In hindsight, it looks like the Spanish Super Cup was a lose-lose situation for Ernesto Valverde. If he won the competition then everyone would say it’s not important and it won’t help his situation at the club, but the loss to Atletico Madrid has opened a whole can of worms.
Firstly there were reports stating that Barcelona chiefs had spoken to Xavi about potential taking over as manager following the defeat:
??? 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
Now it looks like club legends are lining up to have a pop at him. The loss was particularly damaging when you consider that Barca had a lead going into the last ten minutes, but Rivaldo also seems to have an issue with the manager’s demeanor:
“Barça fall apart and the coach just sits there watching it happen” https://t.co/QcvZEngvmx Rivaldo, critical of Valverde: “Barça are being careless in big games, it can’t continue” pic.twitter.com/mwazyJuaGG
— AS English (@English_AS) January 10, 2020
It does make you wonder how much impact a manager has when they are ranting and waving on the touchline, but at least it looks like they care or are trying to fix things.
Rivaldo’s criticism about their performances in big games should also be noted. You have to think that anybody could pick a team and get them to win against most of La Liga, but it’s the big games where Barca’s season will be defined.
If they can’t win those then it’s unlikely that trophies will follow. It’s also looking like this could be Valverde’s last season in charge at the Nou Camp.