Toshack: End of an era for Barca

Former Real Madrid Coach John Toshack believes Barcelona will need luck on their side to come out on top of El Clasico.

The sides meet on Sunday and Toshack has told CandenaSER that Madrid are the better team, while Barca need little short of a miracle to take the points.

“Barca will need a flower growing of their backsides to win. They’ll need all the luck in the world to beat Madrid and if they do, it will be a massive surprise,” the former Wales manager said.

“After this weekend, Madrid will hold a seven-point advantage. I could be wrong but that’s what I sense happening.

“There’s a lot of pride at stake in these matches. I haven’t got any personal interest but I can sense that Barca are having a few problems.

It could be that they are approaching the end of an era, I can see some signs of resignation.

“They have done remarkably well for several years but problems keep arising – what happened with Tito Vilanova, with Sandro Rosell, with Neymar, with Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez’s time is nearing an end.

“I watched the game [against Real Sociedad] and it was a shame to see them like that. A long cold winter is coming their way and they need a radical change.”

Toshack added that Barca are paying the price for not regenerating when they were at their most successful, under Pep Guardiola.

“I had a great admiration for Barca during the Guardiola years – that was one of the best sides I have ever seen. But everything must come to an end,” Toshack continued.

“You need to replenish the squad when you are winning, not relax and wait until things start to go badly because it becomes more difficult if you leave it late.

“The players’ body language when they’re out on the pitch says a lot about the situation and lately, I’ve seen players who are not giving what they have to give.

“Pique was a better player when Puyol was by his side. Puyol was unbeatable as a captain and he had a noticeable influence on the performance levels of the rest.”

Toshack also believes the future of Tata Martino will be determined by the same measure as every Coach – success.

“You can’t say that he has had bad luck coming to take the Barcelona job,” Toshack said of the Argentine.

“He’s very privileged but things are happening which are out of his control and that is affecting the general mood within the squad.

“Every Coach feels uncomfortable when they are not winning, whether it’s Barcelona or Benidorm.

“Our lives are controlled by results and success. I wish Tata the very best but the results will have a big say in his future.”

Tags El Clasico Toshack