On Monday afternoon, Xavi Hernandez was finally unveiled as the new Barcelona manager in front of almost 10,000 supporters at Camp Nou.
According to Barcelona’s official website, it was the first open doors event since the start of the pandemic, and given the timing, that so many fans were willing to turn up to greet one of their own bodes well for the backing he’ll be given from the stands from the first minute of his first game in charge.
Whilst the mood was celebratory with the hope of better things ahead, Xavi was keen to point out exactly what he expects from his players.
“We have to start with new rules that are going to be strict. It’s not a matter of being tough, it’s about having norms,” he told the crowd, cited by Sky Sports.
“When we had norms in the locker room things were good, when we didn’t, it went bad. So, we need to have order. Being professionals.
“It’s a medium to long-term project but we’ll need to work really hard to find the results. The expectation and the demand will be the highest. No excuses will be made or accepted.”
Whilst he was certainly saying all the right things when stood alongside president, Joan Laporta, the proof of just how good an appointment he will be is likely to be seen at the end of this campaign.
Not before, because he has an awful lot of fires to put out in the meantime.
One of the most interesting aspects will be whether he is prepared to drop some of his old team-mates – Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets – if they’re underperforming.
That will be the mark of just what type of manager Barcelona can expect.