Jordi Alba has insisted that he hopes Ernesto Valverde stays on as Barcelona coach having helped him to rediscover his top form over the past two years.
The Catalan giants could end the season with a domestic double, but their shock exit in the Champions League to Liverpool was a huge blow.
Not only the result, but the manner in which they capitulated in the second leg has raised major question marks over Valverde, who has had to put up with a significant backlash from many supporters judging from the response to Barcelona’s social media posts in the aftermath of the defeat at Anfield.
As noted by Sport, the Spanish tactician has himself dismissed the idea of resigning from his post this summer, with Alba now backing him to stay on.
“Personally he has given me new life and I hope he continues with us,” he is quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo.
It’s unlikely to be a hugely popular opinion, but time will tell what the Barcelona hierarchy decide as while they continue to dominate domestically, Valverde has failed in Europe twice in two years after surrounding commanding leads.
That surely can’t reflect well on him, but ultimately if he continues to deliver silverware and has the backing of the squad, then it’s surely too risky to rip things up and start again with another coach.
Nevertheless, the defeats in the Champions League are undoubtedly unacceptable for a club like Barcelona, and so it remains to be seen what changes, if any, are made to the squad this summer to ensure that they don’t fail at the third time of asking under Valverde’s stewardship.
Barcelona have already wrapped up the La Liga title, and they’ll face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on May 25.