FC Barcelona’s defensive struggles have taken a toll this season, with Iñaki Peña finding himself under scrutiny amid challenging numbers. The recent defeat to Real Madrid in the Supercopa de España highlighted the goalkeeper’s predicament, facing more goals than Ter Stegen in this season.
In the absence of Marc-André Ter Stegen due to back issues, Iñaki Peña has stepped into the goal for Barcelona. While he had commendable performances initially, the challenges have increased, leaving him at the center of Barcelona’s defensive woes.
The statistics reveal a challenging period for Iñaki Peña. He conceded 18 goals in 11 games, compared to Ter Stegen’s 15 in 17 matches this season. The defensive frailty has become a major concern for Xavi Hernández, and the goalkeeper faces the brunt of individual scrutiny.
If you take a look at the first two goals that Barcelona conceded vs Madrid, you can tell there’s a problem. Although the defenders made mistakes that shouldn’t happen in elite football, there was a fundamental problem with the way Peña plays. Unlike Ter Stegen, Peña is not a “sweeper keeper”, and that makes the high line of Barcelona’s defense much more vulnerable. However, Xavi should know that, and you’d expect him to instruct the defense to, maybe, stay closer to the goalkeeper.
Awaiting Ter Stegen’s Return
With Ter Stegen’s expected return in early February, Iñaki Peña’s stint as the primary goalkeeper might shift. Xavi Hernández faces the challenge of restoring defensive stability, and Peña’s role could evolve as Barcelona aims to rectify its defensive woes.
As Ter Stegen’s return looms, Iñaki Peña has the opportunity to showcase his skills and seek redemption in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey journey. The upcoming clash against Unionistas Salamanca provides a stage for Peña to change the narrative and prove his mettle.
Iñaki Peña’s role as Barcelona’s goalkeeper underlines the defensive challenges faced by the team. With Ter Stegen’s return anticipated in February, Peña’s journey becomes pivotal in Barcelona’s quest for defensive solidity. The Copa del Rey presents an opportunity for redemption, and as the team aims to recalibrate, the goalkeeping dynamics could see a transformative shift. As Barcelona navigates the storm, the return of Ter Stegen offers hope for a defensive resurgence in the challenges ahead.