Being the coach of a B team requires different virtues compared to a senior side. Especially at a club like Barcelona. The demands are totally different, hence why their trainers’ CVs aren’t usually that impressive. That fully applies to the case of Sergi Barjuán. He recently got the job as the new head coach of Barça B.
Sergi played under Johan Cruyff for quite some time as a player in the legendary ‘Dream Team’. Therefore, Barjuán certainly acquired some of the wisdom and knowledge that the Dutch genius possessed. That is clearly reflected in his coaching style, as he has always implemented a positional and heavily possession-based game. Despite arguably not being the best option for the job (Albert Capellas is likely to return to the club, but in a different role), Sergi can definitely do the job.
Sergi as a coach
As a coach, Sergi Barjuán is short of significant success in the top flight. Yet as I previously mentioned, that was never the main criteria when hiring a coach for Barcelona B. What I expect from him is to shape the young players in the squad and steer their development into the right direction. Filling García Pimienta’s shoes will be a tough task, as he proved near-flawless in this domain. Coming into the subsidiary, Sergi will have both ready-to-go material like Tenas, Nico, Peque. Moreover, he will have raw youngsters like Gavi, Ilias, Alarcón. He will have to help them get into the groove of senior football. He has worked with Juvenil B in the past, so that shouldn’t be an issue.
By employing a Cruyffist coach for Barça B, Joan Laporta makes his intentions known: positional football is there to stay. That, however, does beg the – mostly rhetorical – question of why Pimienta was sacked in the first place. Seems like something that won’t be disclosed soon.