By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
Barcelona’s capitulation to Liverpool in the Champions League and loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey is set to cost Ernesto Valverde his job, according to reports in Spain.
Winning the league for most clubs would count as a successful season but when you’re expected to hover up all the trophies both at home and abroad then ‘just’ picking up the league trophy isn’t always enough; for Barcelona that’s exactly the case. The Catalan giants have got used to winning the league, often doubling up with the Copa del Rey, but have been lacking in the Champions League in recent years. At the beginning of this season Lionel Messi told fans that European gold was their main aim for the season and at one point it looked like they would be getting another treble that was until Liverpool’s remarkable comeback in the semi-final. The Copa del Rey was meant to be some cause for comfort and a domestic double would have made the season decent enough. That was until they lost the final to Valencia on Saturday.
Those two defeats have left Ernesto Valverde on thin ice and according to Spanish outlet RAC1 he is due to be sacked. Valverde only signed a new contract in February which was to extend his stay at the Camp Nou till 2020, with an option of another year. At that point Barcelona were top of La Liga and looking like they could complete the treble but the capitulation of the season over the last few weeks seems to have changed everything. According to Gianluca di Marzio, the former Athletico Bilbao boss is set to be straight back into management with Real Betis. Reports have also emerged that Belgium, and former Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez is set to take the hot seat at the Camp Nou. The Spaniard will likely bring a more attacking style than Valverde and will be once again tasked with bringing the Champions League trophy back to Barcelona for the first time since 2015. But is sacking Valverde the right decision?