‘Barca bigger than I imagined’

Tata Martino has reflected on his early assimilation at Barcelona and admitted that aspects to the job have caught him out.

The Argentine was brought in as a midsummer replacement for Tito Vilanova and has so far enjoyed a club record start to La Liga.

“Barca are big team and it’s very difficult,” considered Martino at the Foundation Forum held at the Sala Auditorio 1899 this week.

“It’s bigger than one might imagine from the outside and the day to day work is complicated. There’s no time to relax and you always have to try to win.

“Someone is always looking for a crisis. When the results are good and above discussion, I imagine that’s when these type of debates on ball possession, Neymar, etc. appear.

“In Argentina we’re very interested with what happens in Europe, and especially in Spain. We’ve followed the entire evolution of Barca.

“The team have adopted a very active style of play. I’ve seen it many times while sitting in front of the TV. Now that I’m here, we have to respect that style.

“It was important to me that we recover various tactical variants that Barca have used in the past.

“Being Barca’s manager is a very important challenge and sometimes I tell myself that I have to be up to the task. You sleep well when you win but the next day you have to focus on the next opponent.

“I’m impressed with how the players train. I admire, for example, how they do a simple rondo. If you don’t watch and only listen to the sound of the ball, you realise that it’s a very quick and constant sound.”

Build-up to the first Clasico of the season has begun, with the fixture having been set a kick-off time in Week 10.

“One always imagines what a Clasico is really like. However, I have the obligation to think about the matches that come before it [Osasuna and Milan]. It would be incorrect to think about Real Madrid.”

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