Barcelona head coach, Ernesto Valverde became the coach of the team at the beginning of the 2017/2018 season after Luiz Enrique was relieved of his duties. Valverde has gone on to win numerous local trophies for the club but without an European trophy.
Valverde has however come under heavy criticism most especially from Barcelona fans as result of his poor away records which has seen him lose the Champions League in dramatic fashions away from home against Roma and Liverpool.
Arguably the most painful losses Barcelona fans have to live with for the rest of their lives was first the quarter final loss against AS Roma of Italy in the 2017/2018 season.
In the first leg, Barcelona had a comfortable 4 – 1 at the Camp Nou and in the return leg, Roma shocked Barcelona with a 3 – 0 win at the Stadio olympico and qualifying to the semifinal of the Champions League.
Many Barca fans were still healing from the wounds of the unforgettable loss when in the next season, Barca lost to Liverpool in a dramatic fashion.
In the 2018/2019 season, Barca won 3 – 0 at home against Liverpool with Lionel Messi scoring a wonderful free kick against Alisson.
The return leg was at Anfield where Liverpool did a dramatic comeback by beating Barcelona 4 – 0.
It is also worthy of note that Liverpool stars, Mo Salah and Firminho did not feature in the match but still, the Reds took the day.
After the two shameful defeats, Barca fans have been calling for the sack of Valverde and trending the #ValverdeOUT.
Despite fans call for the sack, club management, headed by President, Josep Bartomeu has assured the coach, Valverde of their unflinching support and also gave him another three years contract extension.
The contract extension was met with great criticism by fans as they wanted the coach to be sacked, not his contract extended but the board did not listen to the yearnings of the fans.
After the loss against Liverpool, club captain, Messi also came out to pledge the team’s support for the coach, which caught many by surprise.
Fans have branded this Valverde’s Barcelona as one built around Messi and without the Argentine superstar, Barca fails to impress either home or away.
Valverde has also been criticized for using players out of their positions and make them look worthless. It all started when Ousmame Dembele joined Barca after the controversial departure of Neymar.
Dembele was the then most expensive Barca player (€115m) from Borussia Dortmund and according to some fans, Valverde’s tactics made him useless and less effective in matches.
Last season, Barca also signed Brazilian, Felippe Coutinho from Liverpool as replacement for club legend, Andreas Iniesta in a club transfer record of €120m. As a result of Valverde using him out of position, Coutinho also failed to impress.
Coutinho is presently on loan with German giants and champions, Bayern Munich with an option of buying him at the end of the season.
Same seems to be present predicament of French striker, Antoine Griezzman who joined from Atletico Madrid. Griezzman is presently trying to find his footing after playing over 15 matches for Barca.
Fans have blamed Valverde for this too as he’s being used on the flank instead of being a point man and many fear that Griezzman might end up being a flop at the end of season, just like Coutinho.
When it comes to playing away games, Barcelona has become a shadow of herself because the teams plays like they want to lose, and nothing is at stake.
Barca fans have lost hope in the team when playing away from home in any competition because of their shambolic, non nonchalant and unimpressive displays.
But when playing at home, Barca beats teams with heavy scoreline and fans keep wondering why the team can’t replicate such form away from home.
With the board knowing that Barcelona is not a threat away from home and to win the Champions League, you must beat the best teams away from home and which has been a stumbling block for Barcelona. It’s the right time for the board to show Valverde the door and usher in a new coach who would prosper the team and bring back the formidable Barcelona that we used to know.
A Barca team that will beat any opponent at anywhere which will make fans ask if Barca is playing at home or not.
Fans need a Barcelona team that is a delight to watch, a Barca team that gives fans a rest of mind, a Barca team that you can brag about, a Barca team that will annihilate teams either home or away, a Barca team that scores 20 goals in 4 matches, a Barca team that gets 80% possession of the game, a Barca team you can watch while eating.
When this present Barca is playing away from home, it’s advisable not to be eating at the same time because if you do, the food might go to be wrong part of the body as a result of shambolic football.
Valverde doesn’t seem to be the right coach to bring back the good old days of Pep Guardiola and Luiz Enrique but instead, he’s killing the tiki-taka style of play and making fans lose interest in watching our matches.
Some Barca fans are even of the believe that Valverde has the nudes of the board members, including the president, because one wonders how such a coach who is taking the club from grace to grass should be left at the club and still give him a contract extension.
Having wrecked enough havoc at Barcelona, it is high time Valverde left the club for good and never return.