It’s rare for the elite teams to sack a manager halfway through the season, never mind when they sit top of the league and are still well placed to have a successful season.
Something must be dreadfully wrong at Barcelona for Ernesto Valverde as speculation about his job just won’t go away. Xavi has been mentioned as a potential successor but that probably won’t happen right now.
That’s not to say that Valverde is safe – in fact it’s the total opposite. This report from Spain suggests that Valverde could be sacked in the next few hours and the B team coach is being readied as an interim coach.
? OJO! Barcelona could see Valverde stopping as Barça manager in the coming hours. The club has spoken to García Pimienta who would be the team’s interim manager until June! [CatRadio, ?]
— Omar ?? (@Blaugranagram) January 12, 2020
That completely ties in with another report from Marca which suggests that Xavi has rejected the job for now, but he’s ready to take over in the Summer.
Barca have a history of promoting B team coaches to take the job so Garcia Pimienta will be in good company if he does take over for now, but it shouldn’t be a long term thing.
All of this doesn’t reflect well on Valverde. The Spanish Super Cup collapse to Atletico Madrid was a bad result but not worth being sacked for. That suggests he’s completely lost the confidence of everyone and they just needed an excuse to pull the trigger.
It will be interesting to see how much this impacts the team going forward, but it doesn’t feel like there’s anyway back for Valverde at The Nou Camp after this.