Why Xavi will be next Barcelona boss - despite president’s uncertainty

Xavi, a Barcelona legend, will soon be appointed the club's new manager.
Now, in this time of crisis, it's the right time to take a leap de faith from Joan Laporta, club president, not unlike the one he took 13 years ago when he promoted Pep guardiola, then Barcelona B-team boss.

This time, the difference is that he no longer has the same feelings for Guardiola. He admires, respects and has faith in him, but he doesn't have the same feelings about Terrassa. Terrassa is located less than an hour inland from Barcelona. But not yet.

Xavi, who is currently in Qatar managing Al Sadd, and Laporta had not spoken to one another for a while. However, in football and in life, the devil drives and they need to communicate. Recently, though through intermediaries, they are getting closer.

Laporta called Xavi on Wednesday night. It was done.

Xavi won't have as much power as Laporta with him in charge, but he was going to create a new structure for the club with Font in charge.

He will be looking to bring his staff along and maybe tick more boxes than just the head coach.

The fact that Ronald Koeman survived for so long before being sacked Wednesday probably has a lot to do with Laporta's inability to accept the idea of Xavi as the new leader as others.

Eight months ago, he stated to journalists that Xavi wasn't ready for the job of Barcelona head coach. This assumption was made probably because Xavi had thrown in his hat with Font during the presidential election.

It is also possible to speculate that some of his advisors warned him that Xavi wasn't ready for the job. While winning titles in Qatar - where he managed Al Sadd since 2019, is one thing, it was a million miles from what was required to take over a club like Barcelona. Club legend or not.

Xavi and his coaches have, of course, always pleaded for differences.

I had the pleasure of meeting Xavi in the summer, and his determination to be the manager at Barcelona was evident.

But, is Xavi ready?

Evidently, the experience that the 41-year old has had in Qatar was about more than managing. His teams played in a way that will please fans if it is replicated in Barcelona.

He is an avid learner of the game and has spent time studying the details of each position, both with and without the ball.

He will first and foremost try to create a structure on the pitch. It is almost certain that this Barcelona will improve if he does that. Without structure, players get lost and don't know what to do.

They all developed in a style of playing that he wants to change, but he needs the patience and time of everyone at the club.

He is happy to see the young people who are coming through. The only thing he can guarantee is that the squad will not have large sums of money.

This Barcelona is full of young talent. However, they lack the proper instruction to shine.

He will also encounter the four club captains, Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto, Gerard Pique and Gerard Pique. These are former team-mates and players that he will have to deal with when trying to maintain their performance. It will not be easy.

Rayo Vallecano's goal Wednesday night was the direct result of an error by Busquets, and Pique's defense against Falcao was not up to standard.

Alba is no threat anymore and makes defensive mistakes. Sergi Roberto is constantly being moved about and doesn't know where to go. Few would argue that Ter Stegen, the keeper, has been as solid as the brick wall he was for Barcelona in the past.

The plus side is that he won't have the constant "What shall we do about Messi?" The conundrum that echoed around the club when the Argentine maestro was there, and whole sides were built around it, is still a constant reverberation.

The million-dollar question is, do Barcelona have enough talent to be one of the top four sides? They don't have enough quality to be a top four side, and they definitely don't possess the financial resources to make it one.

What happened to Koeman

Koeman's dismissal isn't the biggest surprise, but the time it took to do so.

Koeman was a "dead man walking" from the moment Laporta became club president in March. Barcelona's tardiness to dispense with his services speaks volumes about the current club state.

Although Mateu Alemany and his team were responsible for the decision to take following Barcelona's defeat by Rayo Vallecano, it was actually Laporta who made it.

Koeman's stubbornness did not help his cause. He was a great manager and person, but he failed to be a good coach when it came to building a team.

Barcelona is a city where style is as important as substance. Koeman's job is not about the results, but how they came to be.

The team didn't train enough and arrived on the pitch without enough information.

Koeman lived as long as he did, mainly because he believed in youth and didn't have any other options.

He served as a shield for the president. The general view was that Barcelona was the best team and that they would qualify to play in the Champions League.

However, this Barcelona does not look like a Champions League team.

They also delayed his dismissal because of the small amount of 12m (10.16m). Koeman will have to pay them to leave. This was a reasonable decision after they realized that failing to qualify for next season's Champions League will result in a loss of 16m (13.54m).

The club owes money, by the way, to Quique Setien who was the former manager of the club before Koeman.

After the defeat against Rayo Vallecano, and hearing all the familiar excuses from Koeman (the team played well but were not efficient enough), Laporta decided enough was enough and pulled the trigger to end the 14-month Dutchman's tenure at the club.

This was yet another emotional reaction from the top board member who, unlike his time before, cannot benefit from the advice given by Johan Cruyff.

You get the impression that he is simply following the Cruyff method of doing things.

Guardiola's conversations back then give Guardiola food for thought. But, at the end it is a presidential-like style of running things in which Guardiola is the one making the final decision.