Replacing Pep Guardiola was a huge task for Barcelona. He transformed the whole team, in a positive way of course. He had a vision of making Barcelona a dominating force in the world of football. We all know he succeeded.
He had a great team to work with, but the philosophy was vital. He wanted Barcelona to have total control in every match.
And with players like Xavi and Iniesta, things were going as planned. However, after a huge success, Guardiola decided to leave.
Barcelona wasn’t a challenge anymore.
It was hard for Barcelona to replace him with a coach that has a similar vision. Tata Martino tried, and Tito Vilanova as well.
Vilanova had better results, but Tata wasn’t right for the job.
That’s why Barcelona decided to go with a risky move, just like they did with Guardiola.
Guardiola had no first team coaching experience, when he was appointed as a coach. But he had a great success with Barcelona B.
He understood the culture, and the philosophy. The board picked him over Mourinho, and the risk paid off.
The same happened with Enrique. He was a great player, and now a great coach as well.
His time at Roma wasn’t a huge success, but he had success with Barcelona B. He isn’t as innovative as Pep, but he can match him when it comes to winning titles.
He didn’t change the tiki-taka philosophy, but he did improve it. Barcelona has a more direct approach now, and counter attacks are part of the strategy as well.
He brought Neymar and Suarez to Barcelona, and assigned Messi a bit different role. Instead of a typical forward, Messi now has the role of a playmaker.
To get to the next round you need two great games. We already got the first, we’ll go for the second and the players are aware of that, it’s obvious that the result we got there influences this second game, but we won’t change anything about the way we train nor the way we are preparing it. The tie is not sealed and Arsenal are a dangerous team.
Even when you’re winning there’s a lot of things to improve. We are getting closer to our objective, repeat or improve what we did last season, but one must be humble enough to keep working.
Many people might be surprised about that, but this is football. It’s not a problem. I’m sure he will score when we really need it.
I don’t know any Brazilians who don’t have a good time when they go to their country, but I don’t think Neymar will play better because of that.
After a year like the one we have had, with difficulties but with a great end result, we are more than excited hoping to secure more titles.
Messi is the best in the world without doubt and for me the best in the history of football.