique said (via ESPNFC).
“I do not see anything strange in their behaviour, apart from the typical protests of each game, which happen with all teams and all players.
“The ban will be what the [officials] think it should be, it does not matter what I think.”
On his side’s Copa del Rey clash against Villanovense, Enrique added, “We are limited in the number of Bar a B players that we can use. I would like more players to rest, but that’s what the rule is and it has to be followed.”
“The cup format already changed a bit; to lighten the schedule I’d like to see a single game in all the knockout rounds.
“The season is so long that we have to prepare for them,” he said. “You have to overcome obstacles all throughout the season.”
Potential Mascherano ban a major blow to Barcelona
Javier Mascherano’s loss to a potential 4-match ban will be a major blow to FC Barcelona’s title ambitions. Apart from missing the clashes against Villanovense in the Copa del Rey and Getafe and Villarreal in La Liga, Mascherano’s absence in the Clasico against Real Madrid will be a huge setback to Barcelona’s title ambitions.
Mascherano is a pivotal cog in the Barcelona wheel. His presence as a defensive shield in Barcelona’s midfield provides an opportunity to the more attacking players to flourish in the final third.
FC Barcelona are already missing the services of stalwarts such as Messi and Iniesta through injury. Mascherano’s prospective ban will further add to the woes of manager Luis Enrique.
a AS English (@English_AS) October 27, 2015