We need a replacement, as in NOW


Anims Tito. Like Kxevin beautifully wrote, it’s personal. Cancer is the number one killer in the world to whom all of us have lost loved ones.

Having said that, let’s talk replacements before one is appointed.

Jordi Roura
Jordi Roura

Pros: A Masía product who enjoyed a brief spell in Barça’s first team in 1988, Jordi Roura has been part of our technical staff since 2009. After analyzing opponents under Guardiola, he was promoted to assistant when Tito took charge of the team. Knows our squad intimately.

Cons: It is hard to judge from the outside, but not many culés were impressed by our dip in form once illness took Tito away from us last year. In his defense, he was put in a situation he didn’t ask for and we still finished with a record-equalling hundred point haul.

Probability 4/10: While our last head coach was promoted from within, rumor has it that the club has chosen to look elsewhere this time.

Verdict 5/10: Although I’d rather have Jordi as an assistant than Sarah Palin as vice-president, does he really have the tactical clout and personality to be our leading man?

Marcelo Bielsa

Pros: The best coach in the world, according to none other than Josep Guardiola, is known to be an obssessive analyst and statistician of the game. Owner of one of the most extensive soccer libraries in the world, Marcelo “el Loco” Bielsa employs innovative methods and has his teams play attractive, attacking football. His theory that midfielders in the defense are better at launching counter attacks is said to have provided Pep with the inspiration to convert Javier Mascherano to a center back. As an added bonus, mad man Bielsa hails from Rosario, Argentina, the hometown of a certain footballer you might have heard of.

Cons: His teams are often erratic, mixing good results with bad ones. He led a wildly talented Argentina to a first round exit at the 2002 World Cup, only to win an Olympic title two years later. Under his guidance Bilbao reached two finals in one season yet failed to qualify for the Champion’s League. His last season with the Basque club ended in a disappointment, as the players got tired of his intensive ways.

Probability 7/10: Available, widely respected and possessor of a fine footballing philosophy not incompatible with our current squad.

Verdict 7/10: Known for his intense pressing game, Bielsa might just be the one who could fix our defensive problems. However, the risk of a massive burnout a la Athletic Club might make him a short term solution.


Australia v Saudi Arabia: 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Third Round
Frank Rijkaard

Pros: A majestic midfielder who played under Cruijff, Sacchi and Van Gaal, Frank Rijkaard delivered us our first European success of the milenium. One of the more classy managers at press conferences, Frank knows his way around the Camp Nou and is adored by his players.

Cons: Mainly adored by his players because he lets them party until 10h in the morning and foresake training. Rijkaard’s Barça started to fall apart when his assistant Henk Ten Cate left to become head coach at Ajax. Famously inspired Holland to miss five penalties in a single game to lose our semi-final against Italy at Euro 2000 and is the proud coach who got the Eredivisie’s Sparta Rotterdam relegated for the first time in its hundred year history.

Probability 1/10: Despite his availability, Rijkaard’s close association with Joan Laporta and Johan Cruijff means his appointment is improbable, to say the least.

Verdict 2/10: The legions of fans who are calling for Frank’s return on SPORT’s message boards should keep in mind that he has failed at every other team he has coached. Let’s not ruin his legend by asking him to spoil our current chances for success.

Olympiacos FC v Xanthi FC - Greek Superleague
Ernesto Valverde

Pros: Ex-Barça player Ernesto Valverde has been quite the successful manager, reaching the UEFA Cup final with a modest Espanyol and winning two Greek league titles with Olimpiacos FC.

Cons: Looks like an accountant, not a football coach. Still a very young manager, Ernesto has had little to no experience with any star players.

Probability 3/10: Has just signed on as new head coach of Athletic Bilbao, the club where he has spent the majority of his career as a player.

Verdict 3/10: Although we should follow his career with great interest, at this moment Valverde is too lightweight to lead one of the biggest football clubs of the world.


Jupp Heynkes
Jupp Heynkes

Pros: Coming off of the back of an historic season with Bayern Munich in which he won the Bundesliga, the DFB-Bokal and the Champions League, Jupp Heynkes is considered to be one of Europe’s top coaches. An avid follower of Spanish football, he has coached three different Spanish clubs during his career and knows F.C. Barcelona like the back of his hand, a fact his team demonstrated by giving us a 7-0 as-whupping not so long ago. Most impressively coaxed complete performances out of egomaniacal  star player Arjen Robben, in which the Dutchman passed and tracked back for consecutive games in addition to scoring in both the semis and the final. Heynkes has previously won a CL-trophy with Real M*drid in the 97/98 season, although this might very well be considered a con.

Cons: For all of the brilliance of last season, Heynkes has won only three league titles in almost twenty-five years as a coach. He also failed to win the league with Real M*drid in 97/98, although this might very well be considered a pro.

Probability 1/10: Promised his wife he wouldn’t coach this year. Do not count on the German to break his word.

Verdict 9/10: Represents his teams with class and his amazing accomplishment of last season will see him earn instant respect among our players.

Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman

Pros: Widely popular in Barcelona, “Snowflake” is a blaugrana legend, one of the most classy defenders to ever play the game and scorer of the only goal in the final of our first successful European Cup campaign. As a manager he led Ajax to two Eredivisie titles and later added another one with PSV Eindhoven. Won domestic cups with Benfica and Valencia, and is currently hailed in Holland for performing miracles with a young Feyenoord squad.

Cons: His very pragmatic coaching philosophy made it so he had no qualms to abandon Ajax’s house style, switching from their traditional 4-3-3 to 4-4-2.  Not known for his loyalty, his very pragmatic lifestyle philosophy made it so he has played for and coached Holland’s three big clubs, once famously ditching PSV mid-season only to get canned at Valencia a couple of months later.

Probability 2/10: Piped as a future Barcelona coach at the promising start of his managerial career, his star has dwindled over the last years. And although he would undoubtedly abandon his young bucks at Feyenoord and sell his granny for even half a chance of coaching at the Camp Nou, I don’t see it happening.

Verdict 4/10: Koeman might not be the worst choice as a manager, but he definitely wouldn’t the best. And although he always speaks very fondly of his days of Barcelona, he put his culé credentials at risk by one day claiming he would coach M*drid if given the chance. I prefer we keep away from Tintin and wish him the best of luck – elsewhere.

Michael Laudrup

Pros: One of the most graceful players in Barcelona’s history, Michael Laudrup has been a moderately successful manager. Widely lauded for taking Getafe to the Copa del Rey final and to the Europa League’s QF with an unprecedented attractive football, he is currently the crême du jour of the British media for bringing Swansea City its first ever title in their one-hundred year existence. The Dane remains as elegant as in his playing days, and my girlfriend thinks he is handsome.

Cons: Has been decidedly unsuccessful with Spartak Moscow and RSD Mallorca, although some quote the fact that he kept the latter out of the clutches of relegation as quite an achievement. Also, when the arrival of Romario converted Laudrup into the fourth wheel on Johan Cruijff’s dream mobile, Michael abandoned us for those slimy-faced, white t-shirt wearing, gentlemanlier than thou, vomit-inducing capital bastards that other Spanish team.

Probability 5/10: Has just renewed his contract with Swansea. However, if anyone is interested in paying the rumored 6M euro buy-out clause, he might be willing to entertain offers.

Verdict 6/10: Michael seems like a talented young manager, and although he has never coached a title contender, he has plenty of experience in Europe’s top clubs. Whether he has the charisma to win over the dressing room would remain to be seen, but we could certainly do worse than contracting this Danish legend.


Frank de Boer
Frank De Boer

Pros: Frank De Boer has often been rumored to be the bastard son of Johan Cruijff and Louis Van Gaal, having played the majority of his very successful career under these two coaches. After taking over for Ajax he has won three straight league titles while staying true to the 4-3-3 formation and playing style that Barcelona (Cruijff) modeled their game after. After 144 games in the blaugrana shirt, he is no stranger to the inner workings of our club.

Cons: I suspect Frank De Boer’s Dutch accent to be as atrocious as Van Gaal’s, although he does not share his mentor’s crude and boorish behavior. Despite victories over both of Manchester’s juggernauts, De Boer’s young Ajax team has been somewhat disappointing in Europe.

Probability 5/10: An Ajax youth product, it might be hard to tempt Frank away from the Arena. His closeness to Johan Cruijff could prove another stumbling block for the current administration

Verdict 9/10: I personally think that this is the most exciting young coach in the game today. His achievement at Ajax is nothing short of amazing, especially when taking into account the turmoil the Amsterdam club has been in and De Boer’s dedication to youth players and attractive football according to the club’s traditions. I see Frank de Boer as a logical future Barcelona coach and hope that one day he will make the jump.

Luis Enrique
Luis Enrique

Pros: Another Barça legend, this merengue-turned-culé was one of the most fiery participants in the yearly clásicos, and now views the Camp Nou as his home. He excelled as a coach of Barcelona B, missing out on the chance of promotion due to Spanish Football Federation regulations. Revered by Barcelona fans and players alike, Lucho is a logical candidate for the head coaching position.

Cons: Failed spectacularly as a manager of AS Roma, getting booted out of the Europa League by the mighty SK Slovan Bratislava and missing out on qualification for European football.

Probability 7/10: Luis Enrique would have been a shoe-in had the position opened up a few months ago, but he has recently been appointment as head coach for Celta de Vigo. Further complicating matters is that he has taken Barça starlet Rafinha with him on loan, a player who is rumored to be more talented than his older brother and will need significant minutes to further his development. Would the head-strong and straightforward Asturian abandon Celta de Vigo while the ink on his contract is still wet? Stranger things have happened in the world of competitive football.

UPDATE: El Mundo Deportivo and TV3 are reporting that Luis Enrique will indeed be our new head coach.

Verdict 8/10: Most of us would love to see Lucho at the head of our club sooner or later. It now looks like it is going to be sooner rather than later.


Categorized as Barcelona

By Levon

Culé since way before football boots were of the neon yellow and lizard green variety, Levon is a deep thinker with increasingly shallow thoughts. He lives in Barcelona with his gorgeous wife and daughter. The lucky bastard...


  1. Right now, according ro RAC-1 late night sports program («No hi diguis a ningú»), Tata is ahead of Lucho. :I


    By the way, do you believe in destiny?

    1. Tito-Tata

    2. Tata played at Club Barcelona of Guayaquil (Ecuador), a club founded by a Catalan in 1925. It’s crest is practically the same as that of our Barça, although its colors are not (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcelona_de_Guayaquil).

    3. Later, Tata was the coach of Cerro Porteño (Paraguay), a club nicknamed «Azulgrana» (blaugrana) because of its blaugrana stripes.

    Go figure!

    1. i think you guys just proved the unifying theory of everything. who needs string theory, here on BFB.

  2. If we sign Milton Queiroz, Tamuz, Henry, Francesco and martino, We will among our staff these personalities –

    Tita, Toto, Titi, Totti, Tata and Tito. Wow!

    No, but on a more serious note, a lot of questions without answers:
    On Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino:

    – With absolutely no experience, playing or coaching in Europe, how good an idea is it to throw such a man in to the deep end?

    – Taking Newell’s to the top is fine. But does the man have experience dealing with celebrities and a star studded dressing room filled with unique egos?

    – What is the information and report on Tata, Rosell is operating on to consider him a viable manager for the world’s best team?

    – Is this appointment influenced by Messi/family?

    – If it is going to be Tata, who will be the assistant?

    – What does Martino bring to the table that Bielsa doesn’t?

    – Why is he called Tata? Does he have them?

    – Is Tata a short term fix or a long term plan?

    – How is it that a man with Zero European experience is the leading candidate for football’s top job?

    1. Many of those questions were applicable to Pep too. So lets hope the board knows it best. Else get ready for a difficult season. Either ways, I feel the team needs an overall rejuvenation and shake up. Keeping good things as is and improving on the bad. As for Tata, it seems like he is not a romantic like Bielsa, but someone who mixes it with Pragmatic process. Eg. is his Paraguey side who resorted to astute defending to reach the final stages of World cup and Copa America. He then moved on to become the head coach of one of the most entertaining football teams in South America.

      As for Enrique, his brief European spell did not end well at Roma. He could have learned from it, but we are yet to see. Either ways lets support whoever the board chooses.

      Either of them will have an uphill task of adopting a team that may not have been built to their wishes, and feeling the heat at the deep end. And without proper preseason planning its always a risk.

    2. Agree that the board is much better informed than any of us.
      But sorry, can’t agree with the Pep comparison at all.
      Pep, unlike tata, was a highly decorated player / captain in a star studded European team. Any doubts of his coaching abilities were also dispensed with, after his demonstration with Barca B. Pep, unlike Tata, is also a man from the inside, and was hugely well known.
      I am just really intrigued by this choice, that’s all. And am trying to understand how is it that he is rated so highly by the board.

    3. We all know that Pep’s appointment was one of the masterstrokes of the Laporta Era who was at the time facing a vote of confidence. So, i feel much more than his sporting credibilities, it was his catalan image that worked in his favour initially (in the process, Laporta’s too) and we know the rest is history.

      Part of the reason for the choice is that there are not many candidates available at this moment. And we know Rossel is shrewd when it comes to spending money. That leaves only few available candidates. Tata Martino was a well decorated player in his playing days in South America as i gather. He was the go to man for Bielsa, whose ideas revolutionised modern football.
      For some reason unknown, I somehow feel like Tata would be a better choice than Enrique. he may lack European club football exposure, but has plenty of international tournament experience and moreover an evangelist of possession football. Being someone who follow the developments in Argentine football, before the appointment of Alex Sabella, many of the fans were crying for Tata Martino pointing at his work with a lowly Paraguay side.

    4. Although I must say, the main reason that is causing some doubt in my mind is also the same reason that is comforting me.
      When a big club appoints a relatively unknown manager from far away South America, this guy must have serious merit and be really good. It is so much better than just signing a big name for the sake of pleasing fans. I somehow have a good feeling about this guy even if his name is Tata.

  3. A couple of quick points. First, with regard to the new manager I’d be a little wary of someone with no European experience. Just something to put into the equation no matter how well he has done elsewhere.

    Secondly, have I got it wrong with Fabregas? I’ve just watched the supposedly knowledgeable transfer expert on Sky Sports tell me that the signs he will be moving to Man U are looking better and better and that it could well be tied up by the end of the week. As soon as Thiago went I reckoned that boat sailed and there is no way we’d weaken the infield at this point. Tell me I’m not wrong and the English are (once again) deluding themselves.

  4. I would like to see Biesla in our bench. People over blow the massive burn-out Athletic had a season ago. Come on Athletic had a very young squad and that was the main reason for the burn out.

    1. The Burnout is a valid concern for a Bielsa side. Remeber the 2002 worldcup. Argentina entered the tournament as the favorites, topping the WCQ charts, yet bowed out in the initial rounds. There is a reason they call him the mad man:) But honestly, I don’t mind him on our bench:) He is a romantic. Belsa himself had acknowledged the massive burn out in his methods.

  5. A letter from Thiago to the cules in which he says «Thank you and and bla, bla, bla». What strikes me a lot, though, is his signature. When you read the letter, you detect that signature with your peripheral view and it gives the impression of the stamp of an hotel, or an expensive restaurant, until you see for what it is.

    Is there a graphologist in the room? Because I feel it reflects his personality very well!

    Click on the photo at http://www.sport.es/es/noticias/planeta-barca/carta-thiago-aficion-cule-2522457

    Adornemnts? Nooo!

    1. Why bother? Particularly in a week in which the last open letter that cules received was from our cancer-stricken coach.

    2. Just imagine the back lash he got on his twitter account from barca fans after he left, Someone must have told him to do something about it, And limit the damage.

  6. Moyes has confirmed that United has bid for Fabregas. They have made an offer, and he said they will be making another.

    The time to sell Fabregas was, frankly, before Thiago left.

  7. Martino apparently all but done. Maybe announcement by Wednesday. You wonder about the current staff, in particular Rubi, who left the head job at Girona and has been replaced.

    1. It was something I don’t think the club could have genuinely controlled.

    2. I remember reading that rosell insured the staff that their jobs are safe, And they’ll work alongside the new coach.

    3. Well, you would have to think that under the circumstances, a coach accepting the in-place staff would be part of the negotiations. This is an extraordinary situation.

      Also saw a note from a journo with good sources that the club had been working on a coaching Plan B for some time, given the uncertainty of the experimental quality of the treatments that Vilanova received in the U.S.

  8. About Martino, this interesting article I found in Periodistas Anonimos web. Thank you for that Culetoon!
    This is my translation, as always, sorry for any mistakes.

    By Alfonzo Loaiza.

    As Guardiola is a Cruyffist, Martino is a Bielsist. “Marcelo Bielsa is the best coach because he always encourages players to think”.
    Martino is one of the few pedagogical coaches nowadays: “In Argentina we don’t give enough attention to esthetics. The result covers up everything, even the commentary after a game.” About some coaches: “We are too egotistical, always playing defensive in presses, always reminding other people of our triumphs, titles and achievements. That’s very unpleasant and permanent. I repeat: there is very little greatness. Maybe we’ll end up as lonely as tennis players.”
    He’s a less extremist, less mystical and less invasive Bielsa. Without exaggerations in his behavior. He talks to the press. His manner is more like the ways of Pellegrini and Rijkaard. He adapts. A disciple imitates his master. For him “to play well is to do what is needed at the right time each game. And to be prepared to win when you’re above the opponent, but also when you do not impose your idea and your game and your opponent overcomes you.” Bielsa in order to analyze a game exempts the outcome. His view comprises three sections: fidelity to style, domain of the game and number of times the team reaches the opposite’s goal line. Martino is more practical, but he appreciates how you get there. He attacks weaknesses and applauds greatness. When Newells lost in the Libertadores (South American Champions league) he said they had fallen with dignity and when he won with Paraguay against Brazil in the quarterfinals of the Copa America he said they did not deserve win because they played worse than the Brazilian team, also against Colombia after praise for the obtained result he explained that they had never played the game that they had wanted but they had won. In his words, “to talk about losing, it’s to get out of line (lose manners).”
    Tactically, Martino cares more about his defensive line than Bielsa who believes in individual markings. He imposes a suffocating pressure and constant attack. In Paraguay’s NT he displayed a more direct, less elaborate and very aggressive approach, but always hiding the team’s deficiencies with outstanding offensive transitions. He knew very well how to interpret the essence of the Paraguayan game and he added his distinctive touch. He thought he couldn’t improve more the NT without other technical young players and that’s why he didn’t renew his contract.

    He feels very identified with Barça’s game. While some waited for Cule’s to lose instead of learning from Barça’s display of football that will be remembered in fifty years, Tata was among those who enjoyed this showing: “They wanted us to believe that Barça’s 5 year success were only the result of four games” . He likes the “possession football, to attack, to put a lot of players in the rival’s side of the field, to take risks, he likes when defenders look back and have forty meters between them and the keeper, that when they do not give up to play football, when they have to deepen with plays, they do, and when they have to lateralize with wingers plays, they do, that the ball does not fly without purpose. ”
    Newell’s goalkeeper was the first that started plays with his feet (In many games Nahuel Guzman gave more touches than the rival’s midfielder). Barça misses defensive pressure in the rival’s side of the field. Guardiola’s Barça was the team with the most goals after taking away the ball from their opponents and Messi has plummeted in the section of recoveries. If Tata Martino joins Barça he would have to reposition the best player of Argentina and the best player of Brasil and make them run nearly as much as Pedrito in order to return to excellence. Without forgetting Barça’s essence. To Laureano Ruiz, the founder of La Masia: “To play Football is to cheat with the ball, to play one-touch football and to know how and where to position”. Tata wears the Bielsa label but he is more measured and less obsessive. Righteousness leads by the flag: “I can not keep things inside. I get angered when I am not able to defend my integrity”, “You’ll be liked by some and disliked by others, but there cannot be any doubts if you’re a good guy or a bad guy “.

  9. Hiddink resigns Anzi according to Ruben Uria. “It hasn’t been an easy decision.” Club has accepted his resignation.
    Hope this has nothing to do with us wanting a coach. He coached Chelsea on 09 against us on CL, and he complained a lot about ref’s decisions. I also think that he displays defensive football.

    1. What’s wrong with Hiddink Jim?

      Besides the fact that he basically coached all my favorite clubs’ main rivals in PSV & Madrid (and you could add Chelsea), I really like him. I still dream of him coming back to coach Holland one day.

    2. I worry about his thoughts on our possession game, Barca96. Wasn’t impressed by either the way RM or Chelsea played under him. Didnt know PSV as much.

  10. Um, hold the phone. Guus Hiddink just resigned as head coach of Anzhi. Apparently, in the early days when Rosell and Laporta were still friends, Hiddink was high on their list of coaches.

    I have to think it’s unrelated, though. That would be TOTALLY out of left field.

    1. Seems a bit random and unrelated to me. You would think if there was anything in this we would have heard his name by now, we have heard pretty much every other possible name!

      Right now I am liking the idea of Tata. Never heard of him before Friday but from what I have read so far he seems to fit the bill perfectly and would provide something a bit fresh and different while at the same time retaining the core principles that make Barca so unique and enjoyable to watch.

    2. I’m not familiar with betting but is 3-1 very likely to happen? Who is the bookies favorite?

    3. In any other situation I’d say 3-1 on is almost a done deal. In this situation with a completely open field it is them saying its all over. It means for every 3 euros you put on you only get one back. Unattractive odds because they are pretty sure it’ll happen.

    4. no 3:1 odds is if you bet 1, you get 3. still good odds, ie a good chance, not a longshot. jim what you are referring to would actually be 1:3 odds.

    5. Probably unrelated, But if there is one thing i can say about him, Is that this man is the first coach to actually stop pep’s barcelona, Not mourhinio.

    6. People are saying that the resignation had been brewing for some time. But he just renewed with the club a month ago, too.


  11. @ Jim

    Whats wrong with Hiddink? I actually think he is one of the best coaches out there and while he may have played defensively against us with Chelsea that certainly isn’t his general style.

    1. in accord with you.

      He is one of the best tacticians out there. The thing is he might have never coached a team with as many talents as ours. No limits to what wonders he can work out.

      And like Rami says, he was the first to put a break on the Barca team, not Mourinho.

    2. Sorry, Hilal. I replied to Barca above without noticing this. Don’t know his philosophy but don’t remember Chelsea playing much football or RM although both were reasonably successful.
      I just think we are at a crossroads, not of our making, where the wrong decision will waste the once in a lifetime talent we have. No certainty about this and if the board have gone for him they know better than I do but with Thiago gone, Fabregas being lured ( we’re up now at 40m? ) and everybody trying to unsettle Messi the last thing we want is a change of philosophy.

    3. I can understand your concerns but I dont think that would happen under Hiddink. He is one of the most tactically versatile coaches our there and under him Chelsea actually played some brilliant football. A lot of my best friends are Chelsea fans so I am subjected to a lot of their games in the EPL and I remember them playing some great stuff under him. What makes him unique is his ability to change tactics to suit the opposition, something he did very well against us.

      In any case no way the board hires a manager who would want to change our philosophy. If anything he would provide some much needed tactical variations when it comes to playing the really tough teams in the CL.

      If I had to pick between Hiddink and the other 2 candidates I would pick Hiddink. He has coached some of the biggest teams in Europe, he has managed some of the biggest egos, he can handle the pressure and he has the tactical acumen to match almost any coach. On top of all that he is a Cruyfist at heart. Really, what’s not to like? I just don’t think its gona happen..

    4. I just don’t see Rosell hiring a Dutch coach who is also a Cruijffista. But it would be the kind of left-field, “Aren’t I smart” choice that you would see Rosell making.

    5. That’s reassuring, Hilal, especially as I’ve said above this is too much of a coincidence. He’s basically not given a reason for resigning and those odds make compelling viewing.

      I watch the EPL regularly and remember his Chelsea side quite well. They did go forward but as i recall it was RM stuff rather than building through the midfield as we do. Trouble with verticality is that it injects a lot of pace into a match and we don’t have the quickest mids. Still, I take your point that we might not be so tung ho away from home in the CL under him.

    6. Hiddink is a great tactician. I also remember his South Korean and Russian teams playing some good football. The Russian team at least had an Arshavin and Pavluchenko (not sure about the spelling)
      Now with the kind of attacking talent we have, I dont think he will play RM stuff with us.

      Anyways, waiting to see if its Tata or Lucho, or even Hiddink.
      Whoever, I just hope, we will play beautiful football.

  12. I would go with Martino..I have a feeling that he would be able to bring the best out of the South American players- Messi, Neymar, Masch, Alexis, Alves…Xavi, Puyol, Iniesta, Busi are players who are well versed in the game and are consistently playing at a high level and whose positions/ duties seem to be set in stone in contrast to Neymar, Alexis, Alves (Even Messi and Masch) whose positions and responsibities have to be defined to get the best out of them.
    Cesc will be the one who might be most affected by Tito resigning I feel…

    Just my two cents…

    1. I see what your getting at and the Cesc thing is worrying but do you not think he’d be right up Hiddink’s street? The one thing Cesc can do is pick out a good quick through ball.

    2. The club has rejected the second Fabregas offer, and says that (like PSG has said to us over Thiago Silva) we aren’t even interested in receiving offers.

    3. I don’t think we will sell him..he is (stuck?) with us, atleast after the Thiago sale..Hope the new coach can figure out the Cesc conundrum…

    1. Yup, I’d sign up to those sentiments.

      With regard to Cesc, Kxevin, I keep telling myself that selling would make no sense now but I’m more worried about the unsettling of the player where (Thiago like) it gets into his head he’d be more loved somewhere else. You’d think Man U would get the point but then I suppose we didnt with TS.

    1. This is turning into a more interesting day than I thought …

      Would even Marca risk looking this foolish if not true? If it is how come they get the news first?

    1. He is bringing his assistant and his trainer.
      I really do hope he retains Rubi.
      Rubi knows spanish football and football in general really well.

    2. Where are you seeing it official? I’m just seeing all the media outlets there reporting it, which means it is all but certain, but nothing official yet.

  13. Seems like Hiddink’s agent timed his resignation perfectly. Must have made a dealing with the bookies, get the odds in Hiddink’s favor.. #randomthought

    1. Not there’s a thought. And meanwhile slap everything you’ve got on Martino ?
      Nice ne!

    2. Having given it more thought, I wouldn’t rule it out completely. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes in the betting world!

  14. What do you mean by “official”? Is something official, when it is published in Marca?

  15. Now that Martino looks like a done deal, my biggest concern is the burn-out experienced by sides following the Bielsa philosophy. We already struggle a lot during the crucial months of March-April. More than the playing style (no doubt we’ll see a few changes there), I think fitness periodization is going to be more important and should be prioritized.

    1. How about rotation and a deeper squad? Are these points incompatible with the extreme team work required under a Bielsista?

    2. Currently, our depth comes only from our academy. I don’t know how much faith Martino is going to have in them for league games, if he plans on resting the big guns for the important games.

    1. Haha… to be fair I don’t think anyone here would have known who you were talking about and probably would have thought you were a bit mad for throwing him in the mix!

      It is a risky appointment, but so was Pep. I like it. It shows a desire to keep pushing the team and not to rest on our laurels and simply keep to the status quo. From what I have read this manager seems a very good fit, but I guess we are going to have to wait and see. He will have quite a short preseason so not an ideal scenario by any means.

      We still need a bloody CB though!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Why not? Wouldn’t you like a 24-year-old Milito, or some young CB unknown and brilliant like Márquez or Yaya, but argentinian, or playing in the Argentina league?

      Sure Tata knows if there’s any CB suitable for Barça (in Argentina or in other South American leagues).

  16. Wikipedia already recognizes him as coach.
    Martino it is! A more balanced Bielsa. Let us see what will happen with Barça. This might be incredibly good. I’m hoping it will be. Reports say he will come with assistan Jorge Pautasso physical trainer Elvio Paolorroso.
    What will happen to Roura and Rubi?
    Though I hope Rubi stays I wouldn’t mind if he trains Barça B.

    Gerardo Martino
    Entrenador(es) adjunto(s)
    Jordi Roura
    Preparador(es) físico(s)
    Eduardo Pons113
    Aureli Altimira
    Francesc Cos
    Paco Seirul·lo

    Joan Francesc «Rubi»

    1. I won’t to say he is not already our coach, but I wouldn’t trust wiki to be 100% true for any matter. It is just a repository of info written to be edited and modified until it nears the truth as much as possible..

  17. Rubi seems someone whom the board trusts as he was rumored to be the caretaker coach by as or md immediately after Tito stepped down..It is Roura who looks surplus to the requirements..

  18. People, it is worth noting that Guardiola was also a Bielsa disciple who had no big-time European coaching experience, and he kinda did okay, right?

    Let’s see what happens.

    1. Good work by the board if they hire Martino! They deserve a lot of credit for taking the risk to hire him.

      Personally, I’m looking forward to our football under him. Enrique would have been good, but safe. We need a little dose of anarchy.

  19. One of the comments mentioned one of his assistents coached Messi when he ws in Newell..Can some one conform if it is true…

    P.S: Expect RM media to start circulating rumors that now “Dictator” Messi decides who is…

  20. The other thing is that our new coach will know South American football. Would be nice to be the ones buying Marquinhos for 3m from Corinthians, rather than having a 30m bid rebuffed for that same player.

    Not sure what our scouts are doing, or if they have a different worldview about players.

  21. You know..
    The more I read about our new manager, the more I get excited and optimistic about the times ahead. I think Rosell may have just made an audaciously brilliant masterstroke with Tata. (I have to give him a new name). Either that or it might fail spectacularly. Whether Laporta’s Pep = Rosell’s Martino remains to be seen but all that has been mentioned of him seems to make an exact fit into just what we need. He’s a workaholic like PG too. The only issue I am seeing is with regard to a burn out situation. As usual intelligent Rotation and fitness will be key. Nothing new from what we said before last season. We need to peak at the right times and I am sure he’ll be aware of it as the pressure for titles start to build. I hope he makes some changes in his strategy to be effective in the last lap.

    I wonder how long it would take for him to hit the ground running. That is the question. A lot of people will need acclimatization. new Coach, new staff, Neymar, new players, etc..
    Still.. I have a feeling (and my intuition is almost always spot on) that this coach is going to do some special things with Barcelona. It is certainly going to be memorable. Fasten your seat belts people.

  22. it’s official. very pleased with this appointment, i think his style is more defined than Tito’s and thus easier to impose on a team that desperately needs direction on that front. as a disciple of Bielsa we should expect the return of the ferocious pressing that made us so frightening in the early part of the Guardiola era, and that’s a huge plus for our total game. my only question mark is that he’s never played or managed in Europe before, but that’s one which will have to be borne out in time. hopefully the club permits him a mandate to sign some damn defensive cover.

    *sidenote* Thiago’s first goal for Bayern was pretty spectacular:


  23. I don’t know anything about Martino. However, the club has a very successful history of hiring unknown and unproven coaches in recent years (even if the samples size is small), and this can be seen as another appointment in that mold. I am more than willing to trust the club with it.

    1. And not worth it IMO.

      The money they paid for Cristiano were market price and he has scored enough goals to justify it. But Bale? And where is he going to play anyway?

  24. Welcome to the club, Tata. Have a seat and marvel at the jewels in front of you.

    Just please don’t run them to the ground the way Bielsa did with Bilbao. Most of our cracks have a very, very busy summer next year and you’d want them fresh for the start of the temporada in 2014.

    In other news, we still need a defender.

  25. @ foto

    Garay? Don’t think he’s going to be world class anytime soon. And I think it’s impossible for us to sign him as Madrid put a clause on him preventing him to ever play for Barca.

    Last time besides Marquinhos, we had other targets but how come there are no rumors on them after both Thiago Silva (increment) and Marquinhos (to PSG) even when Tito was still here?

    From the previous candidates besides Marquinhos, I think I would go for Mangala.

    But man. Marquinhos looks so calm and confident on the ball. He looks like an upgrade of Bartra to me.

    1. oh, I forgot about that Madrid clause.
      But yes barca96, he is growing out as an excellent CB. I have watched him only with Argentina, in the last 2 years, and he has improved so well, that I wasnt surprised when there was this news that M United are after him.

    2. Hi. I haven’t really watched Benfica play and I haven’t really taken notice of him with Argentina. So he improved huh? But better than our other candidates (Mangala, Agger, etc.)?

    3. From having the worst defence, Argentina is now in a better state, thanks to Garay, Fernandez and Zabaleta. They only need to fix the left back.
      So of course, I would say he has improved a lot.

      Really, dont have seen Mangala, and Agger not much to say any opinion. So dont know.

  26. As ever, I’m excited about the new direction the club is taking.
    Yet there are so many question marks over this radical coaching change. Apart from the basic “will he be able to adjust to European level of play and command respect of our star-studded dressing room”, there are no less important “what will happen to the core and philosophy meticulously built since 2008 (and, to an extent, since Cruyff)”, “how will he transition from having maybe a few decent players on a team to several great ones for a position (including Xavi who is used to being a coach on the field, Messi who has very definite ideas about how much, where and how he needs to play, and an unknown quantity in Neymar with the weight of Brazil on his shoulders)”, “will Tata be able (right away) to get the best out of a squad built by and for another coach”, “will he be able to draw upon La Masia for depth without intimate knowledge of the system and the players that Pep, Tito and Lucho have”, and countless others. There are also obvious advantages in the strong link between the club’s and the coach’s preferred style of play, the Bielsa and Rosario connection, the potential he has to surprise and confound the competition…
    Overall, I will approach this year as an experiment, and not hope for a Champions League crown right away. The only problem, we have a squad built to compete for everything, with anyone, every time. Let’s hope the new coach got the memo 🙂

  27. I have a question(obvious to some it may be).
    If we rate Bielsa school of football so highly, as both Pep and Martino philosophies are based on that..why not go for Bielsa himself? He is already well acquainted with Spanish La liga. He has coached Bilbao, a club similar to Barca where politics(independence..) and football are intertwined. He improved their academy and looked into it with interest..So why leave him out?

    The drawbacks are as far as I know people discussing are:
    He drives the team to exhaustion..well Pep did that too, unfortunately lot of us didnt realize it..It took time to grind down the team and when he left we were exhausted..Well Bielse with his vast experiace and knowledge would be able to figure out a way to stem the exhaustion…
    And maybe he is crazy and controversial..But many love him and admire him..

    Anyway its too late now..Just was wondering, Why choose a padawan when you can get master yoda..

    1. I was wondering the same thing too. Why go for a jug milk when you can have the cow?

    2. there is some saying about each school of thought as having one master and then one brilliant student that perfects it (usually beyond recognition 🙂 …so we choose Plato over Socrates, Heidegger over Husserl … 🙂

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