It looked surreal at first, and I did not believe it. But it seems like it really is happening. Only two letters, ‘SÍ’, are missing for what could be a turning point not only in our season, but in our future too. Xavi is very close to replacing Valverde and becoming our new manager, news that could come today or tomorrow if the legend gives his approval.
It didn’t happen after Roma. It didn’t happen after Liverpool. But it could happen after a mere Super Cup defeat in mid season. Obviously everything adds up, and Ernesto should have been sacked earlier, but the events and timing shows to me that there are some secret reasons behind this rushed move. And that secret reason may be the 2021 presidential elections.
Víctor Font’s Sí Al Futur campaign doesn’t depend on one individual, but a whole project. Still, if Xavi, Víctor’s favourite coach, is appointed now, Font’s position for the elections may get weakened, and Bartomeu/Rousaud’s chances may increase. In my opinion, Bartomeu is planning a blow to Sí Al Futur.
In any case, is Xavi the right man? There are never good or bad times to appoint the former midfielder. All of them are good. However, now, in mid season, I don’t think it’s an optimal moment. Pep has always said that the first lessons he learned as a manager were in the Third Division with Barça B. That for me should be the intermediate step between Qatar and the senior squad.
We need to give Xavi time, because he is a hell of a prospect and we don’t want to rush him. And then, if he doesn’t manage to change the course of the first team in the next 6 months, and we end up having a disappointing campaign as could be now expected, Xavi’s reputation may drop and we could have ruined the first stage of the Catalan’s career as a coach.
These collateral damages of Xavi’s appointment could get reduced if we instead went with someone like Quique Setién or García Pimienta, who for me is the ideal man for the present moment. That being said, having Xavi now is obviously exciting, and hopefully he can stay here for many many years to come. The next few hours could be hectic.