FC Barcelona news: 3 managers shortlisted as Valverde's replacement
What's the story?
Barcelona's disappointing end to the season went from bad to worse as they lost 2-1 to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final. From being on the brink of a historic third treble, the Blaugrana have ended up with just the La Liga title as the season draws to a close. Majority of the fans called for Ernesto Valverde to be sacked after the Liverpool embarrassment itself, but the board stuck with him.
Now that the pressure is really on, three managers have been said to be considered as possible replacements for the outgoing Spaniard.
In case you didn't know...
The three managers in talks are Roberto Martinez, Massimiliano Allegri and Ronald Koeman. Following two successive Champions League embarrassments, Valverde has been deemed unfit to lead the club moving forward.
His defensive tactics and overreliance on Messi have seen the club move backwards. Players like Ousmane Dembele, Malcolm and Philippe Coutinho have been unable to express themselves in his cautious, defence first approach.
Moving away from the club's philosophy that led to years of dominance has seen the club fail to win the Champions League for the fourth straight season. A change at the top is the need of the hour
Heart of the matter
Ever since Valverde walked through the doors at Camp Nou, there were question marks on his appointment. Although he did fairly well at his previous clubs, none of them was of the profile of FC Barcelona, and it showed.
In the big Champions League games where he needed to hold his nerve, he crumbled and with him, the club faced pure embarrassment. Against Roma and Liverpool, Barcelona went into the second leg, away from home with comfortable leads, but instead of trying to finish the game off, he decided to sit back and it backfired.
The club needs to go back to its roots and his sacking is long overdue.
The three managers in talks are all different in their playing style and bring different philosophies to the table.
Ronald Koeman is a Barcelona legend, having won the club its first Champions League title. He knows the club and would tend to lean back on Johan Cruyff's principles and could bring back the glory days of yesteryears. Currently doing wonders with the Dutch national team, he has really set himself apart as a technically astute manager even though his previous spells haven't been the most successful.
Allegri has quite an impressive CV, winning 5 straight league titles with the Old Lady as well as taking them to two UCL finals. Although he has won a lot of trophies at Juventus, winning the league with them doesn't mean much when there is barely any competition there. His playing style will not work at Barcelona and his name in the fray to become the Blaugrana boss is absurd.
Roberto Martinez is said to the frontrunner for the job and to be fair, it's not an appointment that would get the fans excited. Leading the Belgian side to a third-place finish at the World Cup doesn't say a lot about his management when you see the star-studded roster they boast of. His managerial record isn't great either having managed Swansea, Wigan and Everton. An unexpected pick to say the least, if he does indeed get the job.