Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has come under criticism in recent weeks for the different style of football that he has been trying to implement at the club. Barcelona are widely known around the world for the passing stellar football while they keep possession for long periods of the match. They are even known to have in excess of 70% possession in some matches. However, the club recently had a match where they kept less than 50% of the ball for the first time in five years. Despite winning the match against Rayo Vallecano 4-0, Martino has come under a lot of criticism.
He has responded to this criticism by saying that it is normal that any manager of Barcelona who is not one of their own or isn’t of Dutch origin is going to be criticised. He has pointed out to the statistics where Barcelona kept 66% of the ball last season. He has said that this is the average position of the club has been 65.8%. So, he feels that the criticism of his managerial abilities is not right at this stage especially when Barcelona are at the top of the table with a perfect record. Martino stated after the Rayo Vallecano match that he wanted Barcelona to have a different dimension as well.
“We don’t want to change anything. Last year Barça had an average of 66% and now we’re at 65.8%. He said that each game needs to be analysed to see if it is essential to keep possession or not. Possession is very important for Barcelona. It was for Newell’s too. But it’s true that you need to look at the characteristics of your opponents, at previous games, and if the same coach is still in place,” said Martino in response to the criticism in recent weeks.