Ernesto Valverde of Barcelona has been relieved of his duties as Barca coach. He was sacked yesterday after a prolong meeting with the president of the club Josep Bartomeu. The 55-year-old helped the club to two successive La Liga titles and they are currently heading the La Liga table.
Barcelona has not had the kind of result they have been having in the league this season in their history. They suffered a loss in the first game of the 2019/20 La Liga season which has not happened in a long time now. They have produced series of unconvincing displays under his leadership and have failed to reach the Champions League final.
In a statement, Barca said they had reached an agreement with Valverde to terminate his contract. They thanked him “for his professionalism, his commitment, his dedication and his always positive treatment towards all that make up the Barca family.” The sack would have come earlier because he was under pressure towards the end of last season.
Why was Ernesto Valverde Sacked?
His failure to learn from the mistakes he made against AS Roma two seasons ago has hunted him down. The former Barcelona coach loss to Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final through a careless tactic that he used and failed against AS Roma. The defeat by Atletico Madrid which eliminated them from the Spanish Super Cup.
Barcelona board got tired of the inconsistency with the coach’s performance especially after their poor start to the league. The most surprising thing about Ernesto Valverde being fired by Barcelona is that it took so long to happen. The fans all saw the sack coming and they only wonder why it took too much time to happen.
Ernesto Valverde’s Record with Barcelona
Ernesto Valverde did guide the Catalans to the top of the table at the halfway stage of this season, but that is what the fans are already used to. For the past 15 years Barcelona fans have experienced that success and so it is really not a new thing for them to count as an achievement. Their away form this season has been really disappointing.
Barcelona has loss to Athletic Bilbao, Granada and Levante plus draws at Osasuna, Real Sociedad and Espanyol. This record is really not one any Barcelona fan will be proud of and so his sacked was a predictable one. During his stay with Cataluna side, he won two La liga titles, one Copa del Ray title and one Super Copa de Espana.
Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi had been strongly linked with the head coach’s role. He confirmed to media that he had spoken with the club’s sporting director Eric Abidal and chief executive Oscar Grau over the job. He later rejected the offer, another player who was linked with the job was former tottenham coach Mauricio Pochetino but he also turned it down. Pochetino who was sacked late last year had rejected the offer saying he will not coach a rival team as he had coached Espanyo before.
Quique Setien Appointed as Becomes Barcelona’s new coach till 2023
Quique Setien former Real Betis coach was appointed head coach of Barcelona on Monday evening. The 61-year-old led Betis to their highest finish in 2005 and the Copa del Rey semis before leaving in May. He has agreed to a two-and-a-half-year deal with the management of Barcelona. Setien arrives at the Nou Camp as a highly-regarded coach.
Setien also coached Las Palmas and finished 11th in La Liga table which is their best finish for 40 years. It was under his supervision that Real Betis beat the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid during his two-year tenure. He left the Seville outfit by mutual consent in the summer.
‘Setien is a devout disciple of Cruyffian football’
New manager Quique Setien will be looking to restore the team’s famed fast-paced, high-pressing, incisive-passing style. The fear Barcelona pose to other teams should be restore because it has slowly eroded away by the pragmatic management of Ernesto Valverde.
One of the major reasons Setien was appointed is because of his stubborn nature which makes him a divisive figure across Spain. The manager is said to be is a devoted disciple of Cruyffian football, and from now on it is certain that Barca will once again play ‘Barca’ football.
The challenge now will be for tired leg like Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba who may struggle to keep the physical intensity required. Setien is sure to sign new players to fill in the space for players who are gradually aging as he need fast legs to suit his philosophy.