The expectations for Marc Bartra coming into the season were understandably high. He was replacing captain and elite center back Matts Hummels, who had been part of all of BVB’s recent successful seasons. He was helped by the fact that, Matts did not leave on great terms, so fans really wanted BVB to make a statement by getting a great replacement. Barcelona’s Marc Bartra was tagged for the job. The La Mesia product had a lot of hype coming up through Barcelona’s ranks, but was not able to break into the starting eleven often. As the season has gone on, many fans point to Bartra as the source of our woes... So what went wrong with Marc Bartra?
To start the season Bartra was looking to be everything we wanted him to be. He was perfect all through August and September. Then he picked up an injury forcing him to miss five games. In his return, he played terribly against Ingolstast, being part of the defense that allowed the bottom of the table team to score more goals than they had so far that season. After this defeat to Ingolstadt and the injury, Marc Bartra did not look the same.
It would not be constructive to name all the times Bartra screwed up in November and December. Him letting Benzema score is one thing, but his mistakes to end the season were quite bad. In BVB’s last 7 games we have conceded the first goal. It would be kind to say only 4 of the were directly from mistakes Bartra made. The amount of mistakes Bartra makes does not bode well for his career. Even in our last friendly vs PSV he managed to clear a ball from 40 yards out and somehow make that a corner kick. Not good.
There is still plenty of hope for Bartra. He is young and can learn a lot from Tuchel who has made players exceed expectations before. If Tuchel can do with Bartra as he did with Weigl or Mkhitaryan, BVB will rise through the table. Also, Bartra did look great before his injury. Maybe the training he gets to do over this break puts him back in the right spot to succeed. Its easy to forget that Hummels had a pretty terrible Hinrunde last year, especially in November and December. He also did have a masterclass performance against Bayern Munich in November, so we know his injury has not permanently destroyed his ability to play.
Its too soon give up on Marc, but if we do get another half season of this kind of play, Zorc better do some shopping in the summer. Overall I’d give him a rating of 3/10 for the Hinrunde.