When Argentinean manager Gerardo Martino was appointed at FC Barcelona, many had doubts whether he had what it takes to lead such a successful team in one of the toughest leagues in the world.
Despite his impressive resume – that included a quarterfinals appearance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Paraguay and a title with Newell’s Old Boys – he never had the chance to be in front of such an important team. Working with players like Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta, it’s probably a hard task considering their egos and the different personalities, so most experts had to wait and see what was going to happen in his first year.
Fast forward to March and despite the numbers, things aren’t looking bright for Martino and Los Blaugranas. Despite the fact that they are close to reach the quarterfinals in the UEFA Champions League and that the domestic results haven’t been as bad as advertised, it’s clear there’s something missing in the team ever since Pep Guardiola left and they haven’t been able to recover it.
Today’s loss against Real Valladolid – a lowly side that is battling with relegation – was another example of how lost the team looks. Messi isn’t the dominant player he was at the start of the season, guys like Iniesta and Xavi aren’t the stars they were last season and it seems like the team isn’t giving their all unless they have their backs against the wall.
If FC Barcelona ends up winning trophies this year – and they have a strong chance considering their position in both La Liga and the Copa Del Rey – this might be forgotten, but it’s clear that the Martino experiment isn’t giving the expected results. A team like FC Barcelona should dominate their opposition and they are struggling on a weekly basis to get positive results. These problems are becoming a trend and if Barça wants to continue their European domination, they need to stop this as soon as possible.
Even if it means cutting ties with Martino and starting all over again.