Johan Cruyff does not believe that Tito Vilanova’s absence will hit Barcelona too hard, whilst he also hits out at Jose Mourinho again.
Vilanova today underwent surgery on a tumour in his salivary gland after suffering a relapse in his battle against illness.
“The news was a surprise. My first thoughts go to his wife and children. Those are the ones who suffer the most. You have to be with the family,” offered former Barcelona player and Coach Cruyff today.
“Of course Tito will return. I always believe so. I think so because when you are sick you have to be positive.
“I do not think his absence will affect the team, they know what to do. There’s a game ahead and then time to relax. They are people with experience and that is increased now that they have to take command.”
Cruyff is talking from his own experience of suffering health issues whilst in the line of duty. In 1991, three years into his tenure as Barcelona Coach, the Dutchman had to undergo double heart bypass surgery.
“I was always positive with my illness. I remember that day well. I was unwell and though I had something in my stomach.
“But actually I had a heart problem. When they told me I had to have surgery I thought ‘great, now I have more time to think’.
“I do not smoke because I was told that I would die if I continued smoking.”
During Vilanova’s recovery and treatment Jordi Roura will step up from assistant Coach.
“I know him well. he is calm. There is no rush. I think they have the game with Valladolid and then rest. It is in February when things become more serious.
“He has a very good team, with older players in it. I remember Roura well, I had him for several years, he went through all the categories. Why should he not be trusted?”
The veteran then turned his attention to Jose Mourinho and his style of management at Real Madrid.
“We have spoken of his negative behaviour for a while. I do not know how it will end. He should be there to create a team. He accumulates two players in each position so that they are in direct competition with each other.
“Mou has a way of being and of training. But his philosophy has its consequences. Madrid has the same quality as Barca in general. What is different is the philosophy.
“Homegrown players have more than just a contract with the club. They take the club to their heart. Transfers can bring in good players, but never for too long. A club needs its youth system.”