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Report: Martino convinced he’s losing control of Barcelona

Apr 14, 2014, 7:37 AM EST

Martino Getty Images

Imagine you’re on an airplane.  Bells and whistles are ringing in every direction, the masks have fallen and the cabin is in a rapid decent towards the earth.

The pilot, instead of frantically searching for a way to regain control of the falling hunk of metal, is calmly sipping a cup of coffee smoking a cigar.

That’s the picture Spanish paper Marca has painted of the Barcelona dressing room.

According to the report, Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has convinced those closest to him that he will likely not be around next season barring a miraculous turnaround, apparently remarking to his closest friends, “It’s easier to change one person than to change the lot.”

The club crashed out of the Champions League to rising stars Atletico Madrid before losing a shocker to Grenada, a club in 13th place and one they hadn’t lost to in 42 years.

Those two massive disappointments, coupled with the loss to Villarreal in early March, have people very concerned at the Nou Camp. Apparently, Martino’s team fitness training is more simplistic than in the recent past, failing to tailor each individual player’s regimen to his or her own needs.

The report also states Martino is lacking bite during those training sessions, with players often seen milling about when they should be working on training. Obviously some of that is on the players, but it’s ultimately the manager’s job to make sure they are on top of the players.

Defender Carlos Puyol came to Martino’s defense, telling reporters the team is to blame and that they “trust in” Martino and are “with him to the death and he is with us.”

  1. mianfr - Apr 14, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Probably fair to say they’re not tailoring an individual’s player fitness simply to his needs if we’re talking about the team coached by Martino unless Puyol is hiding something or I’m missing something…

  2. mikeevergreen - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Barcelona has a lot of older players who are not helped by heavy training. Keep their legs fresh for the games.

    Sooner or later, all dynasties must end, and be reborn through the youth system. For Barca, that time is now.

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