Luis Enrique Deserves More Respect For Barca’s Treble Success


FC Barcelona have once again been hailed as the world’s best side, after they stylishly seen off Juventus in the Champions League final.

Rightly so too but unfortunately their manager Luis Enrique doesn’t seem to be getting the same kind of generous plaudits.

Many seem to believe that Barca could witness this sort of success with anyone in charge of the Catalan giants.

Notable detractors that I saw were Diego Maradona and Graeme Souness. Funny because I think those two with their big fat egos would fail at the Camp Nou if they were in Camp Nou dugout.

Also look at Argentine coach Gerardo Martino’s year in charge during the 2013-14 season. All he won was the Spanish Super Cup.

Now a year on and the ‘Blaugrana’ have won the treble with forty-five year old Enrique in charge.

When Pep Guardiola won the same treble in his debut year, he was classed a ‘tactical genius’ and a key reason for their success.

Yet Enrique has also won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in his maiden season in charge and not received the same acclaim. Enrique even masterminded Barca’s 5-3 aggregate win over the heavily fancied Bayern Munich side, who are managed by old Barca pal and tactical genius Pep.

People point to Barcelona’s disappointing start under Enrique but a season is long and the important part is how you finish. Really you cannot complain with winning the three main trophies.

Obviously it is easier with players like Gerard Pique, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi at your disposal but a manager still needs to pick the right starting eleven and get all those egos working together as a team.

The club have also evolved under Enrique’s term in charge. Yes possession and pressing is still precious to them but they are more direct and take less passes to get from defence to the attacking trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar. Those three have a great understanding with each other and that isn’t easy generate.

The team didn’t lose their heads after they lost the lead against Juve. No they fought hard to get back in front and worked together to make sure they clinched the trophy.

Again people say but Enrique was only successful after a team meeting, held after a loss to Real Sociedad in January, and that showed the players were in charge.

Now for me that actually shows that Luis is a strong, adaptable coach. His willingness to forgo certain of his own coaching rules in favour of the team’s morale has paid the ultimate dividend for the club he adores. Not many coaches would have listened and that would have cost them their jobs.

Enrique still seems unsure if he’ll stay around next season, which seems a big shame.

Stalwart Andres Iniesta was full of praise for his manager:

“He’s our coach and our leader and I hope he will continue with us next year – he has not said anything to the contrary,”

“It has been a spectacular season in every sense of the word and this has been a spectacular day for all of us.”

The board really should show Luis Enrique that he is wanted.

Of course Barca have fantastic players but without a strong manager, who has the right character, then even the greatest teams will fail. Just ask Senor Martino.

I’d like to say well done Luis Enrique, I appreciate the work that you have done this year!

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