One of the biggest problems of having Pep Guardiola as manager of your club is trying to replace him when he’s gone.
Barcelona have still had a lot of success since he left, but they’ve never truly managed to replace him. Part of that may be down to the tragic passing of Tito Vilanova who was having some impressive results. Since he was forced to step down, a few managers have come and gone without being truly convincing.
Ernesto Valverde is the manager right now and does have his team top of the league, but something doesn’t seem right. There’s a lack of a playing identity that you usually associate with Barca, his main tactic seems to involve giving it to Messi and hoping he can lead the team.
In some ways that makes sense, but if Messi isn’t fit or the opposition crowd him out of the game then they look clueless.
If he was hoping for some confidence from the board and some long term job security, then the latest comments from the Barca President are not what he’s looking for.
A report from CCMA highlighted some comments from Josep Maria Bartomeu, and they do indicate this could be Valverde’s last season. Speaking about the manager he said the following:
“Here every year the option is to win everything. There is no option: either you win everything or The season is not good. He has a contract until the year 21, but next spring there is the option that club or he decides not to follow, an exit clause.”
The mere fact that the President is openly talking about how the club can move on from him should set alarm bells ringing. It remains to be seen how long Valverde lasts, but it sounds like he shouldn’t be getting too comfy in Barcelona for now.