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Barcelona Rebirth (August 2019) 
Posted on September 29, 2020 at 12:29 AM.
August 16, 2019: Mercier Bangs Drum Ahead of Opener

FC Barcelona manager Joanne Mercier wasted no time in setting high expectations publicly during her first press conference as manager. While Barcelona's excellent run of form in the pre-season has put fans in a state of constant euphoria since her appointment, the first team has a lot of quality that will impact them ahead of their first competitive match. “We have a lot of quality in this squad, more than I was expecting to be honest. This season's going to be interesting and hopefully a lot of fun,” Mercier said.

Mercier stated that the talent level in Barcelona is high enough that Blaugrana should fight for the league title, saying it is the expectation. “With the players we have at this club, winning the league is what we should be aiming for every year. We're all looking forward to getting started,” she added.

And while the club has been quite busy on the transfer market so far with no more than 4 players bought (Including the biggest signings of the summer, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba). Mercier said she is building a winning team and those committed to winning should be a part of it. “We're building a winning team and only committed players who understand they have a responsibility to perform to the best of their abilities will get to be a part of it,” she said.

She also added that Antoine Griezmann will return to the lineup, also Ousmane Dembčlč will be inserted into the starting lineup based on his performance in the pre-season.

Excitement is brewing in Barcelona as fans from across the city are expected to attend the first match of the season against Athletic Club Bilbao.

July 16, 2019: FC Barcelona Dominates in Mercier's First La Liga Victory

FC Barcelona kick off the new campaign looking like the Blaugrana of old, as they walk off the pitch with their first victory in the books. Barcelona were comfortable from start to finish, making sure Athletic Club Bilbao never posed much of a threat.

Joanne Mercier is off to a good start recording a clean sheet win on her competitive debut at the helm of Barcelona. But it was also an extension of the quality preseason the team enjoyed in the United States. Mercier was buoyed by this result and this shone through in her post match interview.

"That's exactly what we were looking to do on the pitch. Dominate the opposition and make sure they crumble,” said Barcelona's new boss Joanne Mercier. "We couldn't have played much better. The defence was spectacular and we were creative with every opportunity. Just a great all around performance from the lads.”

Anthony Martial picked up right where he left off, scoring three goals and earning his first La Liga Man of the Match honours, with Ousmane Dembčlč adding another goal to the club's decimation of Bilbao.

“What a perfect start. There's still more to come from this team. We have a great group of lads here and we're eager to show what we can do,” commented Mercier. “I like our focus for sure. But, it's one win and there are many more to go.”

Heading into the pre-season, few supporters of Ousmane Dembčlč would have expected that they would be praising the performance of Barcelona. But after some eye catching displays in the games leading up to the season opener, the winger kept his place on the team and impressed again with composed display. He took everybody by surprise in pre-season and he's kept his form right through competitive matches. Even after his goal, the sky is the limit to make him an everyday starter until Lionel Messi returns from Injury. “While others worry about falling behind or getting injured in pre-season as is the case of Lionel Messi, players like Dembčlč keep their cool and prove their ability. This is how winners are born,” said Joanne Mercier after the match.

Paul Pogba is continuing his hot run of form. Since joining the club Pogba has been the workhorse in the engine room with Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets he still put up good production. Says Joanne Mercier: “Pogba is a fantastic player and he deserves all the praise he gets. I hope he can continue to amaze us with performances like these.”

Antoine Griezmann is a man who is very happy with his current run of form. “I'm playing really well at the moment, and really enjoying my football at Barcelona,” he told the reporters after the game against Athletic. It certainly seems the forward is in the team for the foreseeable future if he keeps his level of play up.

August 25, 2019: Barcelona Continue Hot Start Under Mercier

The Blaugrana have two wins in two matches thanks to another dominating performance, this time at the expense of Real Betis, 4-0. Clearly, Real Betis was not on their level. By scoring 4 goals FC Barcelona demonstrated that today.

“It's obvious Real Betis is not at our level. I'd suggest they spend a little less energy trying to be giant killers,” commented manager Joanne Mercier. “Both the result and the score-line were well deserved in my opinion. We gave Real Betis no chance and could have easily scored more.”

Four players put up one goal on the score-sheet (Ousmane Dembčlč in the 12th minute, Frenkie de Jong in the 41st minute, Anthony Martial in the 72nd minute and Paul Pogba in the 86th minute) and it turned out to be one dominant force. Dembele received Man of the Match honours and Marc-Andre ter Stegen put up another clean sheet.

“It's really impressive how well we are playing this early in the season,” commented manager Joanne Mercier. “Ususally it takes some time to mesh these lads into winners, but these guys are playing great. Hopefully, we can keep it up.”

Antonio Barragan was one of the best players on the opposition today. But Barça found a way past Real Betis's defensive lineup by playing the Barça Way.

“We just played our game. We believed in our own ability and we didn't make any special plans to deal with Barragan,” said Mercier after the game.

While the home opener was something to be proud of, they will return to action against Osasuna on the road.

August 31, 2019: Three Goals For Dembčlč as Barcelona Dominates Osasuna

This here is all about domination. FC Barcelona proved that Osasuna needs to get their game in gear as they put on a 6-0 victory for the visitors. This team is currently in first place at the moment with lots of momentum on their side.

“Well you hate to say it sometimes, but honestly FC Barcelona is second to none right now,” said Joanne Mercier after the game. “I'm not sure there is a side out there that can beat us, at this moment.”

Ousmane Dembčlč put on a clinic, scoring 3 goals. Anthony Martial finished the day with 2 goals while Frenkie de Jong put up one. “It was a breathtaking performance. Dembčlč was unleashed today. A player like him can single-handedly dictate games. Today was a good example of that,” Mercier said of Dembčlč's performance.

While CA Osasuna had flaws as does Barcelona in the game, there were still positives and negatives from this one. “We were the better team and deserved to win, but I still think in the end of the score-line was a bit unfair to CA Ouasuna,” Mercier said. “There's lots for us to take away from this one, both positives and negatives.”

FC Barcelona will have few players on International duty next week. Their next game will be against Valencia.
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