Ernesto Valverde – Answers to Barcelona’s prayers?

New FC Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde

With the departure of Luis Enrique from Barcelona, the Catalan giants have turned to former Barcelona and Bilbao forward Ernesto Valverde to manage the club in the coming season. Valverde, a strict tactician, is obviously the second choice in light of strong fan support and players’ recommendation of Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli. The Argentine chose nation over personal glory as he opted for the national coach’s position, thus ignoring the lucrative FC Barcelona deal. All said and done, Valverde is here to stay for the next season, and he has got a lot on his plate.

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Culture, Style of Play and History


Valverde played two seasons under the great Johan Cryuff, someone who Barcelona owe their footballing culture and innovation to. Although Valverde is a Athletic Bilbao boy, he’s one to adapt, open to changes and is good with young talent. La Masia might be back in the reckoning after a silent drought, something which definitely drove the Barcelona management into appointing the 51 year old. He’s of the same class and time as the likes of Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique. There’s no better flag-bearer.


Tremendous experience and achievements


Valverde has won the Greek League thrice with Olympiakos and the the Greek Cup twice. He’s a person who thrives on success. Although teams he’s managed in the La Liga have not gone on to win titles, the likes of Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia have benefited from his insight and skills. The most recent of his achievements, Athletic Club Bilbao finished no less than seventh in the last three seasons, guaranteeing the minnows European competition in each of the consequent seasons. Barcelona, therefore, is his ultimate prize.


A master tactician


Barcelona have always been heavily reliant on their key players and the tactics that coaches have devised centering them. Valverde brings to the table a wonderful mix of aggression and defensive framework that Barcelona are in dire need of. Valverde may not be Barcelona’s answer to Real’s Zidane, but he sure is the best they can get at the moment. He’s available, he’s got a good rapport with clubs and should do well in the transfer market. Valverde has always been a master tactician and his skills have been widely covered at Bilbao this season. Barcelona, with an ageing backline, a talented frontline and a young midfield, could definitely do with someone of Valverde’s experience on board.




The Catalan giants have had a pretty dismal season by their standards, losing out on the La Liga to bitter rivals Real Madrid and being knocked out in the Quarters of the UEFA Champions League. The Copa Del Rey have been Barcelona’s only shining spot in an otherwise bitter season. Valverde needs a lot of sorting to do, starting from looking out for a permanent right back to getting a second choice striker on board. The backline looks feeble and they could use a powerhouse there. Most importantly, Barcelona’s frontline have been scoring, but not with the fluency that they showcased the season before. Valverde needs to address issues and address them fast. He’s got very little time and much work to do. After all, filling in the shoes of the likes of Luis Enrique and Pep Guardiola is never going to be an easy task.

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