All is not well in Barcelona and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. The team’s awful display against PSG in midweek showed that they are way too reliant on the front three. Their defence, which hasn’t been the best by any stretch of the imagination, was brutally exposed by the dynamic PSG attack. If there’s one problem with the team then it’s the lack of a good, balanced squad and Luis Enrique, despite having money to spend, hasn’t been able to rectify that.
The pressure is mounting on the gaffer and it hasn’t taken long for the papers to link other managers with the Barcelona hot seat. Latest reports reveal the club could go after Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino even though the Argentine signed a new contract last summer runs till 2021.
In the last decade or so, Barcelona have often trusted their former players to ensure that the ethos of the club were maintained. Tata Martino was the last manager who wasn’t a former player and his spell at the club was interlaid between Guardiola and Enrique’s spell and it didn’t end well. Even Frank Rijkaard, who won the Champions League with the club, was the protégé of late Johan Cruyff, the man who Guardiola praised for starting a new era at the Catalan club and even called it a cathedral.
Is Poch worth the fuss?
Pochettino, based on what we’ve seen in recent times, would be the ideal man to take over from Enrique. The Argentine has taken Spurs from a team who were barely challenging for the Champions League spots to a side who can potentially win the Premier League title.
His spell at Southampton prior to Tottenham was what caught everyone’s attention. Under him, the club challenged the top 10 sides despite frequently losing their stars. At Tottenham, he has not only constructed a young and energetic squad, but also one that has a lot of balance and isn’t one-dimensional.
Although Spurs have struggled in the Champions League, owing to their inexperienced squad, Pochettino has shown enough tactical awareness and it was only a matter of time before bigger sides approached him.
He does have previous experience of managing in the La Liga as he took them from a relegation scrapping side to a mid-table team. His tactics will suit Barcelona as well. An advocate of Marcelo Bielsa, the 44-year old likes his sides to play a high-pressing game, something that we last saw under Pep Guardiola.