5 Questions You'd Love to Ask Barcelona Boss Tata Martino
Barcelona manager Tata Martino has come under scrutiny this season.
Plenty of Blaugrana supporters aren't particularly keen on him and aren't happy with how the team have been playing.
Many are wondering why some of the La Masia graduates aren't getting more game-time.
Others wish that the established stars could be given a solid run in the team together.
Martino has got some big decisions to make in the days, weeks and months ahead, starting with the clash against Manchester City on Tuesday in the Champions League.
So, if you could grab a moment with him, away from the glare of the cameras, what would you ask him?
How Are You Going to Deal with Manchester City?
Let’s deal with the immediate problem.
The Champions League last 16 clash is the biggest game of the round.
All eyes will be on the Etihad on Tuesday night, before the return match at Camp Nou in March.
Barcelona’s last campaign in this competition ended in flames, an embarrassing 7-0 aggregate demolition by Bayern Munich.
Martino can’t let it happen on his watch.
Although City aren’t as strong as the German treble-winners, they can play a similar style of football which probes for cracks in Barcelona’s weak spots.
So what’s the plan, Tata?
How will you stop Yaya Toure from bulldozing through your midfield? Sergio Busquets may be able to handle him but if he fails, so do Barcelona.
In the second leg, Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo will be a formidable partnership, stronger than any that has visited Catalonia so far this season.
Is it going to be experience, in Carlos Puyol? Or will Aguero be too quick for him?
Do You Really Think You'll Be in Charge Next Season?
With the new season will come the chance to refresh.
Even if Barcelona win La Liga, they will need to go deep in the Champions League and beat Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey for Martino to be sure he’ll keep his position.
With only a year left on his contract, there wouldn’t need to be an expensive pay-off if the Spanish giants did decide to get rid.
Last summer, Luis Enrique was being touted as Tito Vilanova’s most likely replacement by various media outlets, including the Daily Mail.
The current Celta Vigo manager is an option, as is Frank De Boer. The Dutchman has been speaking about the Tottenham job, as reported by the BBC, which suggests he’s got eyes on a move away from Ajax.
The former Blaugrana star might be interested in a return, should Tata be disposed of.
How Much Power Does Lionel Messi Have?
This has been an interesting topic for quite a while.
Back in 2010, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had problems with Pep Guardiola’s deference to Lionel Messi.
He said, as reported by the Daily Mail:
It was a childhood dream and I was walking on air. It started well [at Barcelona] but then Messi started to talk. He wanted to play in the middle, not on the wing, so the system changed from 4-3-3 to 4-5-1. I was sacrificed and no longer had the freedom on the pitch I need to succeed.
Ibra left and Messi continued to rule the roost.
There’s no doubt it’s effective—many believe he’s the best player in the world and should have everything he wants—but it would still be good to have some clarity.
When Messi drops deep, is he under instruction or does he have total freedom to do as he pleases?
Why Do You Think You Can Curb David Luiz?
Many sources, including the Mirror's John Cross, pin David Luiz as a key transfer target for Tata Martino.
But does he really think that he can curb the Brazilian’s excesses, if task-master Jose Mourinho can’t?
The current Barca defence does need strengthening and Luiz is an exceptional footballer with the skill to play for the Blaugrana.
And yet he is still inconsistent and occasionally loses concentration—this has been costly for Chelsea at times.
So, how do you plan on harnessing him?
Is Barcelona's Style so Deeply Etched in That It Can't Be Changed?
Barcelona’s tiki-taka style dominated Europe for many years.
But now it’s the pressing game and counter-attack which appears to be king.
Bayern Munich showed it last season, Chelsea and Manchester City are trying to emulate them at the moment.
But Barcelona still look best when they play in their traditional style, as they did in the 6-0 win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday night.
Blaugrana legend Andres Iniesta starred, his best game for quite some time.
Sometimes Martino tries to do it a bit differently, but he still seems scared to depart fully from the blueprint left by Guardiola.
It leaves the team confused. Their muscle memory wants to play one way, their brains another.
Is Martino merely fiddling, or does he really want to change it?
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