We’ve not seen a lot of speculation about Ernesto Valverde’s future at Barcelona recently, so it did look like he might be safe for the rest of this season as least.
Equally there nothing to suggest he has a long term future at the club, so it was always going to be interesting to see how the club reacted to the next bad defeat that came along.
It appears the answer to that is not very well. Barca threw away a lead to concede two late goals and allow Atletico to advance to the final of the Super Cup to meet Real Madrid.
The Super Cup was moved to Saudi Arabia and expanded this season and you could cynically suggest the Spanish FA were rubbing their hands at the prospect of a money spinning competitive game between Real and Barca being played overseas, but that result ruined it.
It’s often thought the competition has little importance, but it’s interesting to note that Barca chiefs met with Xavi immediately after the game, and it’s been reported that it was to discuss him potentially taking over:
??? Abidal y Óscar Grau estarían reunidos con Xavi en Doha para que sea el nuevo entrenador del Barça. (Vía ‘RAC1’) pic.twitter.com/ZxtxdhPEDB
— El Chiringuito TV (@elchiringuitotv) January 10, 2020
It was also reported by Forbes that this meeting was to discuss the manager’s job, so it does look like there’s some substance to it.
Xavi is a legend at the club and the comparisons with Pep Guardiola are there in terms of their status and even the position they played on the pitch, but his only experience is managing Al-Sadd in Qatar so it’s hard to gauge how successful he would be.
Nothing looks close to being done yet, but it looks like Valverde should make plans to work somewhere else from next year.