The search for Xavi’s successor in underway. Few days ago, Xavi shocked the whole club by saying that he will leave in the end of the season. Personally, I wanted Xavi to stay for a long time, although I didn’t agree with every decision he made. However, when Koeman left and Xavi was about to join, I already warned that our club might not have the patience needed. Xavi said that in Barcelona there can never be a “Ferguson”. Sadly, I don’t see us having “Half a Ferguson”. It took Klopp 3 years to build his winning team. Mikel Arteta didn’t even qualify for the Champions League until his 3rd season. But if they were the coaches of Barcelona – they would never remain in charge for that long.
Unsurprisingly, the media will mention every coach out there, and we will be there to share only the reliable reports. Personally, I don’t even have an opinion yet on the best candidate to be Xavi’s successor. However, I think that in order to get the right man for the job, the process is very important. Xavi did the club a huge favor, and gave them few months to assess everything, and find the right man for the job. Part of the process of finding Xavi’s successor, is to avoid making the mistakes that will take our club backwards instead of forward.
A “Yes-Man” will take us nowhere
One of the first names that the media mentioned as a possible successor for Xavi was Rafa Marquez. The Mexican coach is doing a good job at Barca Atletic, and he would be the easy solution, as he’s already in the club. However, I don’t think that he showed anything exceptional that would suggest that he’s the right man for the job. Moreover, as someone who’s close to president Laporta and Deco, he would probably be just another “Yes-Man” – and we should avoid that. Part of the job of a coach is speaking up and voicing his opinion, and it’s important to have different approaches available.
Same goes for Porto’s Sérgio Conceição, or any other coach represented by Jorge Mendes. The Portuguese Super-Agent is already representing many players in the squad. Therefore, having a coach with the same agent might affect his judgment, and we want to avoid that.
Don’t waste time on impossible dreams
Arteta, Tuchel, Klopp – Those are all nice names, and great coaches. However, Barcelona will not have the funds, nor the time to let them build their project. Personally, I’m a big fan of Jürgen Klopp. But as one a Liverpool fan said – “Klopp is more ‘Rock n Roll’ and Barcelona are like a concert”. Furthermore, Klopp doesn’t feel Spanish, and that might be a problem. I’m not saying that Klopp can’t succeed at Barcelona. But if he feels exhausted at Anfield and wants a year off – going to Barcelona’s toxic environment is clearly not the right move for him.
Other ‘impossible’ names on the table are Lionel Scaloni and Julian Nagelsmann. Both of them are coaching their national teams, and will have big tournament coming this summer. Therefore, they won’t be able to join until mid-July. Xavi’s successor must spend the whole summer preparing his project in the best possible way.
In order to get the right man for the job, the club might do the process of recruitment the right way. Part of that means avoiding “easy” solutions, and classic mistakes.
How should the process of finding Xavi’s successor look like? More on that in the next article.