Gerard Pique is in hot water for some outspoken comments following Barcelona's 7-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League.
Those who commonly deride the best bathed in a perceived glory of the fallen Spanish giants—with many prematurely citing it "the end" for Tito Vilanova's troops—and Pique has only added strings to their proverbial bows.
The former Manchester United defender has publicly admitted his side are in need of a makeover and suggested the positions that need strengthening; Vilanova, it turns out, is far from amused (as per Sport360):
I suppose the player who spoke about making changes doesn’t believe that he should be one of them. I don’t think the team needs many changes.
All that’s needed is some reinforcements, just as we’ve been planning for the last few months. I don’t have any doubts in these players and my thinking about them hasn’t changed.
Vilanova is putting on a brave face and defending his team, but every Culé out there knows now that Pique is correct in his assumptions.
Defence is a problem, and Barca need to address the centre-back position pretty promptly: Pique himself has lost form, the team need a new centre-back and fans would like to see Martin Montoya start and bring balance to the side.
The forward line is also a problem, with one of David Villa or Alexis Sanchez likely heading for the exit door and the side's reliance upon Lionel Messi abundantly clear.
Even the midfield—which has been the constant heartbeat of this dynasty—has underperformed and must recapture the form it showed during the Pep Guardiola years.
But is it up to Pique to come out and say these things? No, not at all, and if you were in Tito's position, you'd scold your player, too.
The media have latched onto these comments, making it even easier to wax lyrical about the aforementioned fall of the titans. It's also made transfer links to Neymar and Mats Hummels even easier to correlate.
It was already going to be a summer rife with guesswork speculation and clamours for new recruits, but Tito's job fending off rumours just got a whole lot worse.
Rather than stress that Barca can bounce straight back with the current crop, who are raring to go and chomping at the bit for revenge, we all know that the players themselves have lost faith.
Tough situation for Vilanova, it seems.