Barcelona have officially announced the hiring of Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino as their new coach. A statement on the club’s web site said:
FC Barcelona has reached an agreement to sign Gerardo Martino as the new first team manager for the next two seasons. The agreement is still pending the drafting and signing of his contract.
The schedule for his trip to FC Barcelona, signature of his contract and official presentation will be announced in the next few hours
The man known as ‘Tata’, and the new first team boss at Barça, was born in Rosario (Argentina) on November 20, 1962. He has extensive experience of South American football, first as a player and after as a coach, most recently on the bench at Newell’s Old Boys, with whom he won the 2013 Final Tournament.
This would make Gerardo Martino the fourth Argentine manager in FC Barcelona history after Roque Olsen, Helenio Herrera and César Luis Menotti.
While Martino is not a pure tiki-taka coach like Pep Guardiola, he has been heavily influenced by Marcelo Bielsa, who helped Guardiola develop Barca’s style of play. So expect to see Barcelona continue to dominate possession, play out from the back and press high up the pitch.
ONe person very happy with the appointment of Martino is Lionel Messi. Speaking last year about Martino, Messi said:
“I like Tata Martino. He is a great coach.”
“He showed that in the Clausura with what he did for the team, the way it ended and how he did it. He gets his teams playing well and we all respect him.”