Gerardo Martino Named As Barca Coach
Barcelona have unveiled Gerardo Martino as their new coach, with the Argentine penning a two year contract with the Blaugrana last week. Martino's appointment comes as something as a shock, despite his impressive CV in South America, where he enjoyed success as Paraguay's national coach (leading them to a World Cup quarter final in 2006) and more recently steered Newell's Old Boys to the Argentine Torneo final title in 2012-13 (the same team for which, in his playing days, he holds the record number of appearances).
A number of other managers had been linked with the role, after it was understood that last season's boss, Tito Vilanova would be stepping down for health reasons, and those highly tipped to be appointed were Barcelona B boss Luis Enrique, Tottenham's Andre Villas-Boas, Swansea's Michael Laudrup and former Anzhi Makhachkala boss, Guus Hiddink. However it is thought that Martino got the nod for his managerial style and philosophy, similar to the attacking possession football that has been Barcelona's calling card for so long. In winning the job Martino becomes the fourth Argentine to manage Barca, the others being Helenio Herrera, Roque Olsen and Cesar Luis Menotti.
Check The Guardian for a video of Martino's arrival in Catalonia.
So far the manager's first job has been to reiterate the club's desire to hold onto talented but unsettled midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who has failed to hold down a starting role since his arrival from Arsenal two seasons ago, and is wanted by Manchester United's new boss, David Moyes.