Barcelona definitively strike manager from options to replace Xavi Hernandez

Timing and luck are two of football’s most frivolous traits, but both are necessary for success at the top level. Rafael Marquez has been lacking in both of late, and it has cost him his shot at the Barcelona job, at least for now.

The Mexican manager had a genuine chance of being the next man up after Xavi Hernandez two months ago report Relevo, with admirers inside the club. Before Xavi made his announcement that he would be leaving at the end of the season, Marquez would have been the one to take over had results continued to spiral.

‘He’s prepared and he knows the place’ was the message coming out of Barcelona, and having taken Barca Atletic to the play-offs last season, is on course to do so again, despite dealing with a young squad following significant turnover. Four wins in their last five have left Atletic just four points off top in fourth spot.

Yet his two minor mishaps have helped to strike his name off the list of candidates for the summer. After Xavi made his announcement, the following day Marquez answered that he ‘could not say no’ to the Barcelona job, which was perceived as insensitive, but also poor handling of the media.

A few weeks on, Marquez came under fire from within the club for promoting a betting company in Mexico on his personal Instagram. He has since deleted the posts, but it attracted ire from Barcelona, as it was a bad look, could clash with their own sponsorship deals, and the Compliance department are investigating whether it was in breach of club policy.

Although some parts of the sporting committee are happy to see him continue at Barca Atletic, any chance of him getting the senior job is gone, and his place next season is no longer assured.

Marquez has done a solid job with Barca Atletic on the whole, but it is somewhat telling that there has been little noise about their results. Generally managers performing well with Barca Atletic are quick to earn praise, but that external validation, which in the grand scheme of things is not that important, has not arrived for Marquez, and perhaps hints at a general lack of faith in his credentials as a top coach. At 45 years of age, in his first coaching job, he has plenty of time to learn and improve too.

Tags Barca Atletic Barcelona Rafael Marquez
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