This summer, the Blaugrana have been busy reconstructing their pride that has been lost for two seasons now. Top clubs do not fear Barcelona like they use to under Pep Guardiola, and possession football is mocked. The plan is to find the answers to the club’s woes from manager to players. With the beginning of the season nearing, has the club been making the right decisions?
The first objective on the list was replacing Tata Martino. Under the Argentine manager, Barcelona seemed to have lost much of their identity. Possession remained dull and lateral. The ball moved left and right while opponents sat back and watched Barcelona attempt the touch of boredom. Martino unsuccessfully added long balls into Barca’s game.
At the end of the season, Luis Enrique was selected to manage the Catalan club for the 2014-2015 season. On paper, Enrique fits the ideal choice to lead.
A former Barcelona player and captain, Enrique is popular among the people of Catalunya. His first managerial job was succeeding Pep Guardiola at Barcelona B. After qualifying to the playoffs in 2011, he went on to manage A.S. Roma and Celta de Vigo respectively.
Just one season at Celta was enough for Barcelona’s administration to bring Luis Enrique. Since he played for Barcelona and managed Barcelona B, Enrique understands the Barca philosophy. At Roma, he attempted to implement that style of play and the infamous 4-3-3 formation that the Spanish club loves. Though not successful in Rome, he will have quality players that have played under the same system.
Messi, Busquets, Iniesta, and other homegrown talents speak the same football language as Enrique. He can bring back the pressing game Barcelona exemplified under Guradiola. Still, penetration in the final third is a problem which Enrique has yet to be successful in the top level of football. Only time will tell if Luis Enrique is the right manager.
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