Barça finally decided that it was time for a change. After witnessing the same uninspiring dull football, the Barça board decided to pull the trigger and give Ernesto Valverde the boot. Although Valverde will go down in the Blaugrana history books as a successful manager, his era will mostly be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Valverde managed Barça to two league crowns, one Copa del Rey title and one Spanish Super Cup in two and a half seasons. The last time Barça fired a manager during the season was during Louis van Gaal’s second stint with the club in 2002-2003 season which lasted only a few months. Coincidentally, both Valverde and van Gaal share common similarities.
Louis van Gaal also won two league crowns, one Copa del Rey title and one Spanish Super Cup in his first stint with Barça. Unlike Valverde, he was able to coach his entire third season with the Blaugrana. However, both had disappointing results in the Champions League. While Valverde’s teams imploded in the knockout stages, van Gaal’s teams never managed to advance from the group stages in his first two seasons although they managed to get embarrassed in the Semi-Finals of the 1999-2000 season.
Valverde’s time will not be looked back kindly even with all that success he accomplished. His lack of improving players and lack of playing Barça youth players along with the dull direct football he subjected the Blaugrana faithful to endure will be hard for us to forget or forgive. However, he will forever be haunted by those European exits are what nightmares are made of. Bottling those 3 goal aggregate leads where he completely got outcoached will always mark this era as Valverde’s reign of error.