Does Luis Enrique Deserve another Season as Barcelona Manager?
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique is under immense pressure to be sacked as the season is half way down the line. Barcelona is noted for respecting coaches and allowing coaches to resign after a bad season. Uncharacteristic of FC Barcelona is firing coaches half way or criticizing coaches but this season, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique is being pressured to resign after the season or face a sack.
Some football pundits have raised the point that Luis Enrique is being mistreated because he is not a fellow Catalan. In this article SportsGoogly will consider the performance of Luis Enrique in the 2016-17 season and analyse carefully if the Barcelona manager deserve a sack or is just a plot to get him out of the club.
Luis Enrique the player:
Luis Enrique Martinez Garcia was born on 8 May 1970 in Gijon in the municipality of Asturias, Spain. Enrique was an attacking and start his senior career with Sporting Gijon. Enrique started playing Gijon in 1988 to 1991.
Luis Enrique joined Real Madrid in 1991 up till 1996, a solid 5 years he played for Real Madrid. Luis Enrique played 213 matches for Real Madrid and scored 18 goals for the legendary Real Madrid. In his 5 year spell at Real Madrid, Enrique won the la Liga in 1994-95, the Copa del Rey in 1992-93 and the Spanish super cup in 1993. Luis Enrique departed with Real Madrid in 1996.
Luis Enrique left Real Madrid to Barcelona in a direct transfer. Few players are able to gain a direct transfer from Real Madrid to Barcelona or vice versa. Luis Enrique played for Barcelona from 1996 till his retirement in 2004. At Barcelona, Luis Enrique played 300 games and scored 109 goals. Luis Enrique aided the Catalan giants to win a lot of trophies which are; la Liga 1997-98 and 1998-99, Copa del Rey 1996-97 and 1997-98, Spanish Super Cup 1996, UEFA Super Cup 1997 and UEFA Cup Winners Cup 1996-97. Luis Enrique Retired from football in 2004 at his favorite club Barcelona.
Luis Enrique also serve his country Spain. Enrique started playing for the Spanish U21 side and graduated to the Spanish U23 side. Luis Enrique was part of the Spain Olympic football team that won gold in the Barcelona 1992 Olympics. In all Luis Enrique played 14 matches for the Spanish U23 side and scored 3 goals.
Enrique once again graduated to the Spanish senior side in 1991 but became a significant player for the Spanish national team from 1994 onwards.
As a successful player playing for both Real Madrid and Barcelona and also representing his country, Luis Enrique retired from football and took time to run marathons for fun.
Luis Enrique the Coach
Luis Enrique started his coaching career at FC Barcelona where he retired as a footballer. On 28 May 2008, Luis Enrique was appointed as manager of the Barcelona B team. Luis Enrique was choose to replace his long time playing mate Pep Guardiola who was promoted to be manager of the Barcelona club. With the Barcelona B team, Luis Enrique managed 124 matches winning 59, drawing 40 and losing 25. Luis Enrique had a winning rate of 48% and the Barcelona B was not able to qualify to the la Liga.
On 8 June 2011 coach Luis Enrique agreed a deal with AS Roma in Italian capital of Rome. Luis Enrique only managed AS Roma for one season. His short stay at AS Roma was due to lack of dressing room control. Luis Enrique only took charge of 42 games at AS Roma winning 17, drawing 9 and losing 16 games. Enrique’s winning rate was 40.5% which was very poor per the standard of AS Roma. Luis Enrique retired from AS Roma on 13 May 2012.
Luis Enrique was jobless for one season. On June 2013 Celta Vigo announced Luis Enrique as their new coach. Luis Enrique at Celta Vigo was noted for stretching the big clubs in Spain (ie, Barcelona and Real Madrid). After one season with Celta Vigo, Luis Enrique announced that he is leaving the Celta Vigo. Luis Enrique left Celta Vigo on 17 May 2014. At Celta Vigo, Luis Enrique managed 40 games winning 15, drawing 7 and losing 18 games. Luis Enrique’s winning rate was 37.5% which quite appreciable for his employers.
Two days after quitting Celta Vigo, Barcelona announced Luis Enrique as their new manager on 19 May 2014. Luis Enrique is in his third year as manager for FC Barcelona. At Barcelona, Luis Enrique have won a lot of trophies listing as follows;
- Copa del Rey 2014-15 and 2015-16
- Spanish Super Cup 2016
- UEFA Super Cup 2015
- FIFA Club World Cup.
Luis Enrique have also won some enviable personal decorations, which are listed as follows;
- la Liga coach of the year
- FIFA World Coach of the Year 2015
- IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach 2015
- World Soccer Manager of the year 2015
The 2016-17 Bad Season for Luis Enrique
Barcelona is not having a good season in the 2016-17 season. Currently, Barcelona is trailing behind Real Madrid on the Spanish la Liga table. Real Madrid have two outstanding games to play but yet still Barcelona is trailing Real Madrid on the league log. The only competition Barcelona is enjoying top form is the Spanish Copa del Rey. Barcelona have already booked a final ticket to play with Deportivo Alaves in the finals of the 2016-17 Copa del Rey finals.
The height of Barcelona’s poor form this season was in the round of 16 champions league clash with PSG. On 14 February 2017 Barcelona was trashed by PSG in France by 4 goals unanswered. Shortly after the game, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta complained about their tactical arrangement against PSG. Majority of football pundits believe that Barcelona will only win 1 trophy this season, which is only the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona’s poor form this season have being largely blamed on the tactical arrangement of Coach Luis Enrique. He has being hugely critised for his over reliance on the MSN(Messi, Suarez, Neymar) and also the lack of plan B.
For many years now, Barcelona have played the short inter passes and using Messi to split defenses and then result in a goal. Many believe that, Luis Enrique should have changed the template as some managers are gradually finding and antidotes to the once dangerous Barcelona tactics introduced by the legendary Yohan Cruyff and polished by Pep Guardiola.
Notable Points Lost by Barcelona this season.
29 Jan 2017: Real Betis 1-1 Barcelona.
19 Nov 2016: Real Sociedad 1-1 Barcelona.
2 Oct 2016: Celta Vigo 4-3 Barcelona.
10 Sept 2016: Barcelona 1-2 Alave
Champions league Shocking Loses.
14 Feb 2017: PSG 4-0 Barcelona.
1 Nov 2016: Manchester City 3-1 Barcelona.
Luis Enrique deserves one more season to prove himself. Luis Enrique is a legend for FC Barcelona as player who served Barcelona until retirement. In the last two seasons, Luis Enrique have won the la Liga on two occasions and have also won the Copa del Rey on two occasions. This means that Luis Enrique is not a bad manager. The previous two seasons have been a successful seasons and if this season is a bad season, he deserves another season to be judged. Josep Maria Bartomeu should not sack Luis Enrique but rather give him is his support. Luis Enrique will surely deliver next season if this season is a bad season.