Is Xavi making Barcelona great again?
How are the side shaping up this season?
Hi, sorry this one took longer than it should have, my bad, though hopefully the World Cup stuff I’m also working on should be worth it. Anyway, it’s here, so enjoy it.
Sometimes you look at an institution with big ideas from the outside, but then find yourself taking a very different path once you have to work within the system. Football managers are no exception to this.
Take Carlo Ancelotti. During his playing career, Ancelotti was hugely influenced by his former manager Arrigo Sacchi. As everyone knows, Sacchi was one of football’s great tactical innovators, advocating a compact pressing system that changed the game. Ancelotti originally saw himself as cut from the same cloth. He quickly found, though, that what worked for him much better was tailoring the system around the players he had. Ancelotti has completely moved away from the Sacchi-inspired principles he started out with, but no one can dispute his success.
The same could become true of Xavi Hernández. We all knew he would manage Barcelona one day. Unless his time in Qatar was an unmitigated disaster, it was obvious he’d return to the Camp Nou sooner or later. He didn’t trust former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, but as soon as the job opened up under the incumbent Joan Laporta, he was straight on a flight back from Qatar to Catalonia.
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