Video clip Rating: four / 5
The departure of Tata Martino from his managerial position at Barcelona started a string of rumors involving which coach would be selected as the new man to guide the Spanish club to success, something that they were getting used to under the guidance of Pep Guardiola a few years ago but have struggled trying to find a coach that can fill in the boots that was left by Guardiola.
Luis Enrique was selected as the man to replace Tata Martino and things kicked off in superb form for Enrique as his team did not concede a single goal during the first seven matches in the Spanish League but things have started to fall apart for Barcelona and Luis Enrique after losing an away match when playing against PSG in the Champions League.
Barcelona also started to make a number of underwhelming performances in the Spanish League after losing a home game when playing against Celta Vigo and having to settle with a goal-less draw when facing off with Malaga and Getafe.
There have been questions being raised to Luis Enrique as if he is actually certain about what to do as the manager of Barcelona as he has started off matches with over 20 different formations. Having made so many changes in formations doesn’t look like someone who is certain or confident about his team.
Things will be even more difficult for Luis Enrique and his squad as they have to enter the year of 2015 without being able to make any new signings and the Champions League has advanced into the last 16 remaining teams, which means that only the best of the best will be facing off against each other.
It’s the time for Luis Enrique to demonstrate why he was chosen as the new coach of Barcelona and his challenges awaits him as he is not only being pressured to win the Spanish League but also the Champions League and it will be fairly disappointing if Barcelona is not able to win any of those trophies in this season.
Video Rating: four / five
Pep Guardiola, who is presently the manager of the Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich, has made it clear that there is no possibility of him returning to Barcelona as manager.
The 43-year old did say that he would like to make his way back to Catalonia in future, but, only to live there.
No other manager has achieved as much as success at Barcelona as Guardiola did. He remained there for 4 seasons and the Catalans just kept bagging one trophy after the other under him.
Since the time Guardiola resigned, three people have taken over as the head coach of Barcelona and neither of them has proved to be that effective.
The man who is in charge at Barcelona at this point of time is Luis Enrique who has already lost the first El Clasico of the 2014-15 Season.
Moreover, Barcelona has recently been replaced by Real Madrid at the no. 1 position in the Liga table.
So, Enrique is also having a bit of a hard time which has resulted in many fans urging the club owners to try and lure Guardiola back.
When Guardiola was asked yesterday if he would take the offer of Barcelona if they come with one, he said, “No, I won’t. My tenure at Barca is done and dusted. Obviously, I would return to that place one day. That’s my motherland and my family is there. But, I would be there only to live and not for the coaching purpose.”
During Guardiola’s time at Camp Nou, Barcelona totally dominated Real Madrid, defeating them in 6 out of the 8 El Clasicos.
A couple of games Barcelona won by margins of 6-2 and 5-0, these numbers themselves tell how dominant they were.
Guardiola lost only one El Clasico. That was in April 2012.
Online video Ranking: four / 5
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two of the best players in the world right now, at least in terms of statistics. However, former Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk says that he would make Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben over these duo any time. Robben has mixed success when it comes to club and international football over the last decade. He has won several major titles, but he has also been on the end of several losses at the final stage. His failure to win a World Cup title despite having come close is one such example.
Van Marwijk is a manager who knows the 31-year-old extremely well. For all his disappointing qualities like selfishness and simulation, Van Marwijk believes that Robben has the all-round ability that will be the difference between winning and losing. He says that Messi and Ronaldo have become too individualistic and this is undermining the team as a whole. Ronaldo is the favourite to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for 2014 after having won the Champions League. He also scored 17 goals, which is a new record, during the last season’s European run. Despite such statistics, Van Marwijk says that he would nominate Robben as the best player right now.
Robben reached the semifinals of the Champions League, while he finished third at the World Cup 2014 with Netherlands. However, he won the German Bundesliga title for a third consecutive season in record fashion. “If I’m a coach and I could choose Messi, Ronaldo or Robben, I’d choose Robben. Out of the three players, he’s the most complete. Robben ahead of Ronaldo and Messi in that regard but not everyone sees that. The focus is on goals and attacking. I get the idea that this is the thinking for individual prizes like the Ballon d’Or.”
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Movie Score: 4 / 5
Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez was heavily linked with a move away from the Catalan club this summer. Several reports suggested that he was ready to bring an end to his Barcelona days, where he has been playing throughout his career, after interest from several clubs in the MLS and Middle East. They were ready to pay the former world and European champion a huge sum of money in order to entice him towards the end of the career. Xavi has not been as influential as he was a few years ago and this has largely been down to his age.
The 34-year-old is fast approaching the end of his stellar career, but he says that he is not ready to leave Barcelona at any point in the future. The midfielder made his debut for the Catalan club back in 1998 and has gone on to make close to 500 appearances in the league. At the prime of his career, he oversaw a revolution started by Pep Guardiola that made Barcelona one of the best teams in the world. He is widely expected to announce his retirement like several other Barcelona stars of recent years – Carlos Puyol – in the coming seasons. Xavi’s decision to stay at Barcelona is a major blow to the likes of New York Red Bulls.
“If it was up to me I’d never leave Barcelona. I could have left many times but my feelings always won out. I told the club that I didn’t want to play for another team in Europe; I didn’t want to play against Barcelona. I would like to end my career here. But circumstances are what decide these things,” said Xavi. Under the leadership of the 34-year-old, Barcelona have once again made a strong start to the season and have won all of their matches until now.
Gerardo Martino has been given the charge of the Argentina national football team. This is going to be his second tenure as manager in international football. He has already had a fairly long run with Paraguay in the past.
Martino’s work as Paraguay boss was hailed by many. He guided the South American side to Round of 8 in the World Cup in South Africa 4 years ago. Los Guaranies also made it to the title round of Copa America under his guidance one year later i.e. in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »