FC Barcelona are still backing Ernesto Valverde, at least for the time being, according to a new report from ESPN. The manager has angered fans with a poor start to the season after a calamitous end to the last. The latest result was a 0-0 draw against Slavia Prague at home in the UEFA Champions League, which came after a 3-1 loss to Levante in La Liga.
However, while the board supports Valverde for the time being, the report notes that several members are quite concerned with how things are going. That means that if results do not improve soon, the chance of sacking Valverde could rise very quickly.
Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu backed Valverde at the end of last season, despite rumors that a lot of the board had turned against the manager. The president will not make “rash decisions,” the report notes, but there more poor results could lead to a “re-think.”
The atmosphere in the dressing room is said to have soured as well, with whispers that players feel the training is not demanding enough. There have also been a lot of muscular injuries, calling into question the whole of the technical staff. In addition, there are questions as to whether the team is at the required level when it comes to tactics.
Notably, goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen said after a win in Prague that the players were not happy with the level of the team.
Valverde chastised him somewhat, saying all criticisms of the team should be done in private. The manager preached calm after the draw, as well, at least in public.
Barcelona, despite a poor start, are first in La Liga and first in their UEFA Champions League Group.