What has caused Barcelona's dip in form and will we see Gareth Bale at Real Madrid next season?
During last night’s Clasico, when Real were marching across Catalan defences unimpeded, Barcelona looked devoid of answers and, more crucially, spirit for the second time in a week. The failure of their first series of testing games since the departure of manager, Tito Vilanova, to receive cancer treatment in New York, suggests the absence may be hurting the side more than they have been willing to admit.
Since January 19 - the last time Villanova was in the dugout for a game - Barcelona have won five, drawn two and lost two. Crucially the two they lost were the two most important; Milan away in the Champions League last 16 and Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final at home, last night. They have also struggled recently against Sevilla and Granada in La Liga, needing to come from behind late on to take 3 points.
Is this dip in form directly related to the absence of Tito Villanova? Is there another reason for Barca’s poor showings lately?
Graham Hunter, Newstalk’s European Football Correspondent, talked to Newstalk Breakfast this morning about the factors behind Barca’s dip in form.
Graham also talked about Gareth Bale, and rumours linking the Welsh winger to a move to the Spanish capital in the summer.