What's the story?
According to a report from Catalan media outlet Sport, Ernesto Valverde has lost the support of the dressing room despite club president Josep Maria Bartomeu backing him.
In case you didn't know...
Since his arrival at Barcelona in 2017-18, Valverde has guided the Catalan giants to two consecutive LaLiga titles. He impressed many by winning the domestic double in his first season in charge.
However, Barcelona's unexpected failures in the cup competitions in the current campaign have turned into a major concern for the board.
Despite securing the league title weeks ago, the Blaugrana ended their season on a bitter-sweet note. Valencia inflicted a shock 2-1 defeat on the Catalan giants in the Copa del Rey final, which ended the latter's hopes of securing the domestic double for the second consecutive season.
Moreover, Barcelona endured a humiliating 4-0 against Liverpool in the return leg of the Champions League semi-final which saw them crash out despite winning the first leg 3-0. This was the second consecutive time the Blaugrana players had failed to hold on to a three-goal advantage, as they were knocked out by Roma from the 2017-18 Champions League in a similar fashion.
The heart of the matter
Despite Barcelona's losses in the European and Spanish cup competitions, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has defended Ernesto Valverde. In a recent interview, the Blaugrana president said:
"We won the league, so it has been an important season. Valverde has a contract and is the coach.This defeat was not the fault of our coach. We had many chances and the ball didn't go in."
But according to the report in Sport, Valverde is not a popular figure in the dressing room anymore. The players earlier showed unwavering support for their manager, but they are now starting to have doubts.
Moreover, some of the board members are reportedly surprised that Bartomeu openly supported Valverde after their recent defeat.
Barcelona will travel to play their pre-season friendlies in July. Their fans would hope that a decision on the managerial situation is reached soon, so that the team can start working towards the next season early enough.Published 28 May 2019, 18:08 IST