Slider

What to Expect from Xavi as New Barcelona Manager?

Barcelona club legend Xavi has returned to the team where he had achieved unprecedented fame and success as a player. This time, however, the Spaniard will be sitting in the dugout and taking charge of the team as manager.

Following the 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano, the Catalan club finally decided to sack Ronald Koeman. The speculation of Xavi’s return to Barcelona had been building for months and a delegation from the club travelled to Al Sadd to secure Xavi’s signature as the new head coach of Barcelona immediately after Koeman’s dismissal.

Xavi’s presentation at Camp Nou has lifted the mood of the majority of the club’s supporters who have had to witness their team’s gentle fall from grace over the last few years. The loss of Lionel Messi and the lack of successful sporting results has meant that there hasn’t been much to celebrate at the club lately. However, Xavi’s return as a coach is something the Camp Nou faithful can definitely look forward to.

What can Barcelona fans expect from their new manager? Let’s discuss below:

 

RETURN TO THE PRINCIPLES THAT DEFINED THE CLUB

One of the biggest contributing factors to Barcelona’s downfall over the last few years has been their rejection of the values and ideals that helped the club achieve success and results in the first place. Under former President Josep Bartomeu, those ideas were tossed aside and the results are visible for all to see.

Not only is the team going through a sporting crisis catapulted by the three Champions League humiliations but also an economic one. So severe is the situation that they had to part ways with the greatest player in their history Lionel Messi this summer.

In such desperate times, there’s no better person to take charge of the club than Xavi. The midfielder had joined Barcelona’s youth academy La Masia at the age of 11 and has spent almost his entire life with the club. Xavi bleeds Blaugrana through and through and his own idea of playing football resonates with the principles of Johan Cruyff – a template that made Barcelona the envy of world football under Pep Guardiola.

Given the team’s precarious financial and sporting situation, it might take a while but Barcelona fans can expect Xavi’s team to play an aggressive, attacking and exciting brand of football.

 

INSTILL COMPETITIVENESS IN THE DRESSING ROOM

Ever since the departure of legends like Andres Iniesta, Javier Mascherano, Dani Alves, and Xavi himself, Barcelona has lost commanding personalities in the dressing room who can inspire their teammates to give their 110% on the pitch.

This is one of the reasons why Xavi asked Barcelona to re-sign Dani Alves as a free agent. Alves is one of the most prolific winners in the history of the sport and his return to the dressing room will not only lift the atmosphere but also give the young players in the team a reference point to emulate.

Xavi’s immense stature will also help him exert control over the current senior figures in the dressing room to ensure that players are awarded minutes on the pitch on the basis of merit instead of reputation.

 

BETTER FITNESS MANAGEMENT

Unhappy with the fitness and medical team at the club, Xavi immediately decided to shake things up. As a result, fitness coach Albert Roca, head of physiotherapy Juanjo Brau, and physical trainer Jaume Bartres were let go and replaced by members of the medical Xavi worked with at Al Sadd in Qatar.

The recent medical history at Barcelona has been nothing short of disastrous. From Ousmane Dembele to Ansu Fati, several promising players have been plagued with constant long-term injuries that have hampered the team’s chances on the field. What’s even worse is that these injuries have often been recurring.

The Catalan side currently has as many as nine first-team players out injured which tells a lot about how inefficient the previous medical and fitness management was.

 

GROOMING YOUTH PLAYERS

Barcelona fans can have several complaints regarding former coach Ronald Koeman but promoting and pushing young talents into the first team cannot be one of them. Under Koeman, several young starlets in Pedri, Oscar Mingueza, Gavi, Nico, Balde and Ilaix Moriba got their fair share of minutes in the first team and many of them have established themselves in the starting XI.

It’s up to Xavi now to push the envelope further. With gems like Pedri, Gavi and Nico, the club can rest assured that they are in the safe hands of one of the greatest midfielders in history. The likes of Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong, Ronald Araujo, Sergino Dest, and Riqui Puig will also be biting their lips at the prospect of working with one of the sharpest minds in football and further improving their game.

A graduate of La Masia himself, Xavi is also likely to promote more youngsters from the B team and the academy.

 

●●●

VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT FOOTBALL NEWS STORIES & FEATURES

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.