Barcelona have won every big trophy this season. They have managed to win La Liga, Copa Del Rey, and Champions League. This achievement is extremely difficult to reach, and the only manager who has done that in recent years (in Spain) was Pep Guardiola.
Luis Enrique wasn’t that successful at managing Roma and Celta Vigo. I mean he was fired by Roma, due to poor results, and had an average results with Celta Vigo. All this would indicate that Luis Enrique isn’t that good manager, but he simply had the best team. This of course also raises the question about Pep Guardiola’s ability. Did Pep win all those trophies at Barcelona, because he simply had the best team, or was it due to his tactical ability?
Pep Guardiola had incredible success at Barcelona. He managed to win incredible 14 trophies in 4 years at the helm of Barcelona. This was unprecedented until then, and is still something almost unreachable. Given that Luis Enrique has started equally impressive as Pep Guardiola, I believe that the main reason for Barcelona’s dominance is their playing style.
Barcelona is playing an attacking possession football, which is an opposite to Italian catenaccio (defensive football). Barcelona has been playing this tactic for so long, that its hard to remember when they started to play like that. The manager that started with this tactic, was legendary Johan Cruyff, when he managed Barcelona in the 90’s. Barcelona’s tactics didn’t change much since, and because of this, Barcelona have became a powerhouse in the world of football.
The reason why this tactic brought so much success to Barcelona is that it is played in every level. Kids from the age of 12 are playing in this style of football, which means that when they start to play for Barcelona’s first team, they are very good at it. Another reason is that players like Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniest, are playing together since they were small kids, which means that they are well-trained together.
I believe that the missing link that none of the previous managers (since Cruyff) had is Lionel Messi. The Argentinian superstar is probably the ultimate player for that kind of tactic. This is the reason why Messi has broken every possible record while playing for Barcelona, but hasn’t been as effective for Argentina.
I think that because of this, Luis Enrique is truly showing that Pep Guardiola is kind of average manager. He simply used the same tactics every manager before him did with addition to having Lionel Messi at his disposal. I am not saying that Pep Guardiola is a bad manager, but I do believe that he would need to show his managerial ability with some weaker club, which is not Bayern or Barcelona.