Even when Barcelona are winning games this season, they still haven’t convinced a lot of people with their performances. They are still top of La Liga, but that might be down to Real Madrid’s failings rather than any brilliance on their own part.
Ernesto Valverde looks like a manager who won’t be staying in the job for much longer. A story in Sport yesterday indicated that Valverde told the press in his post match press conference that he won’t be resigning. If it comes to that point then things are not going well.
From the outside it does seem like Barca are being a bit ridiculous with trying to force out a manager who has his team top of the league. In reality it’s a fairly unique situation where they have one of the greatest players of all time entering his final great years.
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In that case they can’t allow someone they don’t trust to oversee the end of Messi’s career. They owe it to their fans to ensure he goes out in a blaze of glory.
As always, sacking a manager is only half the story. You need to have someone lined up that will get everybody onside and improve the team. According to a story in AS, that could be Ronald Koeman.
They report that he does have a clause in his contract with the Dutch FA that allows him to join Barca, he’s a proven manager and a fan favourite so it all seems like the perfect fit.
Unfortunately it might not be that simple for Barca. Koeman has indicated that he doesn’t want to leave the Holland job just now and would want to wait until after Euro 2020 to even consider his future.
If he is the man that Barca want, then it leaves them with a tough choice to make. They can stick with Valverde or move him on and get a caretaker manager in. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer proved that can only complicate matters if the caretaker starts off well.
It appears Valverde might be safe for now, but only because external circumstances have prevented his likely successor taking over immediately.