Unless you live in Spain or follow La Liga you will hear very little about the man who took over from Tito Vilanova , Argentinian Gerardo Martino yet this man is responsible for the club having a perfect record of eight wins from eight straight games something that no other Barcelona coach has ever done.
Tata as Martino is affectionately known now has his sights set firmly on another club record a perfect start to the first half of the season which Vilanova nearly achieved last season when seeing his Barcelona team finish the half with 55 out of a possible 57 points their only failing being a two-all draw with Real Madrid in the Classic.
The Catalan giants continued their unbeaten run with a 4-1 victory over Real Valladolid at the Nou Camp Saturday night minus the goal scoring ability of Leo Messi who is currently injured, and while most managers would be more than content with a 4-1 win Tata was not happy at all with Barcelona conceding the first goal after Javi Guerra put the visitors in front with a set piece something that Tata says they must work on so that it would not happen again, as this was the first time all season that they had been behind.
Fierce Rivals Real Madrid have had a touch and go start to their season scoring 10 goals in two Champions League matches, but failing to lesser opposition at home in the domestic league drawing with newly promoted Villarreal, losing to Atletico Madrid and only just managing to beat both Elche and Levante in minutes added on.
Atletico Madrid has also seen a perfect start to the season level on points with Barcelona five ahead of Real Madrid.
The big test for Barcelona will come on the 26th of this month when they play the first of this seasons Classic’s against Real Madrid at home Messi should be fit, and Real Madrid will be eager to show the world that it is not how you start a season that counts, but how you finish that matters.
Barcelona’s star striker Leo Messi wants to have nothing to do with the signing of new coach Gerardo Martino who also happens like Messi to be from Argentina.
Following lasts nights pre-season friendly between Barcelona and Bayern Munich which the Germans won 2-0 when questioned by reporters about Barca’s new coach Messi said:
“I don’t have anything to do with it, or anything to explain. It’s for the president and the club to decide. At the time I said that I thought he was a good coach, but I don’t have anything to explain.”
“I don’t know him personally, I’ve never met him, neither him nor Luis Enrique who was the other candidate being talked about. I think it’s a good appointment because he will bring something extra, and he’s shown what he’s capable of both at Newell’s and in the Paraguayan national team. I hope he’ll be good for us”, he added.
The new coach is expected to fly into Barcelona’s El Prat airport this afternoon and head straight for the Nou Camp to sign on the dotted line.
Tata as he is known could fly out to Oslo later in order to watch the team’s next friendly against Valerenga where he will watch the match from the stands, and later meet the players for the first time.
Martino’s first game in charge will be against Polish outfit Lechia Gadnsk on Tuesday in a match that had to be rescheduled due to Tito Vilanova’s illness.
Messi also mentioned that he had not seen former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola while in Munich preferring to talk about the season ahead.
“We’re starting again after what happened with Tito, we have to be prepared for a tough year”.
Barcelona was last season’s La Liga champions and have signed Brazilian starlet Neymar, but I think Messi is right it is going to be much tougher for the Catalans this season.