BARCELONA – Xavi Hernández was introduced as Barcelona coach on November 9 and after 38 days his power is understood as absolute at the club. If anyone could understand his signing as an emergency remedy after the dismissal of Ronald Koeman, just a month later the figure of the Catalan coach is indisputable.
Without being officially a manager similar to what happens in English football, who is the one who makes the decisions in all the plots that occupy the first team, and even in the subsidiary, Xavi is, de facto, the general sports manager of the Barça, the position that Víctor Font drew for him in his candidacy for the elections of last March and that after nine months he carries out under the presidency of a Joan Laporta who has gone from doubting his ability to surrender to him without reservations .
It is a fact that Xavi’s power goes beyond the simple sports field. From the beginning, the new coach landed at the Camp Nou, as he intended and was questioned in the days before his arrival, with the hard core of the staff who already worked with him at Al-Sadd in Qatar.
Such is the case that the revolution in the coaching staff of the Barça first team underwent a real revolution and in his negotiations with Mateu Alemany in Qatar he wrested the agreement that up to seven members of his staff accompany him. His brother Òscar Hernández and Sergio Alegre have worked with him from the first day at Barça as main assistants, the physical trainer Iván Torres, the analysts, David Prats, Sergio García and Toni Lobo, and a physiotherapist, Carlos Nogueira.
The purge since then has been constant. “I want the people I trust with me,” proclaimed Xavi on the day of his presentation and that was not a phrase devoid of content. Since then the chief physiotherapist Juanjo Brau fell from the first team, much criticized in recent times and who had 18 years on the staff, and with him Albert Roca, Xavi Linde, Jaume Bartrés, Raúl Peláez and Jordi Melero were fired from their positions.
The footballers found themselves from one day to the next with a totally different coaching staff, beyond the first coach, and faced one day with (https://espndeportes.espn.com/futbol/espana/nota/_/id/9496118 / xavi-early-morning-barcelona-new-discipline-first-practice) day that little, rather nothing, had to do with the past. And it is that if from the departure of Luis Enrique in 2017 the wardrobe rules were softened, the arrival of Xavi caused a return to the past that only the oldest of the place remembered.
“We have a route plan, a very clear idea, everything planned and we are going to stick to it,” warned the coach and showed it from the first moment. He imposed a series of rules unknown to almost all of his players, beginning Due to the obligation to arrive an hour and a half before training at the Sports City and stay at the facilities for lunch.
The physical workload has increased considerably but, in addition, tactical meetings, watching videos and tactical exercises have taken on much more prominence than before … And it is not the only thing that shows the hand of the new coach.
If his command in the dressing room and everything that depends on him is non-negotiable, Xavi has also reached out to the medical area. As soon as he arrived at the club, he transferred to Joan Laporta his intention of incorporating Ricard Pruna and giving him back command of the medical area. Pruna, who had previously held this position, left Barça in 2017 and worked at Sharjah FC in the United Arab Emirates … Until on Wednesday he left the club and returned to the club, taking the position that Lluís left at the end of November Til.
The many problems of injuries and relapses suffered by not a few players were a situation that occupied the coach and he did not hesitate to revolutionize the medical services of the first team, Xavi Yanguas also falling and Xavi Valle taking his place.
Whoever thought that Xavi Hernández was going to take a low profile and only deal with directing the first team was absolutely wrong. And the most palpable demonstration was made clear with the resignation of technical secretary Ramon Planes, a visible head in terms of transfer planning and who, seeing his weight loss, decided to leave the club, leaving the figure of Jordi Cruyff reinforced from there. And that of the coach put in front of all the decisions to be made.
Two weeks after the winter market officially opens, there have been many meetings that the coach has held with President Laporta, Sporting Vice President Rafa Yuste, Football Chief Manteu Alemany and the aforementioned Jordi Cruyff to assess the need to reinforce Template.
But if before his arrival the operations were taken by consensus, now it is he who, in the first person, has not only the last word, but also the undisputed direction in terms of the names he wants to incorporate. And the name of Ferran Torres is the most palpable example of this.
The Manchester City striker is the player chosen by Xavi to reinforce the squad in January and while waiting to find out if Barça is in a position to sign him for financial fair play issues, the coach has not deviated one iota of your intentions. If months ago it was Dani Olmo, from RB Leipzig, the most valued player at the Camp Nou, today that place is occupied by Torres in the same way as all forwards with goals, an alarming deficit in the team, who are being polled (with Edinson Cavani in the foreground) are determined by Xavi Hernández.
Some believe that from the time of Pep Guardiola, Barcelona did not have a coach with such command power at Barça … But the most veteran go a step further and remember the figure of Johan Cruyff, who was said not to a sheet of paper was being moved in the club without his knowledge. And this is what happens now with Xavi, who, focused on recovering a dying team, is also in charge of laying the foundations for a better future without leaving anything out of his control.
Because from here, it can be affirmed almost immediately, the Barça club will work under the coach’s designs in terms of the composition of a squad that they want to agitate to the maximum to accommodate stars with a vision of the future and who have all the support of Xavi, who, while waiting to know all the conditions, supports without reservation the monumental hiring of an Erling Haaland on whom the new era of a Barça would be bet where the command of Xavi Hernández is indisputable.
It is the new reality at the Camp Nou.