Xavi has taken over at Barcelona and already made his presence felt. The 41-year-old Catalan coach took his first training session this morning according to Marca, arriving two-and-a-half hours early to the Ciutat Deportiva to begin his reign at the club.
The players also got up earlier than usual, being summoned to the training ground for nine in the morning. Joan Laporta presented his new coach to the players there, with the only men missing being the players away on international duty.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) November 9, 2021
Because of the club’s injury crisis, Xavi only had Inaki Pena, Neto, Oscar Mingueza, Samuel Umtiti, Riqui Puig and Luuk de Jong available from the first team. To bolster numbers, he also called up Arnau Comas, Mika Marmol, Alvaro Sanz, Ez Abde, Ferran Jutgla, Antonio Aranda and Ilias Akhomach from Barcelona B.
Some of the immediate measures Xavi has taken include group meals to control diet, special attention to rest and sleep, spending more time at the Ciutat Esportiva to do tailor-made exercises – as well as build team spirit – and fines for tardiness.
As for the actual football, he’s underlined the importance of retaining possession, positional play, high pressure and bringing the ball out from the back. Above all, what’s important to Xavi is the commitment from his players to be an absolute professional for 24 hours of the day.
A 21-year-old Xavi giving Pep instructions during their Barca playing days 🧠 pic.twitter.com/nGZsz4GjBs
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 9, 2021
Xavi’s first game in charge of Barcelona will be on Saturday week against city rivals Espanyol at Camp Nou. Both sides have 17 points to their name, although Barcelona have a game in hand. The squad will train again tomorrow, as well as Thursday and Friday. At the weekend, the players will be given a rest.
Barcelona fans will hope that Xavi can prove to replicate the success that Pep Guardiola achieved during his time in charge of the club, and while that’s a tall order the two do share many qualities. Both have a clear-eyed calculation to their personalities, as well as confidence in their ideas. This is exhibited in a clip that surfaced this morning featuring a 21-year-old Xavi giving instructions to a veteran Guardiola while they were teammates.
Source by Football Espana