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.
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. Continue reading
Ahead of the crucial second leg match with Manchester City, Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has rejected suggestions that he is not the right man for the job. Questions have been asked about the quality of the Argentine boss, as Barcelona have been going through a sticky patch in the last few weeks. They have lost three out of the last six league matches and it has seen them concede their lead in the league table to Real Madrid with only 10 matches remaining in the season. However, they are on course to reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a 2-0 win over Manchester City in the first leg.
It was arguably their best performance of the season so far, as they dominated the match from start to finish. Barcelona do not come into the second leg in the right frame of mind after having lost yet another league match on Sunday. The 1-0 defeat against Real Valladolid has put them four points behind Real Madrid after 27 matches. The team has not been achieving the heights of the last few years. They have been able to come this far only because of individual performances from the likes of Lionel Messi, who is also not hitting the heights of last season.
Rumours suggest that the manager will be sacked if Barcelona do not retain the league title.
“I have to be strong and powerful otherwise I should not be a manager. I am not listening to all of the criticism. I’m not here to express how you should do your work. I have to train my team and make them play better. It’s not an issue of motivation, Barcelona has enough good players to think about being successful this season. I am not here to talk about the criticism. If we play good then the criticisms will change,” said Martino.
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.