FC Barcelona forward Robert Lewandowski complains about Xavi’s system... and now the Polish national team
The Polish forward, not content with making his unhappiness heard regarding Xavi’s system, has asked for “big changes” to his national side.
At 35, Robert Lewandowski is seemingly having to justify his poor performances this season which have com ever since the World Cup in Qatar. His slow start to the LaLiga season with FC Barcelona, despite scoring two goals (a penalty and a close-range finish), has been added to by a defeat to Albania with Poland, leaving them in a tough position in their EURO 2024 qualifying group.
Lewandowski has looked less agile on and off the ball, as well as appearing to need an extra touch to steady himself: something that has never seemed possible - let alone actually appeared to be the case - over previous seasons. This has caused the striker to vent his frustrations in public, speaking out against both his club and national side’s ways of doing things.
Instead of looking into the mirror regarding his performances both this season and last, Lewandowski has dipped this hand into the pot of excuses and put them to work. A couple of weeks ago he fired shots against Xavi, who has repeatedly protected the Polish forward from criticism time and time again this season.
Lewandowski says Barça ‘don’t play with enough attackers’
“We are Barcelona and we are not only expected to win but with an offensive style. Recently this has not been how it should be, so we’ve been trying to create more chances in the games. When we see Ansu or Ferran on the pitch, two players who go forward, we create more”, said an angry Robert to Eleven Sports.
“Sometimes we don’t play with enough attacking players on the pitch, I don’t have any support”, he continued, “so I try to find the best solution for the team.” This summer, in an interview conducted with The Athletic while Barça travelled the US on their pre-season tour, Lewandowski let slip that his club, who failed to sign Luka Modric, were attacking in a less ambitious way since they began to play with four central midfielders, despite Barcelona playing this way against Madrid in the Super Cup and winning 1-3.
What did Lewandowski say about the Poland national team?
Losing with Poland just fired up the attacker even more, as he asked for “big changes to see the light at the end of the tunnel” in the national team, a message which many interpreted as an attack on the coach, Fernando Santos. Lewandowski ran away from taking an responsibility for the defeat, instead choosing to ask “what has happened with a team that, with almost the same lineup, used to play much better”.
Lewandowski has 6 goals in his last 15 games with Poland over a 2 year period. His team are now out of the automatic spots in their EURO 2024 group and could have to enter the playoffs, a phase they are still not guaranteed to get through to given the performances of other 3rd placed teams across the groups. As for Barcelona, last season, his goal-scoring average dropped off a cliff, scoring just 10 in his last 21 league games for his club after his red card against Osasuna. It is hard to know if the striker will return to form or not, but whatever the answer, it would be surprising if it ended up being a structural issue.