FC Barcelona

Why Johan Cruyff Needs to Keep His Nose out of Barcelona's Business

Is the removal of Johan Cruyff's honorary presidency behind his continual barbed commentary?
Is the removal of Johan Cruyff's honorary presidency behind his continual barbed commentary?MANU FERNANDEZ/Associated Press
Jason PettigroveContributor IJuly 16, 2014

Johan Cruyff is at it again.

Not a week seems to go by without Barcelona's favourite son shooting from the lip. Isn't it about time he gave it a rest?

The subject of his ire this time is the signing of Luis Suarez. His comments in De Telegraaf, via Stefan Coerts of Goal.com, has undermined Luis Enrique just a few days after starting his pre-season:

I don't know how they plan to play free-flowing attacking football with Messi, Neymar and Suarez in one team. They are all players who rely on their individual actions.

Barcelona choose for individualism rather than a team playing good football. The style of play they developed under Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola is being abandoned.

Everything that comes out of Cruyff's mouth almost always references the time frame of the stewardship of Guardiola and presidency of Joan Laporta.

Is it that the Dutchman is still harbouring grudges because of the removal of his honorary presidency, per the The Guardian, by the Sandro Rosell administration?

Joan Laporta is clearly a major influence on Cruyff's opinion of the club and how it is now run.
Joan Laporta is clearly a major influence on Cruyff's opinion of the club and how it is now run.MANU FERNANDEZ/Associated Press

It's often said that if you've nothing good to say then don't say anything at all. That maxim clearly doesn't apply to Cruyff.

Remember that before Suarez came Neymar. Per Mundo Deportivo (via Coerts of Goal.com):

Barcelona's problem is Neymar. He is a great player, let there be no doubt about that, but you cannot sign a 21-year-old and pay him more than players who have won it all. Nobody is god at the age of 21.

Plus Barcelona already have the greatest player in the world [Lionel Messi] and a 21-year-old kid cannot be the key figure. This is impossible in football. At the age of 26, yes, but not at 21.

Incorrect, the problem is not Neymar. It is people like Johan Cruyff who have a seemingly constant yearning to sound off.

To be the voice of authority when the truth is Cruyff no longer has any. And therein lies the problem. For someone with an ego as big as the Dutchman's that is hard to accept.

Cruyff would have you believe that Neymar is Barcelona's problem.
Cruyff would have you believe that Neymar is Barcelona's problem.Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

He was part of Barca's glorious past, and his place in the club's history is assured. He is not part of the present and will only be part of the future at the request of the club.

Constant sniping only serve to make him seem like a spoilt child trying to grab attention.

As the Blaugrana were bundled out of the Copa Del Rey last season, and things began to unravel for Tata Martino, who should be on the scene with another newsworthy comment? Of course, none other than Mr. Cruyff himself. Per Mundo Deportivo (via ESPN):

The best thing for Barca would be for Guardiola to come back. He is a magnificent coach and there is nobody better. If Laporta is president again I am going to say that the best thing would be to sign Pep, and as he is an intelligent person, I am sure he will do that.

The best thing for Barca would be for Guardiola to come back? What a ridiculous statement. Pep is incredibly happy in Bavaria and doing another sterling job with Bayern Munich. Why on earth would he swap what he has for what he had?

Pep Guardiola is clearly very happy with life in Barvaria.
Pep Guardiola is clearly very happy with life in Barvaria.Gero Breloer/Associated Press

He even ruled out a return to Catalunya himself a year beforehand, via the Press Association and reported on Sport Inquirer:

I think it’s a closed chapter. It was a fantastic period in my life, but it’s over.

I feel very relaxed with myself. I did the best I could. Everything has a beginning and an end. The end arrives when you discover it’s been enough.

Fairly unequivocal, no? So why does Cruyff feel the need to continue to invoke such mischief?

Didac Piferrer of Marca also reported on another withering criticism of the team and club. Toward the back end of last season, Cruyff noted that the Blaugrana was "not my Barca."

Johan Cruyff's Barca was 20 plus years ago.
Johan Cruyff's Barca was 20 plus years ago.CESAR RANGEL/Associated Press

He is, of course, correct.

"His" Barca played in the mid 1970s, managerially at the end of the '80s and early '90s.

The evolution of this new Barca will take time and effort on all sides, and the club can well do without such ill-intended comment as they move forward to try and emulate the successes of the past.

Heath Chesters of Inside Spanish Football quoted Cruyff when he was asked directly if Barca were now at the end of their cycle. Cue yet another diatribe:

That’s just an excuse when you don’t know how things work in football. If you know about football, you should know why things worked in the first place and over the last fifteen years, as they have. The first things you have to know are why things work and now, it’s about knowing why they’re not working.

It's like a broken record. Cruyff's intentionally critical opinions are juvenile, unwarranted and unnecessary. If the club or its staff want his counsel they will ask for it. The fact that they haven't speaks volumes.

Time to shut up, Johan.

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