Xavi is gone as Barcelona turn to former Bayern man to revive fortunes

The least unexpected news around Catalonia has been confirmed today with Barça announcing that coach Xavi has been sacked.
FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano - LaLiga EA Sports
FC Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano - LaLiga EA Sports / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

No one will really be surprised by this after the rumor mill had been churning for days with reports that Barcelona President Joan Laporta would pull the trigger on his manager.

The recent chaos at Camp Nou had seen Xavi told just a month ago deciding to stay only for Laporta to now turn around and remove him after all.

Well now it is finally official and Xavi's replacement is, assuming all goes to plan. going to be former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick.

He has most recently been Germany's national team manager as well as having coached at 1899 Hoffenheim and Bayern winning the treble with the Bundesliga giants in 2020.

The new man certainly has plenty on his plate with Barcelona finishing trophy-less and sitting twelve points adrift of Real Madrid with one match still to go in La Liga this season. Improvement is demanded.

Real Madrid though are almost certain to add Kylian Mbappé to a side already brimming with attacking talent making his task even harder.

Flick also has severe financial troubles to contend with, potentially inhibiting his summer transfer spending plans and an ageing squad of players too.

There is some very good young talent at the club, but a number of previously key performers have been not been at their best recently.

So, a new era begins at Camp Nou. How then might their German coach look to set up the team and play?

Flick has in the past tended to favour something like a 4-2-3-1 formation with his sides often playing a pressing game and very swift counter-attacking football.

That's not quite the way his new charges are used to playing with Xavi's tactics having generally been to opt for a 4-3-3 and the team being used to a more possession-orientated approach.

One area where Catalans must improve is their defense, which has been leaky all season long with the team having conceded forty three goals.

Of course Barça fans will remember that Flick inflicted the worst European defeat ever on their famous club when his Bayern side thrashed them 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-final back in the 2019-20 season on their way to that treble.

Starting at center-forward that night for the German side was Robert Lewandowski (he scored too) and he therefore knows his new coach - assuming Flick is confirmed - very well indeed.

So, Barcelona supporters and players will be thinking of the future and for those players some might now be considering whether they will be at Camp Nou when the new campaign kicks off.