Barcelona recently parted ways with manager Tito Vilanova due to the health concerns of the former assistant manager. He had been a manager at the club for only one year during which time he helped the club lift the la Liga title. However, his issues with cancer meant that Vilanova had to resign from his job by saying that he would not have been able to give 100% to the club. This left Barcelona looking for their second manager in a year. They have managed to bring in Gerardo Martino as his replacement. The Argentine coach has signed a two-year contract with the club.
Martino has been hugely successful coach in Argentine football and he is right now in charge of Newell’s Old Boys. He helped the club in the Argentine title last season. It is believed that the Spanish club managed to confirm his appointment after conducting a video conferencing call. He is set to sign the papers and he will be arriving in Barcelona shortly in order to do so. This is not the first time Barcelona have gone down the route of appointing an Argentine manager. This, however, will be the first job outside the South American continent for the 50-year-old manager.
“We know about his career, he is a very good coach. He likes Barcelona’s playing style. I think all the names mentioned are capable of coaching this team. We have a certain way of playing; a philosophy. The coach that comes in will follow that line and I’m sure that Zubi (sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta) and the directors want a coach that can adapt to our characteristics,” said the Barcelona captain, Carlos Puyol about the new manager.
Martino will have to win the league title and also the Champions league in his first season at the club.
The Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has said that he is far from being completely covered from the cancer he was recently diagnosed. The 44-year-old has been undergoing treatment for the cancer problems through chemotherapy and radiation. He missed a few weeks of the action for Barcelona, but recently returned to the dugout in the 4-0 win over Espanyol during the weekend. It was a comfortable result for the manager, whose health condition has been the main priority at the club over the last couple of weeks. Barcelona could not have had a better news than the 4-0 win over Espanyol.
The current world player of the year Lionel Messi scored after just 29 min on the clock with a penalty. Messi finished the year 2012 with 91 goals in all competitions, and he is already off the mark for 2013. The victory was made comfortable due to the early goal from Xavi, who opened the scoring after just 10 min on the clock. Pedro then scored two goals in the space of 12 min to give Barcelona a 3-0 advantage, which was then made 4-0 by the penalty from Lionel Messi. Even though Barcelona did not score the remainder of the match, it was enough to maintain the massive advantage at the top of the table.
“This is not over yet and there will be days that I can take training and others I can’t but I want the media to realise that this illness is mine and it is private even if I am a public figure. I would like to thank everyone for their support. This club has had a lot of knocks in the last couple of years but I always want to take the positive approach. What has happened to me could have happened to anyone,” said Vilanova.
The new Barcelona signing Alex Song has said that the manager Tito Vilanova supported him a lot prior to making his first start for the club. The Cameroon midfielder was a £ 15 million signing from Arsenal in the summer transfer window. However, he has not been utilised as a starter by the manager Tito Villanova up until now, but he was part of the starting line-up that played against Valencia recently. Barcelona managed a narrow 1-0 win over Valencia to move five points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table.
After the match, the former Arsenal midfielder said that he is extremely happy to be part of the starting line-up for the first time. He has said that the manager Tito Vilanova was a major influence in helping him adapt to the Barcelona style of football. Barcelona have made a great start to the season, which is also coupled with the poor start to the arch rivals Real Madrid. As a result, they have already built a healthy lead over Real Madrid in their efforts to reclaim the title from Real Madrid. Song has said that he is extremely happy to start the match, but is more importantly happy with the three points.
“The coach spoke with me ahead of the game and explained what he expected of me. That really helped me calm down a bit and gave me a lot of confidence. My team-mates also talked to me a lot and that was very helpful. I know that it’s important at Barcelona to pass the ball directly. But strangely enough, sometimes it’s even easier to drive the ball forward and keep possession,” said Song after the match. Barcelona will be facing Getafe in the league before taking on Spartak Moskova in the Champions League.
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