The news that Tito Vilanova has had to quit Barcelona because of his ongoing battle with cancer is very sad and there is no doubt it will be affecting the players. Pep Guardiola's exit was also unexpected but this will be more difficult to cope with, for obvious reasons.
Vilanova certainly seemed like a guy that the players were very close to. As much as we talk about players being professional, this will hurt them.
I remember being at Liverpool when Kenny Dalglish suddenly quit in 1991. We came in on a Friday morning and heard the news. We then had to play Luton Town the following day and I remember us driving down for that match and thinking 'I can't be bothered playing'. We were all thinking: 'What's the point?'
Everyone was devastated. Obviously you recover but when you look back on that season we were top of the league and still in the FA Cup when Kenny left - but we ended it by winning nothing.
It definitely affected us. I know people say that footballers should just get on with it, but we are only human, and while the Barcelona players will get over the sad news eventually, it will have an impact.
Looking at it from a purely footballing standpoint , you could see some issues on the pitch at the end of last season for Barcelona which was borne out when they were outclassed by Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Bayern are obviously an exceptional team, but all the things we have criticised Barcelona for in the last two years – that they've lost their hunger, that their organisation at the back has not been taken seriously enough – were exposed against Bayern Munich.
It looks as though they are going to be bringing fresh eyes into the club – with Newell's Old Boys coach Gerardo Martino and now Guus Hiddink linked with the job. They have liked to promote from within in recent years, but I feel bringing a new face into the club is not a bad thing.
It might be time for Barcelona to reel in how they play a bit. They have become too open and free and easy to play against. Even Paris Saint-Germain came close to knocking them out in the quarter-finals.
It is still a wonderfully talented squad though – they are not what they were five years ago but they still have a lot of talent and I expect them to have a big season.
I think Martino would be a good choice. He's had lots of success with the Paraguayan national team and in Argentina and if he can get some of that Argentinian steel into the Barcelona side it would be a good move.
Martino is also said to come from the Bielsa school of coaching which would keep elements of Barcelona's expansive play - and they certainly have the players that can do that. Playing with a high tempo and pressing is second nature to them, so it could be a perfect fit.
Barcelona do need a couple of players though. Neymar was the marquee signing but I think they need to do what Manchester City have done this summer. City have bought players that they needed. They have looked at the areas where they are weak and filled in those gaps - and Barcelona should do likewise.
They need to sign a centre-half and it has to be a proper centre-half – somebody who can organise and defend. To help you defend you also need a certain type of midfield player.
In football you need to have an out-and-out centre forward on your books too – Barcelona have got away without one for years because their players are so talented, but you need somebody who always plays between the two centre-halves and who is always in the box when you attack. So as good as they are, I still feel there are areas where they can improve.
A lot of it is basic too – you have Messi, you have Neymar, you have all the creativity, you have the icing on the cake; but you need the flour too, the footballers who can do the dirty work every single game.
One of the first big decisions the new manager will have is whether or not to accept Manchester United's bid for Cesc Fabregas. Barcelona do not have the bottomless funds of some other clubs. They did take in some money after the sale of Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich, but they probably do need more money.
Fabregas might be expendable. I think he is a fantastic player but he has never been able to play in his preferred role at Barcelona and a bid of £30m-plus might be enough to tempt them.
If I was Barcelona fan I would not panic. The Spanish league is like the Scottish league when Rangers were in it, with only two teams realistically in the hunt to win the league.
They will definitely finish first or second and they will reach the latter stages of the Champions League. I can't see them having a trophy-less season, but their days of domination are over.
Bayern Munich are the top dogs in Europe but Barcelona are not a million miles behind them. They're in a tough spot but they should be reasonably easy to fix.