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Why Barcelona should not have renewed Valverde's contract

Sahil Dani
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
1.32K   //    16 Feb 2019, 06:00 IST

Valverde has been at the helm with Barcelona since May 2017 and signed a year-long contract extension
Valverde has been at the helm with Barcelona since May 2017 and signed a year-long contract extension

So it's official. Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has renewed his contract with the club until the end of next season, the 2019/20 campaign. As much as the club's board have revealed their happiness with their decision, it appears as though numerous supporters are unconvinced and rather unhappy with the choice.

One of the main reasons for their discontent, is Valverde's poor man-management skills. Last year during a surprise Champions League quarter-final exit by AS Roma, there was clearly a problem that had not been effectively addressed. A lack of squad rotation saw key players crucially not being rested during their 3-1 win over Leganes just three days prior, which ultimately had an adverse effect in the second leg.

Despite having a 3-0 first leg lead, Barcelona capitulated in Rome and Valverde was rightly criticised
Despite having a 3-0 first leg lead, Barcelona capitulated in Rome and Valverde was rightly criticised

Barcelona are one of the world's best attacking sides. With the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho in your ranks, the creative possibilities are endless.

Valverde's conflicting tactics and approach to transfers

However under Valverde's guidance, they have adopted a defensive approach toward matches too often. Naturally, it hurts the fluidity of attacks and gives opponents a better opportunity to recover possession, particularly if they don't counter-attack in numbers. 

They've lost twice and drawn six matches in Spain's top-flight this term and despite leading the pack, things could easily shift with a few more unfavourable results. Teams like Real Betis, Getafe and Girona aren't afraid of Barca anymore - adopting a patient pressing tactic is enough to expose Valverde's cautious style.  

Coutinho has failed to set the league alight since his big-money move in January last year
Coutinho has failed to set the league alight since his big-money move in January last year

It's also one of the reasons why they lost to Roma in spectacular fashion last season - being overwhelmed by a physical approach and one where Eusebio Di Francesco's men applied intense pressure. 

Last but not least, Valverde has never had his own say in regards to transfer demands. He seems very passive and content with the current squad - even when discussing signings, such as Valencia's Jeison Murillo on-loan in December

The likes of Pep Guardiola and more recently, Luis Enrique, were risk-takers and known for their leadership qualities. That's not to say that Valverde has not done some excellent work during his tenure, because he has. Ultimately though, they have under-performed under his watch in recent seasons and questions will be asked if they fail to win the Champions League this term. 

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Sahil Dani
CONTRIBUTOR
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