Ernesto Valverde has delivered another LaLiga Santander title to Barcelona, and his management of the squad has been perfect this season, showing that he has learnt from the mistakes of the 2017/18 campaign.
Now, his tally is four: two LaLiga Santanders, a Supercopa de Espana, a Copa del Rey, and there could be more to come this season.
The Catalans have become Spain’s undisputed kings, not only this season but in the last decade. During the entirety of 2018/19, there were only four rounds when they didn’t occupy top spot, the first two, the 10th and the 13th.
Valverde wanted his players to be fresh at the end of the season, something they didn’t have the luxury of experiencing last year, and he dosed the players’ minutes throughout the campaign, with everyone being rested at different stages.
Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have all found themselves watching on from the bench at times this season, and it haas worked.
But Valverde’s changes have been more than just personnel, and he has altered his setup at times as well, depending on the match. Generally, he prefers a 4-3-3, but he hasn’t hesitated to use a 4-2-3-1, a 4-4-2 or even a 3-5-2 when he has seen fit.
Having good players isn’t enough to win titles, but they also have to be managed properly and that has been the case at the Camp Nou this season. Valverde has looked after his squad, and also improved them, as has been most evident with Ousmane Dembele.
Valverde renewed his contract in February and he will continue on the bench next season, with the option of a further renewal after that.
The players respect him, the club love him, and the rivals admire him. He has achieved a rare status in Spanish football.
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