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Balague: "Is Xavi the only manager that everyone agrees Barcelona deserves?"

The Spanish football writer Guilhem Balague has doubts over the Barcelona legend's suitability as new manager of the Catalan giants.


Balague: "Is Xavi the only manager that everyone agrees Barcelona deserves?"

Spanish football writer Guillem Balague is unsure whether Barcelona legend Xavi is the right choice to take the reins at Camp Nou. 

Xavi, who made over 500 appearances for the Catalan giants, is currently the manager at Qatari club Al-Sadd. He has been widely tipped to succeed Ronald Koeman, who parted ways with the club on Wednesday.

However, Balague has his doubts that Xavi is the right candidate to restore the Blaugrana to their former glory.

Balague joined Richie McCormack on Thursday's Off the Ball and raised questions around Xavi's suitability to the task at hand.

"Is Xavi really the only manager that everyone will agree Barcelona deserves or needs?" Balague asked. "Out of all the millions of managers and coaches that there are, is he the only one?"

"I think Barcelona are becoming smaller and smaller. If you want to reproduce success - you think you have the formula - and you start copying and copying, the tenth copy becomes a really thin version of the original."

"Barcelona got to the top because they absorbed from so many influences. At the moment, it seems like Xavi is the only one."

Balague: "Xavi's tactics are all very 2010."

Balague mentioned that, having observed Xavi's management style for himself, he feels that the Spaniard's approach appears a little outdated.

"I went to Qatar and spent a few days with him [...] to try to understand what it is that he was trying to do."

"To be honest, the words he was using were very familiar - 'build from the back', 'go through the midfield', '4-3-3', 'three up front with two out wide' - all very familiar; all very 2010."

"I think football has moved on a little bit, but he is convinced that [with that approach], he can still bring Barcelona to the top," Balague added.

"I feel he is reproducing 2010. Let's say who is right, because now, football is [about] high intensity, high physicality."

"You look at Al Sadd and they look exactly how Barcelona want to play. But then, Al Sadd is the best team in Qatar, so that makes it a little easier for them."

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Barcelona Camp Nou Guilhem Balague La Liga Ronald Koeman Xavi Hernandez