Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde is under huge pressure to keep his job following his side’s 3-1 to Levante away from home on Saturday.
The Blaugrana opened the scoring via their talisman, Lionel Messi, who scored a penalty in the first half. However, Jose Campana, Borja Mayoral, a former Real Madrid player, and Nemanja Radoja all netted for Levante to hand them a shock win.
Valverde’s team still sit on top of the La Liga table with arch-rivals Real Madrid sitting a point behind them but with a game in hand.
The notoriously critical fans have been displeased by the fact that their side have already lost 3 games in the league and have put in unconvincing performances in the Champions League this season despite leading the group ahead of both Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan.
The fans have been calling for Valverde to be sacked since last season and with the gulf in quality and resources ahead of most of their opposition, they should be dominating the La Liga at the minimum.
With Real Madrid going through a rebuild under Zinedine Zidane and Atletico Madrid somewhat struggling, it highlights the poor job that the Spaniard has done as both their rivals are on similar points tally with the Catalan giants.
Odds of Next Barcelona Manager
11/4- Roberto Martinez
9/2- Ronald Koeman
5/1- Luis Enrique
6/1- Xavi Hernandez
13/2- Massimiliano Allegri
The poor form at the start of the season would have been excused had Valverde achieved the club objectives during his tenure at the club.
A club of Barcelona’s stature should be challenging on all fronts and the former Valencia manager has won back-to-back La Liga titles and won both the Copa Del Rey and Supercopa last season.
However, in his two-year stint, his inability to secure Barcelona a Champions League has been a huge mark against his credentials especially given the nature of their exits from Europe’s elite competition.
In his first year at the club, Valverde led Barcelona into a quarter-final tie against AS Roma and had won the first leg 4-1 at Nou Camp. Unfortunately, disaster struck in the second-leg as I Giallorossi completed an incredible 3-0 comeback to advance into the semi-finals at Barcelona’s expense.
Fans were furious and were calling for his departure following that game but shocks like that are possible in the cup competitions.
However, fate struck again in their last Champions League campaign in a semi-final tie against Liverpool. Once again at home, they won 3-0 in the first leg but crumbled immensely against the Reds who were without Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino that evening.
Valverde’s side once again collapsed, this time getting battered 4-0 at Anfield with Divock Origi scoring a late goal to seal the win.
Thus, with his previous failures and current shortcomings, Valverde’s time as Barca’s boss is certainly looking closer to nearing the end unless he can turn the ship around.