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When Tito Vilanova first revealed to the soccer world he was to leave Barcelona due to his on-going illness problems it not only came as a huge shock to everyone but the courage the man showed was incredible and this should be the main focus of the situation.
However the news came with a media focus on his successor, this was a little on the insensitive but unfortunately the soccer world can be very insensitive. When the names being linked with the job became the usual high profile managers and massive outsiders which had no chance, it became evident the media had no idea who was coming in and who the club had been in talks with. However it had hit the news that a somewhat unknown Argentine was the choice for Barcelona, or so they would have us think.
Gerardo Martino was named the new Barcelona manager in a very short space of time and this came as a surprise to Soccer as the usual Barcelona thing to do was to replace the manager with someone in the system. When Pep Guardiola left Barcelona in 2012 his replacement was his assistant manager Tito Vilanova, the pair took lead the Barcelona B team to promotion to Segunda B. Guardiola and Vilanova stayed together when Barcelona decided to give Guardiola the job of first team manager. By sticking with Guardiola and Vilanova who know the Barcelona way inside out the pair won 16 trophies and Vilanova won the La Liga title when he was in charge taking the total to 17 trophies in 5 years. By having the Barcelona way ingrained; the managerial team would find getting the best out of the players by teaching them or in most cases refreshing them on how the Barcelona way works and how to deploy it properly.
So when Martino was placed in charge, it has more questions than answers. Why didn’t the board continue with the Barcelona way managerial appointment as this has been highly successful? Why since Neymar has arrived the board are looking for a different way of playing? With the team Martino has at his disposal it looks like he may try and keep Messi and Neymar happy in the same team, this is putting the lamb to the slaughter. Martino may well have been appointed to be the man who is sacrificed when the Messi and Neymar show starts to become a little complacent. Barcelona may want to wait until a manager which they have been waiting to become available is in a position to have talks, Martino has a big job to do and this appointment looks to be the troublesome patch which means the next manager can come in looking like a knight in shining armor.
The capture of Neymar is an unbelievable piece of business as Barcelona’s shirt sponsor is Nike and Neymar is also has a Nike boot deal. This means the club will have Nike being paraded by one of the biggest names at the club. The shirt sales will pretty much guarantee the transfer fee repaid sooner rather than later. So with all this business which comes with the Neymar deal it could cause major upset form the current squad, his talent is unquestionable but the surrounding media attention has a Mario Balotelli feel to the whole situation.
The Neymar deal has come at the sacrifice of the Barcelona way, the formation and tactics which Martino will have to use will come as a surprise to the Barcelona fans as they are used to having a possession game with plenty of flair and now to a show pony which has a distinct Ronaldinho flavour to it. The first job Guardiola did was to let Ronaldinho leave for AC Milan hence the start of the Barcelona way which was a massive success. Having the team play a very particular way and using tactics which had a unique to Barcelona feel was something the board had shown persistence and pride in finally seeing the fruits of their labor.
If Barcelona wishes to be successful in the future they may have to revisit the Barcelona way and continue to use the coaches which are currently working in the system.