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LaLiga 2019/2020: 3 reasons why Barcelona were right to stick with Ernesto Valverde

Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
03 Aug 2019, 18:04 IST

Valverde is set to remain at the Barcelona helm despite initial reports
Valverde is set to remain at the Barcelona helm despite initial reports

A little over two months ago, there were serious doubts that Ernesto Valverde would sit on the Barcelona bench in the coming season.

He had overseen some of the most disastrous results in the club's recent history, with Barcelona falling to consecutive remontada eliminations from the Champions League to Roma and Liverpool in eerily similar circumstances.

The club's defeat in the final of the 2019 Copa del Rey to Valencia also did little to help Valverde's precarious position.

However, despite numerous calls for the termination of his contract, common sense prevailed and Barcelona decided to stick with the former Espanyol manager for at least one more season.

While many might see this as the wrong call, it was actually in Barcelona's best interest to retain his services.

In this piece, we shall be highlighting four reasons why Barcelona were right to stick with Valverde as their head coach.

#1 His record at Barcelona has been somewhat impressive

Over his two seasons at Camp Nou, Valverde has lost just four LaLiga matches
Over his two seasons at Camp Nou, Valverde has lost just four LaLiga matches

Ernesto Valverde began his Barcelona managerial career with a 5-1 debilitating defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid in the 2017 Spanish Super Copa.

Having just lost Neymar to PSG some few days back, the future looked very bleak for the Catalans, leading Pique to quip that those were his worst moments in his time at the club.

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However, over the next few months, Valverde quickly turned this around, getting Barcelona top of the league with a nine-point lead over second-placed Atletico, while holding a distinct 19-point advantage on Real Madrid.

After that Super Copa loss, the club did not taste defeat again in all competitions for the next five months until a 1-0 reversal to Espanyol in the Copa del Rey.

It was a run encompassing some notable victories including 3-0 victories over both Real Madrid and Juventus, as well as a comeback win-win from two goals down to defeat Real Sociedad 4-2 and end the infamous 'Anoeta curse'.

In total, this streak lasted for 28 games, more than the 27 the hallowed Guardiola managed as Barca boss and only behind the 39 posted by Luis Enrique in the club's history.

Valverde ended his first season with a domestic double, finishing 14 points ahead of Atleti in second and 17 above Real Madrid in third and would have been the first manager to finish a 38-game season unbeaten but for a shock 5-4 loss to Levante on the penultimate weekend.

His second season was not as productive, but he still delivered LaLiga and the Spanish Super Cup.

Over his two seasons at Camp Nou, Valverde has lost just four LaLiga matches, and this is better than Luis Enrique who lost nine league matches in his first two seasons in the Nou Camp dugout (although he won more matches than Valverde).

While the Champions League eliminations and underperformance of big-money signings like Dembele and Coutinho might be blots on Valverde's tenure as Barcelona coach, it would be downright preposterous to classify it as a failure.

He has shown his tactical acumen on occasion, and in light of this, Barcelona are right to give him the benefit of doubt for at least one more season.



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