When Barcelona appoint a former player to work with their youth teams, you’re always tempted to think that they are being groomed for the top job at some point down the line.
However, that won’t be Victor Valdes, who had been in charge of their ‘Juvenil A’ side (the under-19s) since the summer, but was dismissed this week by the club.
For a club who thinks long-term and plans ahead, three months is a pretty short amount of time to come to a decision like this, so why is Valdes out? Our Spanish expert Alvaro Romeo explained exactly why on this week’s European edition of the Totally Football Show.
“He was always a guy with a lot of personality. When he got in the Barcelona team aged 20, he didn’t like it when Louis van Gaal sent him to the second team after a few games, and he went on strike.
“This time, he had plenty of discrepancies with the Barcelona board, and by extension Patrick Kluivert, who is kind of their sporting director, who keeps their relationship with other clubs.
“Apparently Valdes was not respecting some of Barcelona’s rules: one of them is the academy has to play in a 4-3-3 formation – he was playing 4-4-2. In the summer, he refused to bring his team to a third-place game in a tournament, because he wanted to prevent their players from injuries.
“He didn’t attend a methodology meeting – a monthly or fortnightly meeting when they talk about the methodology of the club, because they want to have a template from the young ranks to the first team, following the same training, the same drills etc.
“There were a few things piling up. Valdes seemed to be a ‘solo’ guy within Barcelona, not keeping up their holistic environment.
“Apparently on Friday he had a heavy argument with Patrick Kluivert, and that is what took the biscuit.”
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